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Father Belsnickle

The Pennsylvania Dutch, who were German, are credited with bringing many of their country’s Christmas customs to America. This helped shape the New World Christmas traditions as we know them today. As early as the 1820’s Father Christmas showed up in Pennsylvania as Belsnickle, which means “Nicholas in Furs.” Belsnickle would travel the Pennsylvania countryside looking for the children who would receive his small gifts of cakes, nuts and handmade toys. Father Belsnickkle carries a carved staff, a traditional craft of the German Pennsylvanians. He is accompanied by a little kitty who will be tucked into a lucky child’s Christmas stocking.

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