Last year, santa claus was not allowed to go from house to house because of the corona contact restrictions. This year, heinrich witzgall is allowed to visit the children again. For 45 years, he has had a passion for corpsing santa claus, just as he has for beekeeping. He started as a 13-year-old when there was no one left in the town of stadtsteinach to play this role. "I was already rougher than the children I was supposed to visit, and so it worked out to give the four- to ten-year-olds a good telling off." of course, the children mostly knew that santa claus was not real, witzgall says. "Nevertheless it is fantastic – for both sides. It suddenly creates a completely different atmosphere, he says.
"It occasionally happens that a child clearly says that santa claus does not exist. Then he explains to him that santa claus comes on the 6th of december. December has so much to do that he can’t do it all himself. Therefore, he sends helpers to dress up like him and take work off his hands. The child is satisfied with this explanation."
Mab-regulating children is not his style, says nikolaus witzgall. "One thing and another is agreed with the parents beforehand that needs to be said. I will address that then."
What kids talk about
Sometimes his visit even goes the other way: "the children tell santa claus that their father drinks, or that their parents quarrel so often" grins witzgall. "The parents are then quite embarrassed. Of course, such family matters are subject to official secrecy."
Talking about drunk: "times have changed" witzgall tells. "In the past it was mostly: ‘na nikolaus, a schnapsla goes nevertheless’. After ten home visits, however, the matter became critical." if witzgall is now with the car also in the nachbardorfern on the way, such a thing goes of course no longer.
In the past, the schnapps made santa hungry, so that at the end of his tour of the village, he ended up at the "frankenwald" inn and recited his poems there as well. The fact that he got a free dinner afterwards was another advantage of being santa claus. "Half a century ago, it was something special to be invited to a restaurant; and as an apprentice, you didn’t have any money anyway."
Heinrich witzgall sewed his first nicholas costume together himself back then. In the meantime he has a particularly nice one that looks like a real red fur. He also had a particularly rough sack made for him: "it was necessary once that I had to put a particularly stubborn child into it." meanwhile, witzgall is already ordered to the offspring of this child. The man from unterzaubach is particularly looking forward to this house call today.