For the answer you have to wait a moment. First I want to talk about traditions ... Advent traditions ... Christmas traditions.
When I was growing up as a child every year my sister and I had an Adventcalendar. Of course when I was a little child it was just a pretty picture with little doors. The doors were numbered 1 to 24 and you started opening them December 1st. So you had an idea how long it was til Christmas. How excited we were when we saw another pretty little picture behind each door.
And then one year the Adventcalendar had actually a little piece of chocolate behind each door. Wow!
When my children were little their German godmother sent each of them a homemade one. It was a burlap wall-hanging decorated with felt. Very cute. It had rings with numbers sewn on and on each hung a little fabric sack with a gift. From then on in the following years we filled the sacks. And it evolved. By the time they were teenagers or even in college, the gifts were useful items like toasters etc. And the greatest benefit ... by the time Christmas had arrived the gift-giving was done and we could just celebrate Christmas how it was intended ... Jesus' birthday!
A few years ago I told the girls that it was time for me to retire from this and they were fine with it and understood ... but that didn't last. I missed it because I have too much fun doing it. So, here I go again.
See those two strips in the front? Those are dog-treats calendars for Silvi and Drifter, always the things in sack # 1.
Now to the question in the title: How does Santa know whether the children have been naughty or nice? Of course, he has helpers. He sends an elf to each child.
You can read about it here!
The elf shows up shortly after Thanksgiving ... somewhere in the house in plain sight. He sits there all day and watches. In the night he flies back to Santa to report and returns in the morning. I heard that children are very excited to search for him as soon as they wake up.
As long as I can remember my friend Lise (lives in Cape Girardeau, MO but born and raised in Denmark) talked at Christmas time about her NISSE (read about them here). Last year she shared some cute pictures on Facebook how Nisse helped her bake Christmas cookies and helped her decorate her house.
In Germany we have Heinzelmännchen (read more) , Zwerge, Wichtel (read more) and Kobolde (read more). I didn't know the story about Cologne but only that Heinzelmaenchen came in the nights to help if you are nice.
But then finally he thought it was a good idea. I hope William likes him and I hope that the elf can give good reports about William to Santa.
The weather was so nice and warm that I was able to make Advent greenery arrangements on the back patio.
Sack # 1: calendars for Schatzi, Jimmy and Edy. Since Jimmy likes to "steal" things, the long strips hanging down don't work. A new "invention" this year. Hope it works. They came with 3M hooks (which are removable from the wall without trace).