It’s Mikulas Time–Slovak Traditions in America

While all you suckers were just hanging out doing nothing special last night, my kids were busy cleaning their boots, getting everything ready for Mikulas to come. And come he did. Luckily, both of my kids avoided getting the dreaded potato (which Mikulas brings to naughty children in Slovakia). Instead, they made out with some sweet candy, and some presents. (Milukas doesn’t traditionally bring presents. He must have been swayed by their capitalistic American surroundings . . .)

It’s really interesting to me to participate in traditions that I had no part in growing up. In many ways, they seem very contrived to me. I’m outside of them, and so I don’t really “get” them, in much the same way that it’s really strange to me to hear about the Christ child bringing presents, instead of Santa Claus. (Though that definitely would make kids care about that whole nativity thing a little more . . .) It makes me wonder what Denisa thinks about Thanksgiving, really. (Though in some ways, American holidays I think are easier for outsiders to understand, just because they’ve been portrayed so often in pop culture. Not many movies in America about Mikulas that everybody watches.)

But the nice thing is that we’ve done this every year since we got married. So it’s not a Slovak tradition to me anymore so much as a Bryce tradition. It fits right in with Groundhog Day. 🙂 Just with more of an actual . . . you know . . . real history.

And here are the kids with their loot (Home Alone and Muppet Christmas Carol, because Mikulas apparently likes Christmas movies.) They’re looking a little tired (the kids, not the presents) because I woke them up so I could see their reactions before I left for work this morning. Poor kiddos!

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