Thursday, December 07, 2006

Holiday Traditions

I love how the Christmas holidays bring out fun, long standing traditions. I won’t be blogging for a while after this post as I am going on a MUCH needed vacation with the fam. That is a fun South African tradition (family vacations in December) I decided we must adopt. So I will share 2 of my favorite Christmas traditions and then allow you to share with various readers some of your own. That way reading enjoyment can continue while I am away….okay so maybe only 2 readers will miss my blogging while I am away (my mom and dad).

Last Sunday I took Skyler to see the Nutcracker ballet. This brings back fond memories of my mom and me traipsing off downtown Chicago to McCormick Place to see this special holiday performance. We would get all dressed up, my dad would drive us (not sure what he did during the wait time) and then the 3 of us would go out for a nice dinner afterwards. This happened years on end and for as many times as I have seen the ballet I still watch as if it is my first time.

What fun it was to share this special tradition with Skyler. She absolutely loved it and I got a glimpse of the joy my mom received by creating such a sweet memory with her daughter as I now am creating it with mine.

I am Czechoslovakian and Mikulash is a Czech holiday tradition. Mikulash is 'Santa' in Czech and essentially the tradition consists of hanging our stockings on Dec 5th and opening them the morning of the 6th. This is how the Baumruk family did it so when I took on the Franzen name, Mikulash came with it!

On Tuesday night cookies and milk were laid out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Before everyone freaks out and I get the “Don’t you know Santa is really Satan if you rearrange the letters speech!” My kids know the fat man in the big red suit with the long white beard that comes down the chimney isn’t real….good thing because we don’t have a chimney. They do however know about the real man that lived centuries ago whose name was Saint Nicholas. And that he loved Jesus and went around doing good things for people. I have a great book that tells the story so well and keeps things in perspective….also a traditional Christmas read in the Baumruk household. (Unfortunately, I think it is out of print.) So for them (and me) it amounts to harmless fun and a stocking chalked full of sweets. They were so excited the “Can we open our stockings now” banter started at 5:45 a.m. Good thing there was coffee in my stocking!

Well that is it for me! Now for your part….tell us your favorite Christmas tradition(s).


Anonymous said...

Yes, we have many fond memories ofthe Nutcracker and Mikulash. I remember one year when we really didn't have the funds to go to see the Nutcracker but I tried to get tickets anyway but they would have been in the last row of the balcony at the Opera House I believe, so we didn't go that year. Needless to say, I had a very sad and disappointed daughter and I was even more disappointed.
We had fun with Mikulash too and even though you kids didn't really believe in Santa (we always made it kind of a game) but we decided to put Daisy's (our dog) footprint on the note left for Santa and told you it was one of the reindeer's footprint. You sure were puzzled for quite awhile.
Ah yes, the fun of tradition!!

karenkool said...

Oh those pictures are so adorably cute, and hey... I'll miss your posts!!! I check you everyday, ya know.

I hope you have a wonderful time on your newly, traditional, South African, December vacation. Sounds wonderful!!!

This is our first year for Christmas stockings. I decided to purchase some the other day, because realized that I had a lot of socks and things to stuff stockings with this year. My 10-year-old daughter was so excited to decorate her own stocking. She got everyone else excited about it, too (althoguh I don't think the elmer's glue is going to hold those beads for very long).

Danielle said...

I absolutely love that picture of Tori. You can just feel the excitement she must of been feeling when she opened her stocking!

Shanygne said...

I wanted Nutcracker to a tradition, too, but it got left out a couple years ago and we haven't been able to go again...

We are kind of in that transitional place as far as holidays go...creating our own, yet trying to follow some sort of tradition with our extended families... but this year, it's just us...

Love the Mikulash there a story behind it??

Ginger said...

No real special traditions in our family. I regret now that the kids are grown that I didn't work harder to establish them. Maybe someday I'll have special ones for the grandkids. We gave our son-in-law a pair of wooden shoes (we are Dutch, he's Mexican) at their wedding and promised a pair for each child they have to be put out at Christmas for us to fill with goodies. That will be the start of our new family we wait for the family addition someday.
I will miss your reads while you vacation.
God Bless!

Gayla said...

Don't apologize for doing a Santa thing! I was a total believer until I was almost 10 and my boys are in 100%!!! They know the real meaning (Jesus) and about Saint Nicholas too, but Santa is just fun, so I make no apologies for keeping the magic spirit alive in the Gower home!!!

LOVE your Czech traditions! So special. Have a great holiday!

Beth said...

What fun traditions!

So glad you get to go on vacation. Looking forward to you blogging the vacation stories when you get back. :)

Sohailah said...

I am sad you will be offline for awhile - this is my daily Michelle catch up spot and it's such a treat. Have a WONDERFUL time! Love you!

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

Hey, just got your blog site off an email from your mom! Great to know you guys are doing well.

Yes, this is your... 3rd cousin twice removed? Eah, whatever, it's Will, Suzan's son:)

Will said...

THis is Will again. Our blog is

For some reason Blogger won't let me leave comments on your site under my username.