Friday, December 07, 2007

Mikulas Eve

Mikulas (or rather, Mikuláš) came to our house Wednesday night, and we have the candy to prove it. This morning I realized our Christmas count down was fueled by four advent calendars filled with chocolate. (We began with six, but I gave one away and took the other to my office for food emergencies.) On the top of our pantry the sweets-stash wok brims with bags of bon bons from the babysitters and neighbors, and the candy C earned singing songs to Mikulas trios is buried in the back of my top dresser drawer. If you break in tonight you now know where to find the goods. You're welcome to most of it, but do leave the Josef Lada advent calendar - it’s my favorite.

Caroline was in heaven all Mikulas evening, practicing her songs, opening her candy bags, walking to Namesti Miru with her friend Paige to meet the saint and his friends. She was proud that this year she was brave enough to face up to the kids dressed as devils, angels and the long bearded bishops who all seemed to sport hockey sticks wrapped in aluminum foil. This year she sang at their first request, first a Czech nursery rhyme, then her own Christmas song in English.

She sang in whispers by herself, but when she sang with her friend, their shyness disappeared and they belted out Rudolph to the last trio of the night, a grownup group in film studio costumes who blessed the girls and handed out yet another advent calendar (a Catholic edition with bible verses). As we walked away, the devil in their trio grabbed a ten-year-old and ran down the street with the boy flung over his shoulder. Mikulas followed in hot pursuit, advent calendars in one hand, hockey stick in the other.