Happy St. Mikulash! What? Every year on December 6th our shoes line the fireplace filled with little gifts, candies, nuts and coal. This special day heralds the Christmas fun for our children, no matter how big they are. Grandma LaTorre is a hundred percent Czechloslovakian, and in their tradition it is St. Mikulash who delivers treats on December 6th, not in stockings hung on Christmas Eve. I can share the secret here because the children in this house don’t read my blog, it is Grandma who keeps this tradition going every year since I’ve known Craig. I remember getting a really nice box full of wonderful beautiful things when I lived alone my senior year of college. It was the happiest, brightest surprise for a weary student preparing for senior exams. I can see myself now standing over my table alone in my apartment feeling the joy as I unwrapped surprises.
I can’t imagine how much effort it must be for her to collect goodies for sixteen grandchildren and eight parents then have them packed and delivered by the sixth of December. I personally have a love hate relationship with filling stockings for my five. It takes me all month to find the right little things to put in their stockings and it causes me some fret. But what do they love the most about Christmas morning? What they find in their stockings. The pressure is on, because I can’t help but want to see them delight in what they find there.
Here’s what I learn from her consistent example of bringing St. Mikulash to our family. Keeping the tradition alive is important and it costs effort and time but it is worth it because now the children can understand part of their heritage. I respect that so much. So what am I going to do when it is time for me to be the grandma to God only knows how many grandchildren my five will produce!? I think I will keep St. Mikulash alive in the LaTorre clan on our side. I wonder if someone could make a website for stocking stuffers because that’s going to be a long list of little things to collect, but what a fun time in my life that will be. Kira can be my little elf helping me get ideas, collect little things, and package them up.
The good news for our big boys is that I have my own baby now to keep me from pushing too hard for them to make me a grandma, so Kira really takes the pressure off. And some day I suspect they’ll realize her babysitting potential for their children! Jack loves to tell me, “when Kira is ten I’ll be out of the house”. Ouch. It hurts because having our home full of children, busy, active, and a little loco is something I’m so used to I just can’t imagine it being otherwise. So, I can only hope (not expect) that while Kira is still somewhat in her youth the house will begin to flood with grandchildren. We’ve essentially done the best we can to prevent the empty nest! How clever are we? What this reminds me for today is that life with our children in our home passes so quickly. That big boy of mine, a sophomore in college, is still my little Donny when he collapses on the sofa next to me at home, needing to talk. I miss him. And Jordan is going to be a senior next year, the same time Kevin begins high school. It will be Jack’s last year of elementary. And Kira will start preschool. It goes so fast. So, today, I’m going to celebrate where we are and feel a mighty gratitude to God for the blessings of family and being mama to so many.