Saturday, December 1, 2012
Celebrating the holidays with Gabi Stevens
Welcome to December! I'm pleased to turn over the blog to my guest today, paranormal author Gabi Stevens!
When I was a child, Christmas was always celebrated on December 24. Sometime in the afternoon, my mother would get rid of us kids, usually by sending us with our father to the movies. When we returned, she would be waiting for us outside, ostensibly coming from a neighbor’s, who just happened to be my aunt, house and looking at our house in wonder. “Who left the lights on?” she’d ask in Hungarian (Did I mention both my parents were from Hungary?). We’d walk cautiously into the house and discover the Christmas tree lit up with parcels and presents stacked beneath its branches. Jézuska (the baby Jesus) had been there leaving our loot for Christmas. Santa had no part in our tradition.
Or did he?
Santa, or Mikulás as he was known in our house, came on December 6. We’d put our shoes out the evening of December 5 and wake up to chocolates and treats in our footwear. If we were bad, we could expect coal or a switch with which our parents were supposed to spank us as punishment for our transgressions. I am happy to say I never received coal or the switch (Okay, I’ll admit it. I was a goody-two-shoes as a kid). There was also some sort of scary figure that was supposed to accompany Mikulás on his rounds, an evil elf of sorts who punished bad children, but I’m happy to report he never made it across the ocean when my parents immigrated to the U.S.
I always considered Mikulás day as a report card of sorts, a last chance for kids to improve their behavior before Christmas. Get your act together or no presents under the tree. But, as I mentioned earlier, I never actually had that fear. For me, Mikulás was a morning when I would receive chocolate and sweets.
I did miss out on some of the fun stuff that many Americans do during the season: writing Santa, hanging a stocking (I didn’t get my first stocking until I celebrated Christmas with my then boyfriend’s family, and my future father-in-law had one for me. I nearly cried.), waking up on Christmas morning to the magic that happened overnight. When I had my own kids, I adopted Santa and those traditions, although we still open one gift on the 24th.
But Mikulás still comes on December 6 to our house. My kids have always put out their slippers, and they wake up to candies and a new pair of pajamas. When my oldest were at college, I’d send a package for Mikulás. To this day, my youngest eagerly awaits December 5 so she can put her shoes out. Yeah, Mikulás, like Santa, doesn’t bring gifts if you don’t believe.
Many happy memories to you in this holiday season. One lucky commenter will win a sterling silver “magic” affirmation circle, suitable for wearing on a chain, carrying around in your pocket as a charm, or just having around. I will also send you a tiny magic wand and your choice of one of my Time Of Transition trilogy books: The Wish List, As You Wish, or Wishful Thinking.