Our Very Own Czech Christmas

Our Christmas this year was spent at home.  Jakub is already old enough to understand and remember, so we decided to make it a semi-traditional one.

On Christmas morning, Jakub and my husband helped me set up the table. They made this traditional Christmas decor to adorn the table.

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One of the traditions here in Czech during Christmas is the consumption of dried fruit preserves.  And guess what? It can also be used as a decoration.  I am not really sure about the meaning of this, but it’s supposed to symbolize the world.  (Although it looks like a spaceship to me.)

In the Philippines, Christmas involves heavy meals with an abundance of food all throughout the day.  Needless to say, it is one of those times when it’s ok to pig out.  But here in Czech, people fast prior to dinner with the belief that one is eventually rewarded with the sighting of a golden pig.  You can read more about it here.

This is the part of the Christmas tradition that I don’t like.  To keep up with tradition, we only had fruits for lunch.  By 3pm,  Jakub got so hungry he would eat anything.  It was quite funny that he kept asking me:  “what’s that, Mom? Can I have it?”  He would eat onion if I let him.    Thus, to end our misery, we ended up having dinner around 4pm , just after sunset.

Another tradition is to eat fish, usually carp, at dinnertime.  In our case, we had carp soup  which my husband made.  I’m not a very big fan of fish soups, but it was pretty tasty.

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But our main course was salmon.  I don’t like carp that much, so Salmon was a compromise.  At least it’s still fish.

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A very significant difference in tradition is that Czechs believe that Little Jesus brings the gifts, not Santa. But since we are a multi-cultural household, Santa is still a part of our Christmas story.

It was quite difficult to make the Santa story work since we didn’t have a fireplace.  So, I made up a story that Santa got sick and told Little Jesus to bring Jakub’s gifts for him.    Jakub bought it.  After all, he is only 3.  Still very young and impressionable.  He had a grand time opening his gifts from Little Jesus and Santa.

Even my little daughter was very cooperative.  She allowed all of us to have a decent family dinner and was just watching us from her rocker.  She just recently started to smile which really charms me and made me forget all the hardships we’ve been through.

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and here’s another priceless moment…

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Everything went very well and it left all of us happy and satisfied.

I hope yours was great as well.  Best wishes for the coming year!

The First 6 Weeks

My daughter is now 7 weeks.  Although I can’t completely say that things are completely ok, it is definitely better than the first 6 weeks.   I had experienced several motherhood challenges – from recovering from a caesarean operation, to breastfeeding,  to taking care of an infant and a three year old.  Suffice it to say that I have been through difficult times.  It is difficult to be a parent to say the least.

Anyhow, I am glad that my daughter is growing and developing.  Although I love her very much, she is not a very easy child to take care of….or probably I’m too old for this.  She is truly draining all my energy and it seems like all of my time is spent on her.

This is her at two weeks.  It is one of those rare pictures (at this stage) where she actually had her eyes wide open.  She still loves to sleep.

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Luckily, my supportive in-laws were with us through it all.  They helped take care and maintain our household and my hyperactive toddler.

So what has been happening lately?

Last week, we had an unusual visitor. Mikuláš (St. Nicholas) visited us in our home.

Here in Czech Republic, Mikuláš day celebration is a tradition.  It signals the start of the Christmas season.

This year, a friend from the neighborhood organized a dramatization of Mikuláš’ visit for the neighborhood kids.

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We were lucky that grandma and grandpa were still with us, so they celebrated the occasion with us.  My son was so happy because he received gifts from Mikuláš .

As Christmas is fast approaching, we have a lot of preparations to make.  This year, we will not be able to celebrate it with the rest of my husband’s family since my daughter is still too young to travel and be around too many people.  However, I am happy and excited to celebrate it with my family — just us.  The team is now complete.  My daughter is the best gift this Christmas.