Not too long ago, our ward had its Christmas Party; themed "Christmas Around the World." We enjoyed ethnic dishes from all over and various families entertained us with songs, dances, and stories from their missions or native countries. I was asked to present something from the Czech Republic for about 5 minutes.
Well, it just so happens that our party was held on December 5th, which is the eve of Mikulas (St. Nicholas Day) in the Czech Republic a very big holiday, and what seemed to me the beginning of Christmas there. So I told the story of St. Nicholas and the holiday traditions associated with it in CZ while Alex, Princess M, my brother John, and 3 of his kids acted it out for us.
In short, on the eve of Mikulas, the Angel brings down St. Nicholas from heaven by a golden chord, and he goes about looking for little girls and boys. If they've been good that year, they get candy or toys in their boots when they wake up; if they've been bad, they get rocks or rotten potatoes; and if they've been REALY bad, then the Chert (devil) will snatch them up in his sack and take them down to hell. "You better watch out... you better not cry..." Seriously
It was short, sweet, and kinda fun I thought. M made a fantastic Angel; and she loved doing it! My nephews remembered their parts perfectly. And I was so proud of how my St. Nicholas costume turned out (I threw it together that morning. Santa let us borrow his beard for the play.)
Speaking of Santa, he, of course, made an appearance at the party. He told a story explaining the symbols of Christmas and how they all teach of Christ. It was really cool. And can you tell how excited M was to see him there?
He came bearing gifts too. Not only did each child get a candy cane after sitting on his lap, they each got a large plush teddy bear as well. It was a huge hit!
Bribed with candy and a bear, we even got a decent picture of Toddler A on Santa's lap without any tears.