Ježíšek or Santa Claus?

December 14, 2012
Emily kids holding presents in front of a Christmas tree

Blending traditions for a bilingual holiday

As we were driving in the car the other day, I casually asked the children, “Who is coming to our house this year for Christmas, Santa Claus or Ježíšek?” With enthusiasm, the older two children replied, “Santa Claus!” “It’s only logical,” Anna Lee added, “since we are going to be in America this year.” And with that, the discussion dissolved into a back-and-forth between Anna and Oliver over the physical appearance of both “magical” entities. At ages almost-eight and five and a half, our two older children recognize that Czech and American cultures have different holiday customs and traditions. Most of the time, they are happy to go back-and-forth between the two holiday-time cultures, much as they navigate between the two languages on a daily basis.

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