December 19 is celebrated in Ukraine as St. Mykola Day. Children anticipate chocolate or special cut-out cookies, so I did some baking before I went to visit my special friends in the hospital — only three were in the room on Friday. Have I mentioned lately what a treat it is for me to be able to visit these orphans who have no parent to care for them in the hospital? Last week I was privileged to introduce a new friend to the pleasures of this room. He wrote a blog about that time here.
Also in Ukraine, people who are named for the saints enjoy special recognition on their saint’s day. My language teacher celebrates her name day in January, for example, and people call her to wish her good health, success, etc. and present her with small gifts.
Well, Jeanne’s Kolya is actually Mykola, so December 19 takes on added importance to our family. I gave him a small heart-shaped cookie when he and Jeanne arrived at our flat on Friday afternoon. And then we had another couple over for a fun night of hot mulled wine, sweet treats, and laughter!
Typically there will be several evenings throughout the holidays when we have a crockpot of red wine simmering, the scent of the mulling spices wafting throughout the flat. A great way to warm up after sliding across the icy sidewalks to get home!