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Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas Eve! I have to admit Christmas kind of sneaked up on me this year, and I can’t believe the celebration is about to begin.

The two things I look forward to the most during the holidays are spending time with family and holiday traditions. It’s always fun to ask people what their holiday traditions are. I didn’t realize so many people get a new set of pajamas!

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We do the bulk of our celebrations on Christmas Eve. My mom is from Poland where they serve seven courses of fish. This always meant my grandpa would bring home a live carp to swim around the bathtub for a few days before it ended up on the dinner table. We like to celebrate our Polish roots, but we’ve adjusted this tradition to fit our preferences and lack of desire to kill fish by hand.

Instead of the traditional fish courses, my mom cooks all of our favorite Polish food, including mushroom soup, pierogi, boiled potatoes with fresh dill and butter, Greek fish, golumpki (stuffed cabbage rolls), and kugel and makowiec (poppy seed cake) for dessert. Most of these foods are considered “peasant food,” so my mom would be so embarrassed to know that I broadcast that we eat these dishes for the holidays.

Following the Polish tradition, we also open all of our presents on Christmas Eve. After opening stockings on Christmas morning, we spend the day gorging ourselves on homemade cinnamon rolls and other sweets (very American of us) while watching some of the “classic” holiday movies, including A Christmas Story, Love Actually and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

~ Nicole

1 comment:

Brown Miller Communications (BMC) said...

This brings back fond memories of Christmas in my hometown of Tyler, a little Danish community in southwestern Minnesota. In true Danish tradition, our main celebration was on Christmas Eve, when our family would attend church and then travel to my bestemor's (grandmother) farm for dinner. When we arrived at the farm, my uncle would open the door and invite us in with a hearty "Glaedelig Jul." Soon dinner would be served, starting with Danish meatball soup with dumplings, followed by Christmas goose and all topped off with tart cranberry pie with a dollop of sweet whipped cream. I'm drooling just thinking about it. After dinner, Bestemor would slip through the pocket doors into the darkened living room to have a chat with Santa. After getting the lowdonwn on who had been bad or good, Santa would knock on the door before leaving, and Bestemor would open the doors to reveal the lighted Christmas tree. We would then all join hands and dance around the Christman tree, singing Christmas carols. Finally, the kids would pass out the gifts to everyone. My bestemor truly made Christmas a magical time.