Muffin Sister's Xmas time
Christmas vibes at home are from the very beginning of December. We talk about getting presents, cooking, baking, cleaning and many, many more other stuff between each other. The best part is spying on each other and trying to get the right present for everyone and obviously hiding them in the right place till 24th Dec. When we were kids, we were searching our house for hours and days, most of the time with no luck. I really love this excitement about counting down days to Christmas evening.
We were growing up in Poland and they are certain traditions which we always follow during the Christmas Evening. In terms of the food, on the Christmas table must be 12 dishes:
1. Fried carp ( our father is master of cooking it)
2. Borscht with dumplings
3. Mushroom soup
4. Cabbage with peas
5. Dumplings with cabbage and mushrooms
7. Mushrooms-and-cabbage pasty
8. Herring in sour cream
9. Greek-style fish
10. Vegetable Salad
11. Poppy seed cake
A week before Xmas items brought from shops queue to be used and turn into traditional Christmas polish dishes. Our mother is a great cooker and baker, she does everything from scratch so for a few days, there is no space to even seat down to the kitchen table as there are baking trays, large soup pots and many, many more different stuff around.
The other main part of our Christmas celebration is a Xmas tree. Our family house is just a few seconds away from the forest and we have friendly forester who let us choose any tree whatever we like. Therefore, last Saturday before this special evening our father goes to the forest and he brings tree which most of the time is a way to high so he needs to cut it off a bit. We decorate it with our father while our mum does something in the kitchen. We kept old-fashion baubles which might be about 30 yo like this one and bauble made by us in primary school.
There is a part which it is not a favourite one for some of us - cleaning! Everyone wants to have this shiny, 5-star clean house so my family does. So since I can remember there was a little bit of rush to make this happen but luckily we do that on time.
At the beginning of our evening, we gather and exchange wishes with each other. I think this is the central point of Xmas evening. Our family is Christian thus each of us holds the sacramental wafer and once we express good wishes we break it down and eat it. This gesture symbolises mutual sacrifice for one another and the willingness to share with the loved ones the fruits of their daily work. Sharing the sacramental wafer is intended to bring us together. According to tradition, the dinner began along with the first star on the sky. It references to the Star of Bethlehem and Jesus birth. The other tradition is an additional/spare seat at the dining table intended for an unannounced guest. It is also an expression of remembrance about our relatives who are absent because, for example, they couldn't get from abroad. The empty cover also represents the memory of the family member who died. We also put under a tablecloth, handful hay. This tradition descends from pagan time and it symbolises the birth of Jesus in poverty.
We seat down to the dining table full of these wonderful dishes and we enjoy the time having Christmas carols in the background. Once the dinner is finished, the youngest member of our family hand presents out and after that, we try to make some space for some sweets baked by our nanna and mum by playing board games, singing carols or watching "Home Alone"...
We would love to know how your Xmas time looks like. Are they any similar traditions to our one? How do you spend this time? I hope you enjoy reading about Muffin Sisters' Xmas time in Poland.
We wish you Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!