Monday, December 1, 2008
The 1st of December has arrived and with it the first day of our blogging community's Advent Calendar, Kailana and Marg's idea. I'm very happy to be one of the first bloggers to start this cool event. I can't wait to read everybody's entries over this month!
Firstly, I LOVE December. I love Christmas too - I'm not actually Christian so I'm talking about the secular holiday that Christmas has become to many. I love the carols, the decorations, the lights, the fake santas. The cheesier the better. December also happens to be my birthday month and I'm like a kid with birthdays too, so you can imagine...
As some of you know, I live in Belgium and am Polish. I always spend Christmas with my family in Poland. My Mom is as Christmas-crazy as me - in fact, her fake santas are already up! My family, especially my Mom, tends to go overboard with buying presents too. I get that from her. That and the shopping bug, which fits in nicely with the present-buying.
We celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December, Christmas Eve. We sit down to dinner at around 4 or 5 - as soon as it gets dark, pretty much. The traditional Polish Christmas table has 12 dishes, but we're not a big family so we don't really stick to that. We definitely always have barszcz (which is a soup made of red beets), pierogi (dumplings with mushrooms and cabbage) and lots of fish.
We open our presents in stages - some during dinner, some after, some later in the evening when all the guests have gone home. Lately, since my boyfriend Joe is Irish, we also save some for Christmas Day.
Joe and I are pagan and we also pay special attention to Yule. We always do something to mark the day, but it can't possibly be as elaborate as Christmas. :-)
I'm so glad I got to write this today - I haven't been feeling Christmassy this year and now I do. It's my favorite time of the year - family, warmth, hope. I love spending time with my Mom and Dad and the rest of my family and I love adding new traditions each year. I hope that in the future I will be able to keep up some of the older ones too.
Have a great first day of December everyone!