Twelve traditional dishes on a table and the whole family around it. Plenty of colorful presents, burning candles and love in the air. Nowadays Christmas is a little bit commercialized, mainly connected with fat guy in red pants called Santa Claus, but it doesn’t mean that one of the most important holidays lost its magic.
When children are looking for the first star in the sky, adults and teenagers who doesn’t believe in Santa anymore are starting the celebrity. We pray to the God together, asking for doing the same thing in next year – in the same group of people with identical relations. Then we break the wafers (it’s a thin thing made from flour and water, blessed in a church) with each other and also make wishes for following year. Afterwards, with proud children who saw the star, we start trying delicious food. We can find fishes on the table as well as mushroom soup, dumplings with sour cabbage, cabbage boiled with peas and some other traditional meals.
Do you believe in Santa? You should! When everybody has full stomach, Santa is knocking on a door. If a family consists of kids who believes in his existence, somebody disguise as him and hands presents. Of course not for free! Everybody under the age of, let’s say, 10 has to say some rhyme or sing a song. Then Santa is going out, person who was wearing red pants, a cap with pompon and a beard is coming back pretending that he were sitting on a toilet or smoking. When children plays with new toys or, older ones, reads interesting books, adults talk and drink unusual tasty wine. Some of them are also singing Christmas carols together with kids. A smell of peeled oranges is mixing up with odor of Christmas, family time and a pinch of magic.
When it comes to habits, I can introduce you some of them. People in Poland remember about everybody during Christmas – charity organizations collect money and organize festive dinner for homeless and poor. As it is a noble gesture, every family leave one additional plate left on a Christmas table. In theory, if some lonely man would like to join them, they will welcome him with open arms, unlike Maria and Joseph who couldn’t find any place to stay when Maria was about giving birth to Son of the God, Jesus. Practically, I’ve never seen such a situation in my home. I think it’s a little bit hypocritical habit and I can’t be sure whether some family would really invite such a person who wanders alone around the town or not. Another tradition is connected with the crib when Jesus was born. As there were a lot of hay around him and his mother Maria, we put some blades under a tablecloth which covers the table. Kids also believe that animals become able to speak during the holy night, from midnight. Anyway, they can’t check it because polite children go to beds much earlier and, remember, if they are not polite, Santa will not bring them presents anymore. 😉