Christmas Eve in Poland!
It is a special day in our house. There are many things that will happen this evening...This is the night that you get your new Christmas jammys and slippers! We will eat a special dinner together, usually crab when we are at home but while we are in Poland we will have some shrimp. We will have friends for dinner. The house is decked out and waiting for that BIG day!
This old house has four stories. It was built in 1908. There is the first floor where one of our coffee shops is located. Then there is a second floor where another family lives. They have two boys and one girl, all of whom are over 18. Then on the third floor is our place. Above us there is another family and the grandmother has lived here in this building since World War 2. She is 96 years old.
Christmas in Poland is a lively affair. It starts on Christmas eve called Vegalia, the celebration of the beginning of Christmas. There will be family dinners all over Poland and afterwards a midnight mass. They do not eat meat on this day but instead there are MANY kinds of fish dishes made for this occassion. One popular fish for this evening is Carp. (REALLY!) I have been told that people take these big fish home live and let them swim in the bathtub until which time someone (NOT ME) whacks the fish upon the head and it is prepared for dinner. eeeewww! shivers....
There are several things which must be done for it to be considered a happy holiday here in Poland. First the cooking is done ahead, maybe the day before. This means all the baking and all the cooking. They make things like Poopy Seed cakes, cookies, pastries, cabbage dishes, fish dishes, etc. THEN, it is a MUST that the house be cleaned before the arrival of company. Also usually done a day ahead. Only after these things are done can there be peace on earth, good will towards men. I like this idea. Everyone helps, and many times family members will arrive early to help good old Mom with these chores.
I think everyone was home last night upstairs. They must have moved every piece of furniture they have TWICE! It went on until late in the night. I am sure they are now fully prepared for whatever guests will be arriving this evening. They must be exhausted!
We will be having Lindy and Katie and Ania for dinner. (Ania is my oldest Polish daughter and Katie and Lindy are volunteers from the states whom we have also adopted as family) We will open stockings and watch our favorite crazy Christmas movie "Mixed Nuts". Then the girls and my sweet hubby are going to serve coffee at a program for the homeless, and possibly a midnight mass. It will be a long, lovely night. (sigh!)
Merry Christmas everyone!