What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Polish Christmas Eve- Wigilia – when all or as many members of the family as possible gather together to share oplatek, a no-meat meal, lots of laughs and wait until time to either go to bed (kids) or drive to church for Christmas Eve Mass (adults). I am tryingto tell my stories of Wiigilia and special foods in a series of lenses that I began last year. Completed so far are: Polish Blown-glass Christmas Ornaments, Wigilia – The Polish Christmas Eve: What is Oplatek?, and Pierogi make a traditional Christmas Eve dish for the Wigilia meal.
What’s your favorite holiday food?
I devour almost every one of the special Polish foods prepared for Wigilia and Christmas Day pierogi, cabbage stuffed with buckwheat or plain rice, creamed mushrooms, potatoes, etc. The picture I’ve attached is the Wiligia table at my son and daughter-in-law’s one Christmas when there were only a few of us able to gather. I love that I was able to capture the awe and delight in my granddaughter’s expression looking at the table.
What do you love most about the season?
Getting together with family members. My mother always had the Polish Christmas Eve, then I took over, and now we celebrate (usually) at my oldest daughter’s home. Even we are fortunate enough to visit often with each other, Christmass Eve and Christmas time are special because of all the little traditions we’ve built into that time…decorating the tree with cherished ornaments, imported beer for grandpa, special ornaments – for keepsakes, and lots of hugs and kisses.
What is your favorite childhood holiday memory?
Celebrating Wigilia – usually at my parents’ home – with aunts, uncles and cousins, going, to midnight Mass when we were old enough, visiting around at relatives’ homes on Christmas Day or during Christmas time to admire their Christmas trees and gifts, and eating and eating. I also still love the candles, lights and traditional decorations. “The Christmas Story” with Ralphie could have been my tale of Christmas in downtown Cleveland.
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?
Not really…I’ve outgrown my love of snow! I really, really love the stillness of the night as I drive to Midnight Mass each year. Seeing grazing deer also helps instill the peace and mystery of this special night.
cercis is a Giant Squid on Squidoo