Sunday, 9 December 2012
Christmas! How do I celebrate?
My christmas! I am half italian and half polish with a fantastic heritage that is certainly special at christmas! "La Vigilia" in Italian- The Feast of Seven Fishes where we are known to celebrate christmas eve with up to 13 different courses! Waiting for the birth of Jesus. Then the polish "Wigilia" the christmas eve supper where no red meat is eaten and various courses consist of food such as pasta and fish. We have no italian family in England, they are all across the seas in Italia, but some polish family are here and have been since the war, but my family history will be for another time. Christmas eve was such an exciting time for me, where the family would all gather at my grandparents, where my beautiful Dzaidzio, my grandad would love seeing everyone eating lots and smiling whilst opening presents during the time my poor elegant Babcia, my grandma would be scurrying around ensuring everyone had eaten, spending her whole time in the kitchen cooking delicious food for her seven grandchildren, three children+husbands/wives and sister! So quite a few for her to cater for! We would start the evening with the breaking of the oplatek, a blessed white wafer with an image of the nativity on, we would break a piece going around to each member of our family with best wishes for the new year. This would always end in tears as we all hugged eachother with wishes of love and blessings. Then the meal would commense, up to twelve dishes which symbolised the meal with the 12 apostles at the last supper. We usually had a smoked salmon, herring with apple, beetroot soup with filled dumplings, pierogi, pasta with two fillings, cod, stewed fruit and various cakes. A beautiful meal made by my beautiful Babcia. After this feast, we would have our Dzaidzio ring a bell symbolising that father christmas had come, so off to the front room we would go with anticipation! my Dzaidzio would call out the names on the presents as the grandchildren passed the presents to the family members. We would get our presents from our aunties/uncles and grandparents. We would play with our gifts and chatter away as the washing up was mastered! Then off to midnight mass we would go, struggling to stay awake!!
Christmas day would arrive, with the excitment of me and my brothers stockings! We would pile into my bedrooms room and each take it in turn to open a gift, then would hurry downstairs to the see what surprises waited for us under the tree! We would have a little cocktail and croissants then commence the christmas preparations for our second feast! Get glammed and eat our stunning meal by our stunning Mama. Our christmas is about food and family, good nature and kindness. I love our christmas.
As time has changed so has our family, grandparents have passed to a better place so traditions have changed. For the first time I am going to be doing Wigilia, I hope I can make my grandparents proud. I will be starting this tradition for my man, little angel, brother and parents. I feel its important to carry traditions on, I really want my angel to experience what I have found as the best times. Fingers crossed I can do it the best I can.
I wish I could say thank you to my grandparents for loving me the way they did, for making christmas feel like the best time of the year. I love you and miss you.
So readers, what are your traditions?
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