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Christmas for a Polish girl

December 19, 2008 by · 3 comments

Eva Stelmach

A few days before Christmas Eve, all Polish students like me do the same thing – they pack their suitcases and go to their hometowns to spend Christmas with their families.

Poland is quite a traditional country and we spend each feast together with our parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins and other family members. Twenty family members sit around the Christmas Eve’s table at my home.

Photo: krisdecurtis

Polish people always want to prepare their Christmas perfectly. They plan what to buy and what to cook weeks in advance. We have some traditional dishes like beetroot soup, dumplings with cabbage and mushrooms, cabbage and peas, Christmas carp, kutya (traditional Christmas grain pudding) and the obligatorily dried fruit compote to drink.

On Christmas Eve we sing carols and attend Christmas midnight mass. Of course, we also prepare presents and these are the most exciting moments no matter how old you are.

Sometimes we invite our friends for Christmas as well. It is a great time to talk and spend time together with people we love because in the ordinary life Polish people are quite busy and don’t have much time to be together with their families.

I know people who spend Christmas in an alternative way – they go skiing with their partners or friends and visit their families for New Year’s Eve instead. But I think it is rare.

I like Polish Christmas. I do not live with my parents, so it is a wonderful occasion to chat, with the Christmas tree in the background. But 2 days after Christmas I go skiing with my friends and the New Year’s Eve I will spend with them in the mountains, just to take the balance.

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