Monday, December 10, 2007

Will work for gifts...

Christmas Eve in our family is a big deal. The entire extended family gets together for an enormous feast that ends with a visit from Santa. We have several courses of traditional Polish meatless dishes and even more courses of family traditions.

We begin the meal by sharing our Christmas wafers with each member of the family. Even the littlest children hold onto their wafers and approach each person to bestow upon them their new year wishes. We say our prayers, finish our dinner, and wait for the first star of the evening.

We sing carols together in hopes that Santa will hear our voices and visit us. The little ones run around the house singing, peering out windows, and preparing for St. Nick. The adults decide who will change into the Santa costume and prepare all the gifts. We escort the "Santa" outside through the garage and the kids scream with nervous laughter when they hear a knock on the door.

Every year Santa visits us on Christmas Eve. Every year Santa gives presents to the children that have improved and learned something new in the last year. Last year, Lola spelled out her name for Santa, and he gave her a gift. Jay played a song on the piano for Santa, and was given a gift. My sister spoke in Wolof and was given a gift. Years ago, when I was in grade school, my siblings and I spent weeks perfecting our dance routine to "Everybody Dance Now." We were awesome.

With only 14 days left before Santa visits our family on our traditional Polish Christmas Eve the kiddos are preparing what they will show him. They have a couple of ideas and I wanted to add to them.

"How about singing a Polish song?" I ask Jay and Lola.

"No. I don't know how to talk Polish." Jay answers with a frown.

"But, I can teach you the words. There are so many beautiful Polish songs." I try to turn things around.

"I already know Polish songs." Lola jumps into the conversation with a smile. I wonder, did my mother teach her any songs? Has she been listening to the CDs I have been playing? It is possible. She picks things up rather quickly.

"Really? I would love to hear your Polish song Lola. Sing it to me." I ask her with admiration.

"I know POLISH. You know POLISH. We know POLISH. POLISH. POLISH. POLISH!" She sings in perfect melody.

I break out in giggles and it is contagious. We are so ready for you "Santa."

10classy comments:

Stella said...

I love it!

Don Mills Diva said...

So cute. She sounds like a firecracker.

Huckdoll said...

Sounds like a beautiful tradition, one that the children and adults adore. Christmas Eve is a biggie in my family, too.

MrJourneyman said...

Awesome traditions...bonus points towards your 'cool factor'...but I'm afraid I'm going to have make some 'deductions' as well...While reading, horrible memories of dancing to "Hanging Tough" from NKOTB (if you don't know, then you are lucky) in my living room.

Maybe that's why I can't dance now.

Oh well, I guess I forgive you for forcing me to face my past! 'Tis the Season, after all! :)

Amy said...

That is so cute!

Thank you for sharing your Polish Traditions. Christmas Eve sounds like a wonderful event in your family.

Cecily R said...

I love your traditions! We used to do the same kinds of things at my Grandma's house on Christmas Eve (she's in her 90's now so we bring her to our Christmas Eve celebrations).

I love Lola's Polish song. I can almost hear it now!

Oh, and the Everybody Dance Now routine makes you so much more sophisticated in my book! :)

Melissa said...

How cute! I love your Christmas tradition. Sounds very much like our Italian tradition of Christmas Eve being the big deal.

Of course no visit from Santa for us, no man in my family would thing of dressing as Santa...spoilsports.

Ack! Now I'm going to be signing Everybody Dance now all day....

Kellan said...

I love your family's traditions - the wafers and the Santa visit on Christmas Eve - how cool! I also love Lola's little Polish song - she should definitely get a special gift from Santa for that! Have a great day and I'll see you later. Kellan

Rob said...

Wow, those sure are great Christmas traditions!

My grandpa used to just give us an Orange and a five dollar bill on Chritmas eve. You guys have it down!

Oh, one of my Uncles taught me to cuss in German, which I thought was extremely cool. Would I get a present for that though? :)

Victoria said...

Lovely traditions! I love when families carry on (crazy!) things like that! (For us, it's hiding the gift to be the last to open and playing Bingo!)


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