Countdown to Christmas & Traditions

Well, we are officially 7 days away and the countdown begins. For those traveling, this typically means WE have far less time to complete our holiday shopping so the pressure is on!

I’ll be traveling to Michigan which is part of my tradition of going home. It’s a bittersweet trip as I’m excited to see my family but sad that my husband stays here as his daughters arrive from out-of-state. It was understood at the beginning of our relationship that this was the way it would be as there would be a time that our children would not be coming home.

My son, a chef, and dedicated worker will stay in town with his dad’s family as to not miss work. I’m proud that he is so dedicated to his job but I find myself singing, “Cats in the Cradle” too many times these days. You know, “when you coming home son, I don’t when, but we’ll get together then..”

So, what I really wanted to share is some of our Christmas traditions. Our Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve with almost everyone (six siblings) coming home. Christmas food consists of a unique blend of old versus new traditions. My dad (now in heaven) was Polish and mom was from Czech Republic so our foods connect to these nationalities. The pinnacle of our meal is the Pierogi. This is a Polish specialty consisting of half-moon-shaped noodle dumplings filled with a mixture of potatoes, onion, garlic and bit of cheese. (BTW—this is NOT a health food for those that know me.) Fish and fish soup are both part of the Czech Christmas food tradition. Big brother (one of three big bros) Dennis provides fresh catch which is appropriate as we live in the Land of Lakes! The fish is lightly fried and the soup is oyster stew.

Some newer food traditions that have popped up since our health movement are a variety of salads. My sister Sandy and my niece Chef Jen, personal chef and caterer always come through with something amazing. The amount of sweets has diminished and almost completely eliminated. Mom makes her fav molasses (hold the sugar) cookies and I’ll be starting a new tradition of peanut butter rice crispies squares with my secret ingredient (JP Complete) for the chocolate lovers.

Outside of food, mom and I have created our own new tradition. Since my siblings leave Christmas Day to spend with their extended families, it ends up just mom and I.  So we started the, “stay in your PJ’s all day, play Scrabble and read day”.  This is one of my new favorites. Need to mention, mom (at 87) can kick my butt in Scrabble.

Mom playing Scrabble

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