Christmas 2013

It's been a busy few weeks and I'm so excited to share photos from our time in New York City -- but before that can happen, I have to catch up on Holiday posts... namely, Christmas Eve and Day!

Christmas Eve is considered the most important day of the holiday season for the Polish nation. It's the day we fast from meat, open presents, and eat a huge traditional dinner. That's right, we open presents on the 24th, not the 25th!

It's Polish tradition to have 12 different dishes at the table on Christmas Eve (none of them can be meat!). We had red borscht (a beet soup), croquettes (breaded deliciousness stuffed with cabbage), perogies, two different kinds of fish, a variety of salads, potatoes, and three different kinds of cakes (my mom made all of them herself!)

It's also traditional to set an extra setting at the table for a stranger or guest that could walk in. It's meant to be a sign of hospitality. We also set it in memory of my grandma. It's the second Christmas we've spent without her and although it gets easier each year, her presence is most missed during the holidays.

The present opening commences after dinner. We like to pick a random present from under the tree and watch as the receiver opens it. My lovely boyfriend typed me a sentimental letter -- which really was the best gift he could give me! I love cards and letters primarily because I can re-read them years later and be taken back to wonderful memories.

Even Isis showed up for the present unwrapping festivities. She received a new water bowl, but didn't seem too interested in trying it out, just staring at us with those big golden eyes and wondering why the heck we called her over.

Milos and I tricked my mom by putting her real present into a cardboard box that the Turkey meat came in. She genuinely thought there was nothing in there, but we prodded her to keep searching for her real gift.

Aquarium tickets sure are better than a cardboard box.

Milos's gifts were all alcohol related -- cocktail strainer, stir sticks, a cocktail book, and this amazing Beer Kit that I found at Chapters of all places!

On Christmas Day, Milos's dad and brother drove up to Barrie for a feast of food. My mom made my favourite meat... rabbit! Yup, we eat rabbit. It's pretty darn delicious, although not for everyone's tastebuds, and definitely not for people who have ever had a pet rabbit.

Hope everyone had an amazing Christmas spent with family, friends, eating delicious food, sharing presents, and revelling in the joyous holiday spirit. 

Look forward to my next few posts about visiting with my two best friends Ellen and Rasha, and of course, a host of New York City photos and stories!