Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year. Welcome to the most magical day of the year - for young and the old alike. Welcome to the Christmas Eve. The moment is coming closer and closer, soon we will start getting ready for going to church and coming back to the bosom of the family. Coming home to rejoice together upon the brightest day of all: Noel - the day that Christ was born. Though in the Bible we have nothing to tell us specifically to set this day apart from all others, we feel these days more closer to us than any other holidays/celebrations that we actually participate in.
Both in Romania and in Poland there is a saying that Christmas must always be spent with family and New Year's Eve can be spent with friends. Christmas, as Easter, will always be a family tradition, when everyone will gather around the table and sing songs and tell merry jokes or old-time stories (incuding embarrassing ones from your childhood). I have always loved Christmas with all my heart - just like Charles Dickens Tiny Tim :) - and I do try and celebrate it the whole year. It may be due to that fact that after my birthday - in the end of October - I pull out the CDs with the Christmas Carols and start listening it. It is never too late/early to listen to Christmas Carols, my friends :) They always bring a smile upon my face!
Now today will be a short post, as I am with Marek's family and I wish to make the most of it. During the major holidays of the year we are somehow reminded how fast time passes us by and how little time we manage to spend with the ones we love. Truly, there comes a time in everyones life when we no longer want gifts under the trees, but people we love and miss very much :( But enough with the sadness, as I don't wanna transform myself into a Grinch! Here are a few reasons why I love Christmas so much:
- Everybody seems to light up from inside, seems to have less worries and seems to smile a bit more during (and maybe even before) Christmas. In the end we are all children, and who doesn't like presents and snow and a warm evening with the ones you love?
- All the Christmas decorations - from the lights to the trees to the baubles to the candy canes - they just make me smile... I know its not eco friendly when it comes to cutting trees, and that is why we have a fake one, but looking outside and seeing all those beautiful lights and decorations makes one smile like a child.
- The Christmas Food - oh! even the smell alone could make you feel you are in Heaven. Everyone wants to do their best for Christmas as it is the time when all the family is together and when you will have a lot of friends visiting. You always have to have something good on the table and your door must be always open. Did you know that the Polish custom demands the Christmas Eve dinner should have 12 types of food! (for the 12 apostles).
- The Christmas Traditions - like caroling in the family and then going out to the neighbours and singing for them as well. Did you know that the Romanian custom is that children would gather up and go around the village/town/city to the people they knew/care and they would sing carols to them? In exchange they would receive the traditional bread, walnuts and apples. Recently that changed and money is granted as well - #livinginamaterialworld ... If you want to read more about the Traditional Polish Christmas click on the link ;)
- The Christmas Movies - be it the oldies and goldies be it the new ones... I love all the versions of A Christmas Carol. I consider this movie the movie of the season, no matter the year! I cannot remember a year when I have not watched a version or 2 of it and/or read the book! It always reminds me of home, it reminds me of true human nature, it reminds me that no matter how bad we are we can always change and feel the true Christmas spirit within us! My fav adaptations are the old one done by the magnificent Patrick Stewart & the rather new 3D animated version with Jim Carrey. And trust me, I have never seen a movie in 3D better than that animation! Of course, rewatching Harry Potter and Love Actually is always a must, this time of year ;) And let's not forget the quite fresh Frozen and the lovely and enchanting old animation of Anastasia.
- The Christmas Carols - that uplift your spirits and make you sing along, even if one does not have a voice ;))) Which one is your favourite? Mine is The Little Drummer Boy :)
- Going to the church - Midnight Mass - yet another Polish tradition is the Pasterka (Midnight Mass) With all the banqueting and present-giving out of the way, most Poles head to church for Pasterka. Carols (Koledy) are sung before the mass itself begins, and the service is a spirited occasion that's full of energy. I love it how Polish people are rooted into their past and culture and beliefs and they keep this tradition of going to church, no matter the weather. From old to young, everyone boards in the car and goes quietly to the Midnight Mass.
- Being with the family - nothing is better than being able to spend some quality time with the ones you love. Sometimes you manage to do this only once or twice a year - if you are an expat like myself. As you grow older you understand more and more that family is where you feel the most at peace. You can be whomever you want to be, they will always love you and welcome you with open arms. I love the love inside families. It knows no boundries and even if you don't see eachother often, you are able to pick it up exactly where you started last time :)
- Vacation time - thank God for National Holidays and for the moment when people agreed that holidays like this should be a #timeoff for everyone! You get to relax and not stress about work and what deadlines you need to focus on. You can have time for yourself and the ones you love. Or you can just be selfish and sleep all day long :)))
- Being able to speak about the Lord without having people look funny at you - how about putting the Christ back into Christmas and talking less about Santa Claus? I believe some of us truly forgot what this celebration stands for. This is not a typical holiday for consumerism...
A LadyBug That Loves Christ(mas)