Family Christmas traditions

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thank you all for the Christmas greetings. One of the things I love most about blogging in the community you get to know here. It’s weird, but even though I’ve never met most of you in person, I still feel like I “know” you all in some way. It’s a hard thing to describe, but I just want you all to know that I consider you my friends and I feel privileged to have you in my life.

Ok, enough with the cheesy stuff.

I wish I had some Christmas pictures to share with you, but after cooking dinner, no one was much in the mood for taking photos. Plus the young ones were far too hungry to be good photo material J

But even though I don’t have any photos to share, I would like to tell you a bit about the Christmas traditions.

My family is Easter European , but I’ve grown up travelling. So our Christmas is a mix of typical Easter European traditions and some foreign ones we’ve picked up during our travels.

Traditionally , the main meal is eaten on Christmas Eve.  It’s a vegetarian feast (no meat aside from fish) with 12 different  dishes. You’re supposed to have a small taste of each dish, and enjoy a long, drawn out dinner. After dinner is finished and the dishes have been cleared, it’s time for caroling and presents.  This is supposed to happen as close to midnight as possible, so technicaly you’re opening presents on Christmas day. Then there’s usually some kind of dessert,  festive drink and it’s off to bed.

The next day is usually more laid back and relaxed (everyone is resting after a day full of cooking).  Leftovers are typically eaten most of the day, and if anyone if feeling really ambitious ,  they can cook a “meaty dinner”.  That would be something around the lines of chicken and potatoes. But mainly Christmas is a day to relax with family and friends and enjoy each other’s company.

My family Christmas traditions vary slightly from the ones mentioned above. We don’t go for the 12 dishes – with a family of 9 and most of them being under the age of 16 it’s a bit extreme. But here’s the dishes that were present on Christmas Eve dinner:

Borsch with  mushroom filled dumpling.

Potatoe salad

Fried fish

Pickled herring 3 ways (I made a contribution to this one)


Pierogi (a dumpling of sorts) with cabbage and mushrooms

Gnocchi with a sweet poppy seed topping (I love this dish)

Christmas cookies as dessert

And my contribution to the feast – a mushroom, spinch tart.

I also made a Christmas spiced fruit salad with a rum syrup for dessert. But we were all too stuffed from dinner to eat this.

After dinner we cleaned the table, did about 5 minutes of Christmas carrolling (it was all the little ones were up for) and we opened presents. There was nothing extravagant this year – we all got one present each (the kids got a few more) – but it was great.

The evening was concluded with a movie and some tea (glow wine was served but I was still feeling too full after dinner to enjoy it).

Today’s brunch was leftovers, although I was in the mood for banana overnight oats – so that was my treat. My dad made his famous cheesecake for later on today and the family dinner will  be chicken (or fish for me), potatoes, a Greek salad and some cookies and cakes.

On my personal agenda for today:

–          Get out of bed (in another hour or so)

–          Take a long shower

–          Have a game afternoon with my family

–          Eat a lot of Christmas desserts

–          Watch a Christmas movie.

–          Give everyone a hug and tell them how much I love them.

I think today is going to be a good day 😉



  1. Yes,I think it’s going to be a good day for you,too – and I am so happy about that! 🙂
    Your traditional way to celebrate Christmas sounds wonderful and I so much love how close your family seems to be. I have to admit I am a bit jealous right now,but that’s okay… 😉
    Enjoy every second at home,you so much deserve to be – and feel! – loved!

  2. Merry Christmas my dear! By any chance have you visited Poland? Because my Polish friend has the exact same Christmas traditions as you (including the 12 meals) 🙂
    Have a beautiful day. Likewise, I am a little jealous of how close your family is ❤
    Huge hugs and much love.

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