Friday, 14 November 2008

christmas, polish style





I think I will be hosting Christmas again this year. Not that there will be a big group to cater for - just four adults and one baby, but I was thinking it might be nice to introduce some traditions. My mum was born in Poland and I grew up with Borscht (beetroot) soup and Russian salad as well as poppyseed cake. Not that this is necessarily Polish Christmas fare, but it will be good to incorporate my heritage somehow. As many of you know I am partial to the wares of Laikonik, which is designed by the very talented Kasia Jacquot, who incorporates Polish folk designs into everything from children's "first year" books to wrapping paper. So I love these tree decorations, and the simplicity of the tree. Something I can definitely achieve, and fit into my teeny tiny apartment. Would love to hear what family traditions you have over Christmas time.

Images courtesy of Laikonik

16 comments:

katiecrackernuts said...

What beautiful pieces. I must investigate further. I love Christmas decorations and wondered whether anyone sells vintage decorations. Do you know? My grandmother has some choice ones from the 1960s and '70s. Christmas in a blended family, ours, is always fraught with disaster, but each year, at the beginning of December we come together to put up the tree. I give each child a different Christmas decoration. One, at 21, has already left home and taken all her decorations with her and I add one to her tree each year. I am the stepmum, and the children live with me and my partner, but even though it's an "introduced" tradition it is one that all children identify as a family Christmas "thing".

Design Lovely said...

These are so cool and different.

Folder of Ideas said...

I spent every Christmas for 36 years in my mothers house in Dublin where two big traditions were lighting a candle in the front hallway on Christmas eve and lighting the christmas pudding on Christmas day. Now having spread my wings I have just this week attempted to make christmas puddings to my grandmothers recipe as I have 8 of my family in Australia for christmas this year. What seemed to 'just happen' in my mothers kitchen felt like culinary everest for me but I boiled them for the required 4 hours and they are now in the pantry awaiting their big moment. Really enjoying your blog Sheila

Natalie Walton said...

Can I call you Miss Crackernuts?
:-)
Well, Miss Katiecrackernuts - I have to first of all say that I'm making your pumpkin tart - YUM!!! - and I'm not even that big a fan of pumpkin but it looks divine... but on to the topic at hand: I love the idea of decorating the tree together especially if there's lots of yummy food to sample along the way. And I'm sure you've got that sorted.

Natalie Walton said...

Thanks, design lovely. Even though they're folk I think they're cool too.

Natalie Walton said...

Folder of ideas - making Christmas pudding is something I would love to do. I have a friend who does this every year and I'm always so impressed with her efforts (and it always tastes darn good). I get so HOT in the kitchen though at this time of year and I really have a crappy old stove - but I guess if you're boiling them you don't need a good oven? Is that right? Maybe it's something I should consider because I LOVE eating pudding.

belinda graham said...

they're so pretty and i love her wrapping paper and cards too. my dad is german so i've continued some of the traditions we grew up with with my own family. we do the advent candles at each meal - you light one 4 sundays out from chrissy, then two 3 sundays out etc. we also (well did, and my kids do too) put out our boots on dec 6 (st nick's birthday, for memory) with our wish list and score some nuts (although my kids prob won't get nuts - zak has a peanut allergy and layla is, well, 5 months old!). we also put up our tree on the 6th. as for the day, in germany they usually celebrate on christmas eve but we still did/do the big aussie christmas day thing. it's all good fun! xx

Natalie Walton said...

Wow, Belinda. That means if you're putting out your boots and tree up at the start of Dec you have to be very organised. That's only a couple of weeks away! Hmmm. I'm not sure if I'm that organised at the moment, but I do like the idea of the advent calendar. I might have to track one down that's not filled with chocolate and ugly!!!

lisa tilse . the red thread said...

Natalie if you find a nice advent calendar please let me know. I've been making my own and documenting the process on my blog and wanted to feature some nice ones which are available for purchase... with no luck. I'm using Laikonik's wrapping paper in my advent calendar - love it! Whay don't you join me and make one of your own?!

Kasia Jacquot said...

We still follow the Polish Christmas traditions with Cristmas Eve being the most important of all. We open our presents that night when the first star appears in the sky (easy in european winters not so easy during daylight savings in Oz!). When we set the table for dinner we always set out one extra plate and cutlery in case some poor soul without family comes to the door on Christmas Eve. Before sitting down to dinner we all break Communion bread wishing each other a Merry Christmas. You can do this with ordinary bread too. Not sure about the rest of Poland but where I'm from (far south) as kids we would write letters with Christmas wishes to the Angel and put them on the window so she would take it at night. Presents were also given on the 6th Dec (St. Nicholas day)either under a pillow at night or into a shoe at the end of the bed. And Natalie, Borscht was the compulsory dish of Christmas Eve :)

Natalie Walton said...

Kasia - your Christmas sounds dreamy. And I have to admit that while my mum doesn't leave an empty plate on our table we have on occassion had people join us for Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch who perhaps don't have any family nearby... So no presents on Christmas Eve or Day, though??? That would be tough!

Natalie Walton said...

Lisa - I found one advent calendar and I'm still searching so keep an eye out for my posts over the next week or so. Time is fast running out, though!

veri maz said...

My family also does Wigilia, Polish Xmas eve. No red meat before midnight so we get into the smoked fish and i do a beetroot cured salmon (dead easy, i have a great recipe).
We break the wafer bread through the family oldest to youngest and we try to sing Polish carols (kolenda) after dinner.
Dessert is compot and poppy seed with noodles.
You can get good deli stuff from Cyrils at Haymarket or the Polski deli in Roseville.
The tree is always real and a mix of antique decorations and straw ones from Ikea.

Abbey Goes Design Scouting said...

Love this!

Natalie Walton said...

Thanks, Abbey.

Natalie Walton said...

Veri - I'm going to have to check out those delis. I am craving some fudge type sweets that my nan used to always have. I don't know if you know the ones I'm talking about... hopefully my mum will makes some pierogi!

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