I have 2 Polish parents who were immigrants to Australia making me first generation Australian. My grandparents started out being VERY Polish in all the customs and as the years have gone by a few things have been Australianised.
We celebrate on Christmas Eve and have broken away from seafood only and added in Turkey and Ham, a very welcome addition. We always sing carols before presents are opened and everyone behaves like a star in the making. Very comical. Any new person to join our family has to perform in front of everyone. They crap their pants of course. When the kids Dad, Shane, first came, it was also my sister in laws first so they got to do it together...phew!!! My cousin Matt got up with his girlfriend to alleviate her nerves. It is fun, it is silly but it is our tradition and we love it.
My grandmother always made the very traditional Polish Barszcz (Beetroot Soup) and Uszka (Mushroom Dumplings). When she passed away all the women and children took over and it is now tradition to meet a week or 2 before Christmas and have a fun day of getting into the spirit. It has been 8 years and I hope this is continued long after I have gone also.
Super old photo of Lola with her soup
We did this on Sunday and we know our grandparents would be looking down with such happiness that these special customs have not died with them.
My kids LOVE it, they look forward to Uszka making day as much as they do Christmas. As they have got older they are more and more involved and the process is getting faster.
Busy at work
The hilarious thing is they have not figured out that the filling is made from mushrooms which are apparently YUK!!! they eat the soup with gusto and ask for 2nds. They don't particularly like beetroot as a vegetable but in soup it passes.
Here are some photos from the day, even our new family member Sunny was involved.