The Christmas Traditions of a Polish Family in Canada

by Brandon A
(Newcastle, Ontario, Canada)

My family is unique, and we like to do things our own way, especially around the holiday season. We all have a Polish background, and we all live in Canada, and we all love each other to death.

Naturally, it comes as no shock that we cannot wait for the holidays to roll around, at which time we spend as little time apart as possible, and never miss an opportunity to embrace one another.

Every year on Christmas Eve, we (approximately 25 of us in total) get together at my grandmother's house. We all bring a stack of presents, pile them up under the tree, and have dinner together.

Our Christmas dinners are unique in the sense that we eat the traditional makings of a Christmas dinner (turkey, potatoes, stuffing, etc.), but we also like to throw in some Polish highlights such as perogies and cabbage rolls, as well.

As you might have guessed, this makes for one of the most delicious meals we have all year, and it's all topped off by gang of us seated at a big long table laughing, drinking, and sharing stories.

We've done this for as long as I can remember, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

After dinner, we gather around the massive Christmas tree and begin to open presents. It's tradition for my grandfather to toss on a Santa hat, and bellow out the names of the people the gifts belong to in his best Santa Claus impression.

It's a little silly, but it used to make me and my cousins smile and laugh when we were really young, and I think it's great that he's carried on the tradition now that we're all grown up.

After all of the presents have been opened, we sit around and drink some traditional Polish holiday drinks, play cards, share some more family stories, and just enjoy our time together.

Before we know it, the night has come to a close, Christmas has arrived, and it's time to get all warm and cozy in our beds.

Fortunately, we always make sure to do it all again the next day. That's Christmas for my family, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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