Polish Christmas traditions with Balsam Hill

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You might think its to early to talk about Christmas , but let me tell you one thing - in my home we are starting to make decorations early -we dont usually decorate until December but when Balsam Hill reached out to me and ask me to write on how we do Christmas in my home i was more than happy to jump on board .
In my home i had already a Balsam Hill Christmas tree - which resides in the living room , but my moody teen wanted one in her own room as our styles are a bit different and she wanted to go all Rustic and natural this year while i am more about bling (and surprisingly glitter ;) - Balsam Hill came to the rescue and provided moody teen with a tabletop Christmas tree plus few decorations ( i will most likely show my big tree in December and do a follow up post on it - as i have a feeling you might like it too - or not , but i will show you it anyway ;)
When i was young my family always got very creative at making our own Christmas decorations , we didnt have much so my parents always wanted me and my brother to have that magic of Christmas , i loved making garlands and paper decorations and to this day we make decorations for our own home , as well as buying ready made - we are all about mixing and matching here - it is worth pointing out that Balsam hill carters for all styles even the rustic ones ! In the upcomimg weeks i will also share some of our diy decorations that will go so well with Balsam Hill ones
The first photo shows the Farmhouse Christmas Mixed Materials Bauble Set (you can purchase it here) - and for some reason it reminds me of a traditional Christmas at home ,those colours and handmade like feel - is perfect for any style rustic or traditional and so are the Antiqued Snowflake Bauble Set, 12 Pieces pictured below (you can get them here ) , but back to our Christmas Traditions

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In my family we celebrate Both Polish and British Christmas and it is safe to say that there is a lot of food on the table ;) I would love to tell you a little bit on our family Polish traditions
Polish Christmas start traditionally on the Eve of 24th of December starts officially after we see the The first star in the sky , the table is beautifully decorated and full of food .

One of the most important ceremonies is the Christmas Eve dinner that as i already mentioned begins with the appearance of the first star in the sky . Only now the whole family and the invited guests can sit down to the generously laid table. As per Polish tradition during the supper we always leave a one free place at the table, symbolizing the memory of those who once sat there, and now they are no longer with us . It is also a left out for someone who might knock on our door - we have once eat Dinner with the plumber who happened to been fixing a kitchen leak at ours :). According to the custom in my country, before the meal, the people share the Christmas Eve wafer with their well wishes. Wafer itself is made from a thin piece of wheat flour and water. On it are images associated with Christmas.
This gesture is a symbol of brotherhood, reconciliation and peace in the family. With the wafer in hand we share it with our family and loved ones - making wishes to each other . The wishes we make when sharing the wafer should be sincere, we forgive each other for all the blame in order to sit down for dinner and reconciliation with pure hearts.

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We also put some of hay under a white table cloth on the table, at which we will eat Christmas Eve supper. Of course, it symbolizes the place in which Jesus came into the world - a crib and hay on which he lay after birth.
Christmas Eve dinner is usually composed of 12 dishes. Traditional dishes on this day include red borsch with dumplings, dumplings(pierogi) with cabbage and mushrooms, cabbage with peas, herring, kutia, compote of dried fruits and carp prepared in various ways.

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One of the other holiday customs in my home is singing carols and pastorals during Christmas Eve. Carol singing is a beautiful old Polish custom that has survived to this day. The most popular Christmas carols sang during Christmas Eve are "Lulaj że Jezuniu", "They came to Bethlehem", "Among night Silence", "Silent Night" and many more. We also open our gifts on Christmas eve ( well in my family we did ;)

On the first day of Christmas, we can meet carolers (although in the part of Poland where i was living this custom sadly became rare ).Carolers would go from house to house dressed as angel, devil, king Herod and death . It is customary to let them in the home to listen to traditional songs, to watch scenes played by them.
Another important element of Christmas is the so-called Pasterka, or holy mass that takes place at midnight, during it we pray and sing carols.

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So this is how we spend Christmas in our family - i admit i do miss spending Christmas at home in Poland as we have rather large family and we do mostly all meet up at Christmas time which is a lot of fun and A Lot of people , in my home in the UK my Christmas is more relaxed and with less family members , but in no way less special .
The tree pictured in this blog post as dressed up by my daughter -is a 42inch Balsam Hill fir tabletop Tree ( to purchase yours please click here ) - is actually a light up battery operated tree that is perfect when you dont have a lot of space or want to dress up any table in your home - like for instance a console table - and you can turn it on and off using remote control provided - it can also be set up on the timer so it only will be light so many hours per day .
I cannot wait to show you a little more of a main family Christmas tree that as mentioned i bought from BH last year when it was on sale ( they do have great sales ) and by far their trees are really one of most realistic trees ever - this year i be adding a pop of color to my standard silver theme - using more of Balsam Hill signature products - so keep an eye out
Id love to thank Balsam Hill team for asking me to write this post - and at the same time bringing back some really happy memories as well as kindly gifting my moody teen with some lovely tree and trimmings

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Pati Robins