CALIFORNIA, USA: Merry Whatever

CALIFORNIA, USA: Merry Whatever

In Poland preparations for Christmas are huge. Unlike the U.S., they do not rely on excessive buying gifts for yourselves, or all of your family and friends. They do not rely on competitions of showing off how richly we are able to decorate our house and Christmas tree.

In Poland we decorate our Christmas Tree on the morning of Christmas Eve or the day before. Sometimes, the week before (which is rather a new tradition), but not earlier than that. In Poland we keep the tree up till 6th January – the day when the Three Kings arrived to Bethlehem, but in some homes it is kept longer, sometimes even till the end of the carnival.

On top of the tree Poles usually put a glass star to represent the star which led the Kings to Bethlehem.

Presents are opened after the Christmas Eve meal. It might vary in every household, but in general that’s the rule. Poles teach their kids that christmas gifts are brought by Baby Jesus, Angel, Star (we start our Christmas Eve supper when a first star lights up in the sky), Father Christmas, Grandfather Frost, Saint Nicholas or simply by Santa Claus.

Preparing for Christmas is, above all, a thorough cleaning of the entire house. (more…)

Ewa Samples

Ewa was born, and raised in Poland. She graduated University with a master's degree in Mass-Media Education. This daring mom hitchhiked from Berlin, Germany through Switzerland and France to Barcelona, Spain and back again! She left Poland to become an Au Pair in California and looked after twins of gay parents for almost 2 years. There, she met her future husband through Couch Surfing, an international non-profit network that connects travelers with locals. Today she enjoys her life one picture at a time. She runs a photography business in sunny California and document her daughters life one picture at a time. You can find this artistic mom on her blog, Ewa Samples Photography, on Twitter @EwaSamples or on Facebook!

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Venezuelan Christmas Memories

I’ve always loved the Christmas season, and I have my mom and my auntie to thank for this. My mom brought us up with her Venezuelan traditions, and my auntie added a new tradition while we were living in New York City. I can’t recall which is the first Christmas I actually have memories of, but they were all pretty similar and bring back cherished memories.

I was born in New York City and while we lived there, come early December, we would head over to Corona, Queens with my mom to purchase banana or plantain leaves, which we used to make hallacas. (more…)

Eva Fannon (USA)

Eva Fannon is a working mom who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her hubby and two girls. She was born and raised on the east coast and followed her husband out west when he got a job offer that he couldn't refuse. Eva has always been a planner, so it took her a while to accept that no matter how much you plan and prepare, being a mom means a new and different state of "normal". Despite the craziness on most weekday mornings (getting a family of four out the door in time for work and school is no easy task!), she wouldn't trade being a mother for anything in the world. She and her husband are working on introducing the girls to the things they love - travel, the great outdoors, and enjoying time with family and friends. Eva can be found on Twitter @evafannon.

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