My Magical Memories of Christmas
My childhood memories of Christmas were always magical. The magic came from all wonderful Polish traditions; always a white Christmas, the aroma of family recipes and the family gathering together. Christmas Eve dinner always started when the first star appeared in the sky.
As a little girl it was my responsibility to spot the first star. I remember sitting for a very long time staring at the sky with my nose touching the cold window. When setting the table for dinner it was important to put out extra plate in case an unexpected guest arrived. It also symbolized family members that passed away as well as a way of welcoming baby Jesus into the house. We always placed a bundle of hay under the white tablecloth to symbolize the fact that Jesus was born in a manger.
Our Polish dinner table always consisted of a twelve course meal without meat. The number of dishes represented the months of the year and the twelve apostles.
I remember my mom making pierogis (Polish dumplings) and placing a small coin into just one. Traditionally, whoever found the coin would be rich and have luck for the entire year.
I would compete with my sister and cousins to find the coin first. That was our Christmas competition.