compiled by Kristi Corley, photography by The Nielsens Photography & Design, hair and makeup by Kelli Durrant, styled by Coastal Kidz
Mike, from the PHILIPPINES – “Maligayang Pasko!”
Kimil, from POLAND – “Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia!”
I was born in Poland and came here when I was 7 years old. Polish Christmas traditions are mostly Christian-based, bearing importance on the birth of Christ. Traditions include the children making Christmas ornaments and paper garlands. Christmas Eve is the day of fasting, then feasting. Known as the Star Supper, the dinner begins when the young children spot the first star in the sky, the star of Bethlehem. We place an empty plate on the table for Baby Jesus or a lonely wanderer. Before eating, we break a wafer to wish happiness in the new year. At the end of supper, we open gifts and then we attend Midnight Mass. Christmas Day is celebrated by visiting the extended families.
My husband Mike’s mom came from the Philippines. Similar to Polish culture, Filipino traditions include an all-day celebration with a multitude of culinary delights on Christmas Eve. Spending time with extended family members on Christmas Day is also something that the two cultures have in common. One of the fun holiday crafts that kids make is the 5-pointed star called the “parol” made of paper and bamboo sticks to represent the guiding light, the star of Bethlehem. Kids will also put on a talent show for the adults that includes singing Christmas songs as well as playing instruments. Because there is no snow in the tropics of Philippines, the families will adorn their home with lively decorations and use holy bushes instead of Christmas trees.
This year I would love to incorporate both of the cultures by involving our son Bryce in making the traditional ornaments from Poland and the Philippines. I also like the idea of the talent show with all the cousins! What great memories! As for the feast, I let the grandmothers handle the menu. I know it is something they take great pride in. I will just have to be sure to get the recipes for the future!
Santa Tee &
Tree Corduroys (above)
Available at Costal Kidz
Lake Mary, FL