Mr L Lukasiewicz
Christmas to me…
Being brought up in Poland, Christmas has always been the most ‘family’ event in the whole year. As a kid I used to stare at the sky to catch a glimpse of the first star which was ultimately a sign to begin our ‘Wigilia’ (Christmas supper) - on 24th December around 5pm. Wigilia is just packed with so many beautiful traditions which my family cherish and cultivate here in England.
On our Christmas table there are always 12 vegetarian dishes in memory of the 12 Apostles. We place bits of hay under the table cloth, which is a must, to remind us about the crib. Several types of dumplings and smaller tortellini-like dumplings endlessly take my fancy. The latter is eaten only at Christmas, so each year I have to wait for a long time for this very special delicatessen. Last but not least, there is an empty space at the table for a traveller (I have wondered so many times how I would react if one really knocks at our door).
One of the earliest memories related to Christmas for me is a picture of my father polishing his shoes and putting on his ‘Sunday best’ to go to a Church at midnight. Before the mass the Church would always immersed in darkness, then the orchestra or a choir would start singing Christmas carols – the church is fulfilled with light and joy. Emmanuel is with us! The Good News! The light defeats the nightfall.
Later on I learnt that the Romans before Jesus’ birth had their celebration on 24th December called Solus Invictus. From around that time of the year days become longer and nights get shorter. For me 24th December is the day when God reminds us that He is with us. He had chosen us before we made up our minds to choose Him. He keeps his promises despite our fallings. Always. Joy! That is Christmas for me.