Our apartment Tuesday night English group meeting this week was a Christmas party. Our “students” decided to introduce us to some Polish Christmas traditions, so they brought food and other items for our meal. We started out by putting hay in the center of the table and then putting a white tablecloth over it. They weren’t sure of the origin of this tradition, but we all thought it probably was commemorative of the hay in the Christ child’s manger on that beautiful night long ago. We each had a thin wafer on our plates, and we went around the room and broke off a piece of each person’s wafer, ate it, and then expressed our Christmas best wishes to him or her. What a warm and wonderful tradition this is! We then started on some of the courses of the meal, one at a time. The usual number of courses for the Wigilia (Christmas Eve activities) is twelve, but we didn’t do quite that many. We sat around the table talking for several hours eating bigos (a cabbage and meat mixture), tangerines, and other Polish dishes. Everything was quite delicious. This group of young adults has become so dear to our hearts, and we always look forward to meeting with them each week.
On Wednesday evening we had a Christmas party for our English classes at the church after our English lessons. Wouldn’t you know it, but our camera was setting on a shelf in our apartment. So no pictures of this event. We taught them Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas in English, sang a few more carols, and talked about some holiday vocabulary. We had a snowball fight in the in our meeting room which turned out to be quite fun. Each person had a snowball of a piece of paper they wadded up into a snowball. Then we chatted a bit over some delicious sweets which people had brought for the party. We love our English classes at the church, too. Polish people are the best!