Czech American Christmas preparations
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Lowell, MI – Today is the shortest day of the year with the longest night; it will be followed by a full moon. This occurs only once a year. According to NASA that is all we need to know.
As people head out for their Christmas vacations, and nature unleashes her wrath hampering travel, I am happy to be at home in the country.
And even though, we’re having a green Christmas; “Baby, it’s cold outside.”
It’s dark, raining and I can see the grass from my studio. I haven’t done any Christmas traditional Czech baking yet, because I can’t stand up due to my sciatic nerve pain.
I did get the pretty fir tree decorated before the pain hit after long hours of sitting behind the computer during the #NaNoWriMo 50K word marathon. We got the tree from Horrock’s Nursery in Ionia for $50.
That’s where I found out that this year we had a shortage of Christmas trees.
Since we are an international family, we adhere to both countries’ traditions. We combine Czech traditions with American. In Czech Republic, the main holiday is Christmas Eve; while in the USA it is Christmas Day.
In Czech Republic, we open presents on Christmas Eve, in the USA it is in the morning on Christmas Day. In Czech, the main spirit of Christmas is Jesus; in the USA it’s Santa Claus.
Under communism in Czech, Christmas was the holiday of Winter Solstice.
This is not all that unusual that different countries have Christmas celebrations on different dates with different characters. In Russia, the main holiday is Yolka or New Year’s Day, while in the Netherlands it is St. Nick’s Day on Dec. 6.
But, during the holidays, when emotions are running high, any detail can cause friction. In this case the detail was time.
“How do we do it all in one day? That is between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning in two separate locations?”
Mom with the wisdom of an 81 year-old woman, commented on the issue: “You can’t have two celebrations in one day,” she said. “You have to alternate.”
There’s also a saying that each one of us should start a new tradition; I started the tradition of the Christmas bouquets here in the USA.
It has no cultural origins; we just probably had those cutoff branches from a Christmas tree and I wanted to save them. So, the Christmas bouquet was born.
Christmas to be continued
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