Christmas Eating – the Polish-British Blend

One of the very best things about having dual-heritage, in my case, being born in Britain to Polish parents, is the joy of blending different traditions and customs, especially during the holidays. There are many benefits. In my family, there has never been a debate about where to spend Christmas. Christmas Eve is always celebrated the Polish way, at home, with Mama, who spends days in advance making beetroot soup, fish dishes and dumplings for our “vigil” Christmas Eve meal. We round things off with a baked cheesecake and poppyseed rolls, singing carols into the evening whilst opening our gifts.

On Christmas Day, I celebrate with my husband’s side of the family, who are British. The children wake up in the morning and open their gifts from Father Christmas. We set the table, usually for 12-15 people and gather for a traditional roast turkey with lashings of gravy, heaps of vegetables, crisp roasties and stuffing balls. 

By the time Boxing Day comes along, we are certainly only ever in “graze mode” and so for me, a simple platter of open-faced rye bread sandwiches with leftover turkey, kabanos, a type of smoked Polish sausage and dill pickles is all that’s needed.

They say that traditions are customs and beliefs passed from generation to generation. I love the fact that my children get to experience a little bit of both of my worlds – a perfect Polish-British blend.