>> Monday, December 24, 2012
It's Christmas Eve!!! Santa is coming!! Santa is coming!! When it comes to Christmas time and my children, I'm still a big kid at heart and will always believe in Santa.
But, in spite of Santa, it's also time to reflect on the most important reason for the season -- the birth of our Savior. And so I give you a traditional Slovak greeting that we say in our home -- Christos Razdajetsja! Slavite Jeho! (Christ is born! Glorify Him!)
Today, we will celebrate with our traditional Christmas Eve meal which begins with the appearance of the first star. Similiar to a Passover supper, our Christmas Eve meal is filled with ritual and meaning.
I set my table with a white table cloth over clean straw - which reminds us that Jesus was laid in a manger. A single candle is light is lit to remind of us the Christmas star and that Jesus is the light of the world.
Before serving the meal, a maternal blessing is given. The mother sprinkles holy water on the table and the rest of the house that the blessing of God might rest on them. This is followed by giving each family member a taste of honey as a reminder to keep Christ in our thoughts and to live and work so that harmony and pleasant fellowship might sweeten our lives.
The meal that follows is simple - a reminder of the humble birth of Jesus.
First is a soup course of two soups -- mushroom soup and a sauerkraut soup. This is followed by:
Bobalki - which are dough balls sweetened with honey and poppy seeds. The use of poppy seed recalls a pagan tradition in which poppy seed was strewn at the portal in order that the evil spirits might be occupied with picking up each morsel and thus would not enter the house.
Pirohi - which are dough pockets, pastry filled with fillings of sweet cabbage, sauerkraut, lekvar, prunes, or potatoes and boiled.
Cabbage rolls - Our Christmas Eve meal is meat and dairy free, so these are filled with a mixture of rice and mushrooms.
Christmas Eve bread - Made with just oil, flour, and yeast, this Christmas Eve bread (similiar to communion bread) is also served (with no butter)
At the conclusion of the meal, sweets are allowed - usually cookies, nutrolls and cold-dough cookies.
After the meal, it's off the Midnight Mass! Then home again for a Christmas toast and then off to sleep to wait for Santa!
For all of you who read my blog and/or follow me on Facebook - new friends and old - I wish you all a happy and blessed Christmas! I pray that each of you feel the spirit of Christmas in your heart and soul and continue to carry that into 2013.
Christos Razdajetsja! Slavite Jeho!
Christ is born! Glorify Him!