Friday, January 1, 2010

Heilige Abend

[ Holy Night - Christmas Eve ]

The big holiday evening finally arrived - and I would later find out that it was just the beginning of quite a few days of celebrating - and just as dusk was arriving in Göttingen I got my Hemd and Anzug on and the doorbell was ringing with relatives for me to meet and spend a few nights as well in the house creating an instant tight-knit family environment. Not just a few evenings of just being together either - a few evenings of a lot of really good food as well.




As everyone kicked the snow off their boots and clustered for big hugs, champagne was popped open in the kitchen [ The family room was closed off for the little ones for the time being - magically glowing in candle light covered and completely masked with a new facade of gifts and chocolates ] and a round of appetizers was set out with delicious fruits from Andreas' shop as well as cheeses and olives and other accompaniments.

[ A gift for Andreas that I found humorous and "very German" - A nice aged sausage hanging on the Weihnachtsbaum! ]


[ Omi and Opa together with Laura ]

After getting off of a skype call with Kaśka and Michał in Tarnów - a very special feeling for me being able to call family here in Europe and share greetings for Wigilia - I met with everyone in the kitchen and we shared a bit about all of our traditions - from my cousins in Poland waiting for the first star of the evening to start the celebrations, to my cousings in Michigan anxiously waiting for Santa Clause just like little Timmy and Laura were waiting for der Weihnachtsman.


[ The delicious salmon along with the homemade horseradish that Inge and I shed some tears over ]

[ Even the toaster had a seat at the Christmas dinner table! ]


Inge had prepared a Sebode family tradition of having many cold dishes for the evening with marinated salmon and beef and many other sides to go along with and Crème Fraîche and Caviar. I was able to share some details about Opłatek and sharing blessings with each other with our Polish traditions of Wigilia back home - yet this Weihnachten for me was a new experience to see things in a very new way.





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