But we will have lots of family together time and that is what counts! We spend the majority of the time with my dad's side of the family so we can be with my grandma but head to my mom's side on Christmas day. We've made a few traditions over the years in our holiday travel; here are some of my favorites.
We always go to Del Rio Restaurant in Highwood to enjoy their Christmas Dinner Opera. We started this just a few years ago but love it. The food and wine are delicious and the music is beautiful! We see some of the same singers from year to year and expect a few of our favorites and get excited to hear some new songs.
We have Mexican food on Christmas Eve. Chica WHAAAT? My aunt is Italian and has a very big family. You might expect her to make the most delicious Italian food you've ever heard of then, right? Wrong. She makes a mean fajita. And its super simple. When you have a big group to feed and sometimes that number is TBD until arrival you need something easy and can still enjoy time with the family. You don't want to be stuck in the kitchen the whole time. Note: My aunt is a fantastic Italian cook - she just chooses Mexican on Christmas Eve. It is not a reflection on her Italian cooking.
My favorite tradition of all, however, is when we go to my mom's side of the family for Christmas day, the Polish side. Before we eat, we partake in the Christmas wafer: Oplatek (pronounced: opwatek), similar to the communion wafer. Each person breaks off a piece of the wafer and shares their piece with everyone else in attendance. That's the time to say I love you, give everyone a kiss and wish them a year of prosperity and peace. Its so simple but such a nice time to share with your loved ones. Yes, you say hi and talk throughout the night, but its so nice to have a set time to let everyone know how much you love them in the hustle and bustle of the day.
Animals are also given oplatek. The legend says that animals given the wafer will be able to speak at midnight, but only the pure of heart will be able to hear them. DREAM COME TRUE TO HEAR RINGO'S VOICE :) Since Ringo won't be with us we will have to wait another year.
After that, we enjoy dinner! My mom's eldest brother is the chef and creates masterpieces. Mom's middle brother is the maker of the kapusta and everyone
Those are my favorite Christmas traditions. Some I'd like to continue when B and I start a family. What are your favorite traditions?