It’s been raining here in Warsaw for days and days. I can’t remember the last day it wasn’t raining. Maybe Thursday? Today is Wednesday (Christmas Eve).
We finally made it out today in the rain for a quick stroll to the Old Town. As it turns out most of the Christmas market was closed due to weather.
There were still a few pretty things to see though and one mulled wine stand was open. Yay! You can see Miss H in the shot to the left at the very bottom of the Christmas tree in pink pants.
Here are a few other pictures from an outing to the tree lighting in the Old Town with friends before the rain started, from a few weeks ago. Our outing included drinking mulled wine and hot chocolate of course (!) and attempting to maintain some decorum with the kids in the crowds at the busy Christmas market and in the restaurant after some heated pillow fights in the kids’ play area.
There were some pretty lights up — on the trees and on the buildings. And the Christmas markets had some nice stalls including a blacksmith (above).
I wish I could have slowly browsed the stalls at the market but 6:00 pm with a ‘4-and-3/4-year-old’ in the cold and crowd is not the time to stop and look at slippers and Christmas ornaments. I did bribe her with a gingerbread cookie but that lasted a full half-minute, then we were off again. Overall it was a really nice evening.
Also, really nice this time of year, especially for presents, is Polish pottery. The shop pictured below, Anko was a stop on my shopping excursion last week. There is another shop near me in the burbs that sells the similar things – Kim’s. All the pottery at both shops has been hand-made in Boleslawiec, Poland for centuries.
My friend Joy at TravelingJoys (blogger and pastry chef extraordinaire) took me Anko and a few other spots last week for some nice new Christmas decorations.
Christmas this year has been different since we are actually in our own home. The only other time I’ve done that is when I was too pregnant with Miss H to travel. I miss my family in Florida for sure, but it has been really great to spend time planning Christmas dinner and decorating instead of packing suitcases and organizing travel logistics.
I know this is true for many us whether we are expats living abroad or simply choose to go away for school and find a partner from somewhere else. You spend so much time traveling to and from for the holidays you forget to create some of your own traditions. I will remember this for Miss H next year, even though we will be traveling.
Anyway, here are a few shots from our Polish – American / Czech Christmas at home this year. Below are two pieces of Polish pottery I’ve picked this year, one with Christmas cookies that Babi made and brought from Prague.
Next are cookies Miss H and I made from my mom’s recipe on traditional Czech pottery.
On my recent shopping trip I also found some new gingerbread decorations. I had some from last year at a bazaar in Warsaw but it was a real treat to see such a large selection at a shop – Tebe Galeria.
Here are a few of the new ones on our tree. They are made of real gingerbread. The decorations are all natural materials — seeds, lentils, beans and dried flowers.
We also went for some traditional Polish ‘bombki’. These are glass blown ornaments that are a deal to buy in Poland since they are quite a bit more expensive in the U.S.
We have now had Baby Jesus arrive this evening with gifts and are preparing for Santa and Christmas morning. Yes, things are a bit complicated with our family from across the continents. Miss H has a lot to believe in.
Merry Christmas to those of you who are celebrating! I wish you all Peace and Happiness for 2015.