I Will Honour Christmas In My Heart

I will honour Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year.
I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.
The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.
I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!

~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

WELCOME TO MY CHRISTMAS BLOG!!

WELCOME TO MY CHRISTMAS BLOG!!

Christmas is my favorite Holiday and my favorite time of year!

I go all out decorating our small townhouse for all Holidays but especially Christmas!

Every room in our home has a different Christmas Theme and Color Scheme!!

I prove that you do not have to live in a large home to have several Trees, over 20 in all shapes and sizes!!

The majority of my Christmas decorations are placed in the same spot every year and I know that this is not what most Decorator's care for but it is like seeing old friends again when I decorate each year for Christmas.......

I do try to add a few new things and change up things a bit but for the most part, these decorations are part of my Christmas traditions and I will not change them until I can no longer decorate like I do......

This blog is dedicated to All Things Christmas!!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Altered Polish Traditions, Baking and Crafting!!





 

 

 

 

 Welcome to my Christmas Blog, A Debbie-Dabble Christmas!!

 I am so happy you decided to stop by my Christmas Blog!!

  Every room in our townhouse has a different Christmas Theme and Color Scheme!!
 
 I prove that you do not have to live in a large home to have several Trees, over 20, in all shapes and sizes!!

The majority of my Christmas decorations are placed in the same room every year and I know that this is not what most Decorator's care for but to me, it like seeing old friends again when I decorate each year for Christmas as many of my decorations were gifts from family and friends........... 

I do try to add a few new things and change up things a bit but for the most part, these decorations are part of my Christmas Traditions and bring back a lot of treasured memories.....



Just a reminder, I will be NOW posting 3 times a week as I realized that in some rooms, there is just too much to share in one post SO until the New Year, I will be posting on SUNDAYS, TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS so be sure to check back on those days to see a new post......  

 
 Today, I will be sharing a few more Christmas Crafts that I made, some baking and our family's Polish Tradition of Holy Supper on Christmas Eve!!....


Since this is my last post before Christmas, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!!!!!


I hope you all get to spend the next few days with those you love....

 
On to some personal notes...
 
 

We are looking forward to meeting the new addition to our family, Azumi, on Christmas Eve!!!
 

For those of you who missed previous posts, my son and DIL, Jim and Danielle felt that Faye should have a sister ...
 
Azumi is a 4 month old shih tzu.....
 
We were originally concerned about how Faye would take to her but all worked out beautifully and Faye and Azumi are best buddies.....
 
Azumi has now joined Faye in her favorite spot.....

In front of the sliding glass doors, looking out at the goings on in the back of their house....

Faye also loves to lay here when the sun is streaming in ......

Now isn't this the sweetest thing????

My son Jim is recovering nicely from his surgery and has a virtual Dr.'s Appointment today

That was the reason why we have not met Azumi sooner because Jim was a bit under the weather and we wanted her to spend as much time getting use to her new surroundings and her new sister and parents...

So we are all quite excited, including our son, Joey, to meet this sweet ball of fluff!!!

And to see our dear little Faye, who we have not seen for almost 2 weeks....


 In my last post, I did my Annual Christmas Home Tour where I share both the inside and outside of our home all in one post!!


Thant included all 22 Trees!!

Click HERE if you missed that post!!!
 
 
I  held off baking until Monday of this week because, with the numbers of Co Vid cases rising to all time high's, I decided that it is best to not have company over the Holidays again this year....
 
Since Joe, Joey and myself were ill over Thanksgiving with acute Sinusitis, the 3 of us have still not felt up to par with lingering nasal congestion and a slight cough... 
 
I did not want to have anyone else catch anything from us, even if it is not Co Vid , and get sick over the Holidays so I thought it best to forego any get togethers at our home....

I did speak to one of my friends, Mary, who always came to visit at Christmas and would say that it wasn't Christmas until she got to see Joe and Debbie's House...

She is an RN, currently working part time in an Acute Rehab facility and feels the same way I do as she is an asthmatic with other lung issues....

She too does not go anywhere other than work and to grocery stores and always wears a mask...

Hopefully, things will improve in the coming year as scientific advances are made on how to deal with Co Vid because Viruses do not disappear...

It is here to stay and how we treat and deal with it will keep it at bay like in the past with so many other viruses like Measles, Whooping Cough, Small Pox, Polio, etc....


Anyway, because of all of this, I cut back on my baking and only baked what my family likes....

 
Which is cookies with candy in them!!!!!

 
And that means mostly chocolate!!
 
I made 2 batches of Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate chip cookies.....

 
And 2 batches of milk chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies.....

I only made 1 batch of M & M cookies since Joe did not buy enough M&M's for 2 batches....

I baked Monday and Tuesday of this week.....

I also made fudge.....

I have made the Foolproof fudge with Eagle Brand Condensed Milk for over 40 years now and last year, I made the layered chocolate with peanut butter one ....

When googling the recipe for that one, I came across one for swirled chocolate and peanut butter foolproof fudge....

Easy Peasy!!!

Click HERE for the recipe.....

I made it using milk chocolate morsels....

Since I still had some milk chocolate along with some semi sweet morsels left, I made the basic Foolproof fudge, combining the two different kinds....

There are so many different types of fudge you can make with baking chips and eagle brand that takes only about 15 minutes!!!

Click HERE if you want to see all the possibilities!!


When our sons turned 18 years of age, I finally gave in to their requests to receive money for Christmas rather than gifts and stockings....

It was the BEST decision that I made!!

Since BOTH of their Birthdays are also in December, it was always extremely stressful for me trying to buy gifts for each of them for both Christmas and their Birthdays...

Also, my parent's and my in laws gave me the money that they would spend on both Christmas and Birthdays for each of my sons..

I would buy their gifts, using their money, then they would wrap them and have them at their houses for the boys to open...

I had Lists of each boy When and from Whom they would get What ....

And I did this while working full time night shift!!!

So I welcomed not having to buy gifts anymore as Joe and I also decided to stop giving gifts to each other because when we wanted something, we just went out and bought it!!

The one thing my sons love is food so I do gift them that....

On top of hosting them for EVERY Holiday meal year round here at our home, for Christmas, in addition to their cards, I give them each including our DIL Danielle, their own tub of cookies!!

These are the quite substantial Rubbermaid tubs that I use, filled with just 2 kinds of cookies...

I finished them after I made the M&M cookies.....

I also gift them small containers filled with fudge and I will add some Hershey Kisses to them....


 And funny enough, Joe found these in the Dollar store....

So the kids will also get these along with a few Lottery tickets from Santa.....


Hoping for a repeat of one of them winning the Lottery like our DIL did several years ago.....
 
We do our gift exchange on Christmas Eve after our Holy Supper so they will get these on Christmas Eve.....

Both Joe and I are of Polish descent and the Polish do Holy Supper, Wigilia, on Christmas Eve....
 
You can read about this tradition HERE 
 
My Dad was a first generation American with his parents immigrating from Poland and speaking little to no English....
 
My Mother was a 2nd generation American with her Grandparents immigrating from Poland...
 
Her Mother was Catholic and her Father was Lutheran...
 
My parents kept the tradition of a meatless meal, serving herring, scallops, whiting fish and haddock, along with home made pierogies, boiled potatoes, mushrooms in place of mushroom soup and dough balls soaked in poppy seed which I can not recall what she called them...
 
We would break Christmas wafers or Oplatek before the meal and have a wine toast...
 
 
 
You can read about Oplatek HERE.... 

Well, time goes by and each generation changes traditions , creating new ones....

I still adhere to some of what my parents did but have also made changes since I took over having Holy Supper at my own home the year after my Dad passed away and my mother sold her home 3 months later....

My sons do not like the tasteless Oplatek that I had to dip in wine as a child to be able to swallow so we forgo that tradition but I do put a package of them on the table for Remembrance.....


We also forgo the Wine as Joe is a recovered Alcoholic of 34 years and we have not drank or had any alcoholic beverages in this house for the last 34 years!!

We used to toast with sparkling juices but the boys did not like them so that fell by the wayside!

Mostly, I maintain the Meatless meal except for the fact that Joey will not eat any type of fish ever since he caught a GI bug in Day Care and vomited his lunch which was haddock!!

Isn't Life grand????

SO....

Joey gets chicken fingers to eat on Christmas Eve and Jim and Danielle help him with those!!
 
 Did I ever mention that my family is picky with food???

LOL!!

We also buy, already fried up I may add, scallops and shrimp for Jim and Danielle, who also eat some scallops.....
 
Joe bought these today for this year's Holy Supper....
 
 
16 pieces of shrimp....

 
A little over a pound of scallops....


Joey does not like shrimp or any other type of seafood after that incident at Day Care all those years ago.........
 
20 chicken fingers for Joey!!
 

 
 Jim and Danielle will also help him eat these and Joe and I may take one a piece....

Can't forget the tartar and cocktail sauce .....
 

It wasn't too bad at the Sea Food place where we have gone for the past 33 years for our fish for Holy Supper but tomorrow, it will be a Zoo....

Because of the huge influx of Eastern European immigrants into NEPA to work in the mines in the early 1900's, whose traditions were seafood for Christmas Eve, including the Italians who do the feast of Seven Fishes, there are many stores selling seafood including fresh seafood open markets in this area....

We get ours from Valley Seafood which is also a wholesale distributor to the area grocery stores and restaurants, whose fish is fresh daily....

I put everything into pans....


 
And it is ready to pop into the oven tomorrow evening!!!

 
Easy peasy!!!

I buy home made pierogie and for the second year in a row, I have bought them fro a local deli.....

They are the traditional potato ones that I serve in melted butter and fried onions....

I do serve the boiled potatoes but I add melted butter, onion salt and a sprinkling of chives to them and EVERYONE likes them!!

Along with mushrooms in place of mushroom soup, the same as my Mother!!

I do need to say that all of this was new to our DIL Danielle who grew up in Ohio and never heard of any of these traditions!!

But God Bless HER, she has embraced them as her own and enjoys them as much as we do!!!!

We are so very grateful to have her in our family!!!!


There was no special Traditions for Christmas Day dinner but I do continue to make what my parents did ....

I do up a small turkey breast, a small boneless ham, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, corn and my Dad's sausage filling.....

One Tradition for the Holidays in NEPA is Polish Keilbasi!!!!

Joe was stalking the one grocery store that carries Turkey Kielbasi for weeks and finally, he was able to get 3 rings....

 

 I will make up all 3 rings on Christmas Day and serve one ring with Christmas Day Dinner along with another ring with cheese in it which is so good...

 

I always gift my sons one ring each that I cook and put in Take Home containers for them...

Yes, they both love kielbasi!!

We have been getting the turkey kielbasi as it seems not to require as many doses of Prilosec and Tums afterward....

And I can actually eat a small amount of it without the fear of a trip to the ED because of my IBS...

As my son Joey says, "There is nothing like spicy Polish meats"!

My Dad made his own Kielbasi but he did not smoke it as the ones I showed you here are...

I remember helping him by stretching the casing over a nozzle that fit on this type of grinder

I would turn the handle and the meat mixture would come out of the nozzle into the casings and my Dad would tie them off....

Before I bought my Mother a small Food Processor, she also used this to grind her nuts for traditional Polish Nut Roll


My nephew has my parent's grinder as it was too big to attach to the Kitchen shelves that my Dad made so my MIL got this one from her neighbor for me which fits just fine!!

My Mother's recipe for nut and poppy seed rolls was a tough one and I remember her making the dough before she went to bed at night and then getting up every 2 hours to knead the dough which she placed by a heater to rise...

Then we would make rolls all day the next day...

I do not like poppy seed rolls because as a child, I always thought that there were ants in them!!!

LOL!!

I STILL can not bring myself to eat them....

We order nut rolls from a friend of a friend of a friend.... 


This is the closest that I could find to how my Mother's tasted as her were very moist and the nut mixture was sweet.....

And for $12 a roll, it is worth not having to go through all that trouble!!!


 I thought that maybe I would have some time to do some Christmas tablescapes for this post but I ran out of time.....

  I will be sharing the simple tablescapes I do for all our upcoming Holiday family dinners in a future post...


I did manage to do a bit more crafting....

These are something that I wanted to make for some time now.....


Snowmen out of clay pots.....

I took the pots right off of my Potting stand, cleaned them up and spray painted them on the one day that we had record breaking temps. in the 60's....

I used the hat ornaments that I bought at Dollar Tree, embellishing them a bit....

Painted a simple face on them, which I need to darken the eyes and mouth with a bit of paint a bit as I used a marker....

I glued some red tinsel trim around the bottom of the pot and added a Dollar Tree bow sticker....


These will be used with Winter decorations.....


Sticking with clay pots, I also made these Angels.....
 
 
 I used things that I had in my stash.....

 
The gold and silver trim is a pipe cleaner.....
 

 

I bought the wood balls I used as the heads at an estate sale.....

 
I bunched up ruffled lace to make the wings.....


This is where I put the pink one.....
 
 
It is perfect for my Craft Room.....

 
On top of a vintage pink hamper filled with fabric.....


 The other one is going to be gifted to a family member....

You may remember in a previous post that I made this Tree out of a paper mache cone and burlap.....


I wanted to make a tree to use with my Winter decorations.....

I tucked and glued some greenery sprigs cut from a garland into the burlap.....

And added snowflake stickers from Dollar Tree!!!

I also made these Angel ornaments.....

I had 2 angel wing ornaments left after I made a different kind of ornament several years ago.....

I bought the vintage looking angel heads at the same estate sale as the wooden balls.....

I again used pipe cleaners for trim.....

And cut out and used a vintage tag from several sheets that I ordered on Ebay a long time ago!!!

Since Angels is the theme in my upstairs Hall, that is where I hung them.....

 
When going through a few things in my craft stash, I found a printed graphic in music sheet style of Silent Night.....
 
So I framed it using a picture frame I had.....


And switched out a picture in the hall......


I hung the other Angel that I made from this hook.......


I decided to make one more angel ornament using a piece of Victorian Ephemera

I glued 2 broken snowflakes to the back of it along with a piece of music sheet paper.....

I glued mini cherub and angel ornaments in the corners along with gold ribbon scraps....


I hung it in the branch Tree in the upstairs hall.....



 
My latest guilty pleasure since my son Joey hooked me up on both the TV in the Den and the Living Room with the You Tube Channel via Roku, has been watching Christmas Home Tours!!!
 
 
 
 Now why would I want to watch them on a 15 inch computer monitor screen, let alone a tiny phone screen, when I could watch them on this 50 inch TV screen????
 
 
 
 Or the 32 inch TV in the Den????

I also watch the different Masses from the churches of all our former Pastors on TV now....

Most of the people in our church are not wearing masks so I do not feel it is safe enough to return to Mass in person yet....

Even though our Bishop has strongly recommended mask wearing, the people of our Parish seem to not feel the need to do so to protect their fellow parishioners....

When that changes, we will return to Mass in person.....

As we tell others who go to our church, we started to contribute to our parish via online giving many years ago when they first started it because of my work schedule often limiting the times I was actually able to attend Mass...

So not to worry, we still financially support our parish on a monthly payment basis....


I also put out a few of my neighbor Elly's vintage cards......
 

These are the ones I displayed on the TV Entertainment Center....





I also did a bit of tweaking and added 2 cards to this cute velvet sled that my friend Anne Marie gifted to me last year....
 


 I sent out about 30 Christmas cards this year.....

A far cry from the 70+ I used to send out when first married....

As a centerpiece for my Dining Room table, I got out a wire card display thingy ( for lack of a better name to call it) that I bought for $1.00 in an old fashioned 5 and Dime department store in Jim Thorpe, Pa. many years ago.....

 
I placed it behind the centerpiece I made last year....

 
It is a Dollar Tree vase glued to a tray with a cemetery candle in it and a small wreath that I made placed over it.....

 
There are some people who do still send cards and I enjoyed getting them the old fashioned way....

 
And that takes us to the end of this post......

I have been moving the mouse on the Avon Advent calendar that my sons took turns moving when they were young.....

 
One more day to go til Christmas Eve!!!


WISHING YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

And remember....
 
The true REASON FOR THE SEASON!!!!!
May you all have a BLESSED Holiday!!!

I will be back on Sunday but I am not sure what I will be posting.....
 
So I hope you will stop by to visit again soon!!

Stay safe, healthy and most of all, HAPPY!!

Thanks to those who took the time out of their busy day to spend a little bit of time with me!!

If you do not have a blog, PLEASE  give me some way to reply to your comment, maybe by including your email in your comment.  If I can not find a way to reach you, I will reply on the post where you commented so please check back......


I am linking up to these parties:
 


Please take some time to visit these terrific hosts and all those joining in on the fun!

8 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas!!! I am an Ohio girl who married a Polish guy from New York. Somehow that keilbasa is the staple of all our holiday meals. Have a great weekend.

    No one at our church wears a mask, either. I won't go to mask but I do go to one church meeting. The person next to me with no mask told me on Tuesday (meeting was Monday) her son just got diagnosed with covid. SO I am very glad our children and grandchildren stopped over last weekend. I am vaccinated and boostered and pretty sure I am safe, but I am pretty upset. I am not sure I will being doing anything with our church until more precautions are in place. Our community numbers are sky rocketing again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your home is always so festive and cheerful, Deb. I just love visiting and finding so much inspiration. I am definitely going to have to try the Foolproof Fudge. Also I adore your angels that you created especially the clay pot ones. Have a very Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy Christmas Eve!
    As always, reading about your family and your traditions warms my heart.
    May God bless each of you tonight, tomorrow and into the New Year.
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      Thanks so much for stopping by!! And thanks for you kind words!!Happy New Year!!
      Hugs,
      Deb

      Delete
  4. Merry Christmas, Debbie. We are having a quiet Christmas too. Since our kids are far away, it will be video chats for us. The new grandpup is adorable - Enjoy!

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  5. I loved reading about your traditions and how they have modified over the years. I have a houseful of picky eaters too but have learned how to adapt meals so that everyone has something to eat (just like you do!).

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  6. Happy New Year, Debbie! I love your winter burlap tree. I always bake a lot of cookies during the holidays, too. This year's favorites were chocolate with mint M & Ms. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

    ReplyDelete

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