My Christmas smells of smoked plum kompot, fresh resin and beetroot soup. It tastes of mushroom dumplings and fried red cabbage. My Christmas starts when the first star appears on the dark sky. My family reads a passage from the Bible and we share the wafer, wishing each other anything we believe the other person needs. My Christmas is mainly celebrated on the 24th December. My Christmas table has a bit of hay underneath the tablecloth, reminding us about Jesus’s birth in the stable, and 12 dishes on top of it to bring us luck for the 12 months of the year. There is an extra chair in case someone in need knocks on our door. There are candles and singing of kolędy before we all leave at midnight to go to the church for pasterka. My Christmas is Polish Christmas. It’s the most special time of the year.
Christmas is not about the presents, rest or food. It is about the closeness. It is the time we gather with our family, we call friends to wish them all the best, we say “Merry Christmas” to strangers around us. It is the time of hope, love and joy.
This Christmas I wish every day of your life to be filled with closeness. Not only towards the important people in your life, but closeness with the world. Let’s love and respect each other regardless of religion, skin colour or any other label. Let’s always keep an empty seat at the table of our hearts for that one person who may come knocking, regardless of where they come from.