The year 2021, like the previous one, was special due to the pandemic. What was new was that Nathalie did not go home for Christmas due to Corona, so we were both in Weimar and were able to carry out our own plans over the holidays and up to the New Year. Of course we were still restricted by the pandemic, but we had just had our third booster vaccination and were therefore able to do a lot to make the last week of the year a special one.
The Christmas Holidays
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day fell on Friday to Sunday this time (actually quite stupid on the weekend). While the last two days were planned for visiting my relatives, Nathalie wanted to organize Christmas on the 24th herself for the first time according to Polish tradition. Unfortunately, there are quite a few customs in Poland on Christmas Eve, some of which even allegedly have serious consequences if you don’t follow them. The customs included:
- Eat fish (no meat) during the day
- breaking wafers with people at the table and exchanging congratulations
- not getting up from the table until everyone has eaten (-> because otherwise the person will not be sitting at the table next Christmas…) and thus also mute cell phones
- Money under the tablecloth of each place
- Poppy seed cake for dessert (so that you have enough money in the coming year)
- an additional plate at the table (+1 person)
While most traditions seem rather nonsensical and even dangerous (don’t get up from the table!), at least the last custom has the pleasant thought that you should always have an extra seat set aside for a guest (even if, of course, even in Poland you probably still do wouldn’t just let strangers into the house for Christmas). This custom even came true for us when Christopher was summarily invited by us because he couldn’t celebrate Christmas with Marie because she was in quarantine. As a result, he was forced to keep to all customs, which made the whole thing funny again. After dinner we sat on the couch and talked for a while. This again showed what a traitor our tomcat Yuri is, because he immediately snuggled up to Christopher (we also affectionately call Yuri our “cuddly whore”). Since Nathalie had so many ingredients left over, she even made two trays of poppy seed cake (one with crumbles and one with chocolate icing), so that we took them with us to the various visits over the next few days.
The next day, Christmas Day, we took the train to my home town of Greiz. My mother had duck meat with dumplings there. After lunch we drove down to the city center to take a walk in Greizer Park. The lake was half frozen here and there was a thin layer of snow everywhere, which made for a beautiful landscape. After the walk we are back and ate poppy seed cake. Both me and my mother agreed that this poppy seed cake from Nathalie is better than most from the baker. That’s because it doesn’t have a specific aftertaste. But Nathalie didn’t know what made her different when baking, because she only sticks to simple recipes. (Note Nathalie: Of course I’m always happy to hear when something tastes good!)
On the last day, Boxing Day, we went to Jena to see Aunt Elke. Here we also ate roulades with dumplings and red cabbage, which is typical for a Christmas meal. After that we chatted about different things and ate our poppy seed cake again in the afternoon.