Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, Day 7 - Holiday Parties

The absolute best Christmas Party I ever attended was in Aberdeen, Scotland.  Our eldest son was living and working there and we had gone over to spend the holidays with his family.  A fellow co-worker of his was from Canada, but his heritage was Polish.  On Christmas Eve this man always had a party and cooked traditional Polish dishes for family and friends ...and any extended family and friends who might be visiting.

To make the occasion especially festive, it had snowed.  Now you must realize that I am a true GRITS [girl raised in the South - and never left] and have had very few white Christmases, and those were all when I was away from home.   I have also gone to very few Christmas Eve parties - that night is traditionally reserved for the family and church services.

Others had, of course, contributed food dishes and adult beverages of all sorts to the Party.  As I recall there was food on almost every available flat surface.  But the Polish fare - the borscht, the entrees and the desserts with unpronouncable names - was absolutely superb.

Time has blurred the number of people in attendance, but I would think somewhere in the neighborhood of sixty. We were all over the house. Every age was represented from very young babes to grandparents. We had native Scots, English, Americans, Canadians, French ...I'm not sure what else.  Most of those present, did live in Scotland at the time, many as expatriots, but there was a goodly share of family visiting from points outside Great Britain.

The children played and ate and played.  The adults talked and ate and talked.  No one was a stranger at that party although most of us had never met and will not meet again. 

On that night we were all family, many of us far, far from home.  It was a wonderful, festive night of "Peace on earth, good will to men!"