My Christmas (or Vianoce in Slovak and Vánoce in Czech) started way way back at the beginning of December, when I started thinking about Christmas baking, decorating my room and so on.
It was the first year that I really tried to bake my own traditional Christmas biscuits. Thanks to my Czech Grandmother’s recipes, I more or less succeeded. I especially enjoyed cutting out various shapes and all the decorating - sticking biscuits together by cranberry jam, covering them with melted chocolate and positioning a nut on the chocolate so that they look pretty. The special Christmas cookie box was filling up nicely.
Of course, many of the sweets have fallen to my naughty Christmas tummy and I needn’t say that there was a lot of cups of tea involved in the whole process of baking, decorating and tasting :) And of course, once I came from my Christmas shopping with a completely new set of a cup and a bowl for myself. Let’s face it, we ladies all do this! We go out to buy things for others, but there are so many nice things that we would like too! So I figured one cup and bowl are not going to hurt anyone ;-)
I ate and slept a lot (my favourite combination) and did some crafting, but times were extremely stressful at work – I must admit I have falled a bit behind with the teaching, thanks to rehearsing for the Christmas school play. My class, who normally never shuts up (and that’s not being harsh, they simply cannot spend ten minutes without exchanging information verbally) was quiet like owls and so cutely nervous… I just loved them so much at that moment. Their performance lasted something over three minutes and they were wonderful. I was incredibly happy and proud. This all just reminds me that teaching is a happy job - and so rewarding!
After this, just a few days before going to my parents’ in Slovakia, I handcrafted a few felt decorations that I was giving as a present to my Mum. This year’s presents from me were very simple and humble (my lawyer brother got her a new laptop – I felt quite bad then, because my decorations hardly cost anything but time, but Mum keeps saying that these are two totally incomparable types of presents, so I am coming to terms with the fact that I am poor, but crafty!).
Right after school finished on Friday, I ran (literally) to the train station to get to Slovakia. I was on a very tight schedule (my own fault) and just hopped into any carriage just to make sure the train doesn’t go away without me. This consequenced into me having to drag my huge suitcase through the three carriages of sleeping compartments and getting told off by a train guard, who made me and a bunch of Slovak students and some Czech guys stand in the corridor in front of the toilets for forty minutes, then get off at the next station and go find our places from the outside of the train. However, the Slovaks immediatelly pulled out bottles of Coke and rum and some toast bread, cheese and ham. For those forty minutes, my suitcase turned into a temporary buffet table and I got a little dinner for free. On the way back, I travelled in the cozy comfy sleeping compartments, which wasn’t nearly as much fun. I don’t know the names of the guys with food, but I would like to thank them for their hospitality and all the fun we had. x After nine and half hours of sitting down, I arrived at my parents’ slightly overdecorated, but lovely home.
It was a lovely few days, during which I was finishing a Tunisian (or Afghan) crochet baby blanket. In three months there will be a new baby in my man’s family and I love the thought of a tiny little human being tucked in it and pulling it with its little fingers : ) And - surprise, surprise!!! - there was a cup of tea involved as well!
The blanket was finished before Christmas and I found a lovely snowflake ribbon to tie it into a bundle with. Can’t wait for the baby, I’m so excited!
We visited both of our Grandparents and my Czech Grandma made a lunch meal of goose, potato dumplings and cabbage for us. Then I did some very late cardwriting for my lady penfriends – this year I managed my time terribly, so I didn’t make any handmade ones like I usually do, but sent some other ones instead. I still included a little handmade thing to go with the cards. And of course, I had tea. I love tea, you probably already know that.
On the 23rd December, I revived my skiing passion (to the great surprise of everyone in the family) and headed out to the slope with my Dad, in an outfit combined of my brother’s and my mother’s equipment and clothes. It was a great hour of night-time skiing and I didn’t even fall once.
On the 24th we had a typical Slovak Christmas dinner, consisting of sauerkraut soup with mushrooms and sausage in it and a second course of a fish (traditionally carp, but we had trout this year) with some sort of potatoes or potato salad.
I had a magical Christmas time with my family and I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas as well. I got some very useful presents, but I feel like the comfort of being at home, watching Christmas stories on TV and having all that good food and fun with my family was worth much more than the presents.