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Archive for December 10th, 2013

Celebrating Christmas around the World

People from all over the world have their own customs and traditions, and as we increasingly live in a socially mobile world we begin to share festivities between ourselves and pick up new customs from others. In fact, people around the world from a variety of religions – not just Christians – come together to celebrate Christmas with friends and family.

Unlike in the USA and the UK,  Christmas celebrations in Poland tend not to start until on Christmas Eve (after the first star has been spotted) but they then go on to celebrate longer, generally until February 2nd. As Poland is primarily a Catholic country they tend to abstain from frivolity such as singing and dancing during Advent in the lead up to Christmas. Instead they like to party in the weeks afterwards. They make an exception for St Nicholas Day on December 6th when the children receive presents.

Holly Glow Tablecloth

The decoration of house and table is taken very seriously in Poland. Traditionally the table is spread with straw to represent the manger. This is then followed by a snow white tablecloth that represents Mary’s veil and Jesus’ swaddling cloth. You can recreate Poland’s traditions yourself by laying fresh spruce on a plate of your finest china, and placing the plate on a white tablecloth or white cloth napkin. The Snowman  Family a white tablecloth and is particularly cute and ideal for a family get together. Holly Glow Tablecloth is a sophisticated way to dress up the table. The table should then be decorated using lights, candles, flowers, apples, nuts, candies or home blown glass or crystal so that everything sparkles and shines.

Similar traditions exist throughout Eastern Europe. Color and warmth and good food and drink are what are required for a spectacular feast. The combination of food varies quite dramatically however. The Czech people eat fried carp and potato salad, and bake a splendid array of Christmas biscuits. Their houses must smell heavenly!

Christmas Cookies

There is nothing to prevent you from offering your own feast on a richly seasonal tablecloth to match the flavor of the foods you’re serving. For example, if you were partaking in a Caribbean feast where they serve Sorrel punch, you might not want a white tablecloth at all. Sorrel punch is made from hibiscus flowers mixed with cloves and cinnamon and is steeped overnight in water, resulting in a bright red liquid that is delicious served with rum. But not something you want to spill on your best tablecloth!

Solid Color Elegant table cloths may prove useful as an under cloth for your Christmas table display. Choose something in Holiday colors such as red or burgundy. Christmas tablecloths don’t have to be white after all. Alternatively place a Christmas table topper on top of the table cloth fro a dazzling effect. Try Christmas Glisten table runners to dress up the table.

Glisten Christmas Table Runners

A glamorous under tablecloth and Christmas topper combination is perfect for anyone celebrating with a huge feast, the likes of which you can experience in France, Italy and Finland. In France Christmas is celebrated with a long dinner known as a réveillon (from réveil meaning waking because you have to stay awake a long time!). The French serve umpteen dishes including goose, turkey, foie gras, oysters, smoked salmon, duck and lobster. In some parts of France, 13 desserts are also served to represent Jesus and his disciples.

In Finland, celebrants are offered a Christmas food board that will include Christmas ham served with fresh bread and mustard, fish (usually gravlax), casseroles, potatoes and vegetables. In Italy, traditional Christmas fare will include the offer of seven fish dishes. The dishes vary according to what is available and personal preference but can include eels, clams, salt cod and of course calamari.

Whether you will be incorporating some new Holiday recipes this Christmas, or keeping with your traditional ones, a Christmas tablecloth will delight you and fulfill your needs. Remember that Christmas traditions are always evolving and so a Christmas feast should relate only to you and your loved ones. Serve up your favorite foods and the finest drink you can afford and enjoy your holiday.

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