Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Heritage

We began a family tradition last year of celebrating our heritage during December. We focus on a different country each week. We read books about Christmas in each particular country and we eat foods from that country too.

The first week is German week--we celebrated St. Nicholas Day (December 6) by putting small gifts in the children's shoes and reading about the historical St. Nicholas. We eat bratwurst and sauerkraut and strudel.

The second week is Swedish week--we'll celebrate St. Lucia Day (December 13) with St. Lucia buns and coffee cake. We'll read Annika's Secret Wish and Hanna's Christmas. I'll make Janssen's Temptation, probably the yummiest thing I've ever made: salmon and capers and dill and potatoes and cream. I don't want to know how many calories it contains; I will just enjoy it and walk an extra five miles that day.

The third week will be Irish week, and my husband will make my favorite dinner ever: Irish Seafood Chowder. I'll make Irish brown bread, and I'm sure we'll have a Full Irish Breakfast at some point.

On Christmas Day we're English; we'll have a roast and yorkshire puddings and roasted brussel sprouts (forget everything you know about brussel sprouts--roast them--and be amazed). We'll buy crackers...the wrapped kind with paper hats and jokes inside.

The week of New Year's is Scottish week: we'll have kippers for breakfast, with perhaps some Scottish oatmeal too.

My oldest daughter has requested that we add a French week, but we may do this the easy way by taking a trip to the local French bakery.

How do you celebrate your heritage this month? Please leave me a comment.


  1. What a lovely idea. We don't do anything in particular to celebrate our heritage this month. Although it would feel really odd to eat anything other than a traditional roast dinner on Christmas Day, after having enjoyed a full English breakfast in the morning. My wife is Scottish, so Scottish meals are a regular part of our fayre. We do try to have Haggis, Neeps and Tatties on Burns Night (Jan 25th) though.

  2. Paul, I wish we could find Haggis in the U.S. We've tasted it at Highland Festivals, and we love it!

  3. This is cool, I'm trying to draw inspiration for Christmas traditions with our kids. Though my brother-in-law is Scottish and I've come in close proximity to Haggis and let's just say I don't ever need to do that again. :) (No offense Paul!)

  4. I love the idea of celebrating our heritage by partaking of diffrent Christmas traditions.

    I would have to do some research on what those would be. I don't think Native Americans celebrate Christmas, though finding the German, Irish and Lithuanian customs should be easy.

  5. On Sunday I went to a Christmas Tea, where the table I sat at had a Native American (specifically New Mexico) theme.

  6. Interesting, I will have to look into that.

  7. That is so neat! What an interesting idea. Thanks for sharing.
    ps-we used to live in a town known as "little Sweden", so I know those traditions quite well!