Twinkling lights, rich green pine trees and delicious cookies – the festive Christmas season is the most wonderful time of the year. It is even more beautiful when people from all over the world can look forward to the wonderful Christmas season, with Christmas traditions from their home country. Today we share three team members from our international team in Germany, Canada & Poland, and their Christmas traditions.
Tania, Content Creator & Social Media Marketing Manager from Germany:
What I love the most about this time of the year are all the fun festivities leading up to Christmas! In every restaurant, cafe and bar there are twinkling lights, cheery Christmas carols and wonderful Christmas decorations which I find incredibly beautiful. For this reason, I also love to spend the weeks leading up to Christmas at many different Christmas markets in Hamburg, where I always get myself a crêpe with Nutella and a warm mulled wine. I also like to meet up with my girlfriends to bake lots of different Christmas cookies. Whether its traditional shape cookies or with cool cookie cutters to make vanilla crescents or cinnamon stars – there’s something for everyone. This year, I even took it a step further and got creative with my female colleagues by building and decorating a Christmas gingerbread house.
Right before Christmas, I take the traditional ‘going home for Christmas’ drive to my parents in southern Germany, where I spend the holidays. On December 23rd, I decorate our Christmas tree with my family while listening to Christmas music to set the atmosphere. On December 24th, the time has finally come! In the morning, I meet with my girlfriends for our traditional Christmas brunch, where we nibble on a delicious breakfast and then unwrap our gag Secret Santa gifts. Then I spend the evening with my family. Every year we have a delicious Portuguese dinner, which is what I always look forward to the most! Before moving on to dessert, we unwrap the gifts that can be found under the Christmas tree, one by one. As soon as we’ve made some room in our stomach, we snack on various Portuguese desserts while playing one of our favourite games, that always allows for lots of laughter.
I love skirts and blouses with ruffles, which is why this is my absolute favourite outfit for Christmas. I create a trendy look with a mix of a stylish knit skirt, a feminine blouse, a classic purse and cool black boots.
Adrianna, Marketing Content Specialist from Poland:
In Poland, Christmas Eve has a special meaning. Our whole family gathers for our tradition of preparing 12 dishes all together. Every family member brings something they have cooked or baked. Before dinner we look out for the first star in the sky and as soon as it appears, we break a wafer snack together and wish each other all the best for the New Year. Following this tradition, we begin the delicious dinner, which consists of three courses: As a starter we have beet soup with small dumplings, followed by a fish dish and cabbage with mushrooms as a side. Afterwards, we snack on the many different desserts – which is the part I look forward to the most every year. Whether it’s poppy seed cake, cheesecake, gingerbread, or other sweets – there is certainly something delicious for everyone.
After dinner comes, it’s finally the moment we’ve all been looking forward to, especially the children… all the gifts under the Christmas tree! We distribute the gifts to all the family members, and we joyfully unwrap them with conversation, which is always very cheerful, loud and funny. According to Polish tradition, Christmas Eve is the most important day of the Christmas holidays. It is the day of togetherness and emotion, that we spend with the people closest to us.
My favourite outfit for this special evening is a black sequin skirt and a simple black turtleneck. I spice up the outfit with a casual indoor jacket and pair with black boots and a chic bag.
Krystyna, Manager at Olsen store in Oakville, Ontario Canada:
Food, Family and Faith … Christmas is such a beloved time of year for me because it is sentimental, beautifully intimate, and I get to spend it with the people I love the most – my family. Each year we gather as I host our biggest family tradition – Christmas Eve dinner! Family and friends gather at our home to share the holiday spirit. We always leave an empty chair at the dinner table for anyone who may be alone or in need of a home-cooked meal. For generations, Christmas Eve Dinner has always been comprised of twelve specialty dishes that we only make once a year – the twelve dishes represent Jesus’ twelve disciples who sat at His table. On this Holy day, we don’t eat meat, so we make sure that everything is prepared with love for extra flavour! Though we live in Canada, being of Polish descent, we always begin our meal with a small but important ceremony rooted in our culture of breaking and sharing of a wafer like that used for communion. Our meal begins with borscht or mushroom soup, followed by several dishes that include fish and vegetables. Featured dishes also include cabbage with peas, potato salad, and dumplings filled with a tasty mix of cabbage and mushrooms. We finish off our meal with sweet desserts such as dry fruit compote, poppyseed cake and cheesecake.
This day is not only about food – it’s about being together with the people you love, a time of reflection back on our years spent loving each other and sharing bright wishes for our future. It allows us to think about all the family we have back home in Poland and our loved ones that are no longer with us. It’s a special gift to be able to reminisce on memories while also creating new ones. For the past 40 years, I have shared this tradition with such warmth and joy, and I can’t wait to pass it down to my daughter and her family one day.
It’s Christmas … you must dress up! This is the perfect holiday hostess look because it is elegant thanks to some shimmer and flattering thanks to the perfect amount of stretch. I can be confident I will look great while at the same time comfortable as I move around making sure everything is perfect for my guests. I especially love that I can mix and match each piece with other styles to make more casual looks if I want to. When it comes to looking my best, Olsen always has me covered!