Ways of Christmas
Gottli Family - Hungary
Mikey and Nicky (and their family) celebrate a Hungarian tradition of shining their shoes for St Nicholas Day and putting them near a window for treats (or coal) on December 6! We also celebrate our biggest Christmas feast on Christmas Eve after we get home from church, as they do in Hungary, and much of Europe.
Sa Family - Brazil
We're the Sa family - Aline (grade3S), Fernanda (grade 8), Jeferson and Raissa. Although Aline is Canadian, she surely celebrates Christmas "a la mode Bresilienne". We come from the Northeast of Brazil, where we speak Portuguese and it is hot all year long. There's no snow or cold weather. No hot chocolate or fireplaces. Brazil has over 170 million Christians. Christmas Eve is the most celebrated event of the year. Everyone dresses up in their Sunday best and some attend church services and mass before going to family dinners - usually at the grandparents house. We have a feast and celebrate with music and secret santa. It is tradition to open presents at midnight, so on Christmas eve, there's no "going to bed early". On the 25th we get together again to eat the leftovers and it seems that we have another party and reason to celebrate all over again!
Here in Canada we gather with our Brazilian friends and celebrate with presents, dinner and music. Lots of Joy and celebration of the birth of Jesus!
Here are the pictures to show you a little bit of the weather, food and way we celebrate Christmas in Brazil.
Jeferson, Raissa, Aline and Fernanda
Boccardo Family - Italy
In Italy we have many traditions related to the Christmas period.
One of our favorites is going around the city to look for the most beautiful and original Nativity scenes. The atmosphere is magical, the lights illuminate the small and the big Nativity scenes and Christmas songs cheer the spirits. All the people are happy and we love to see the amazed faces of children in front of the mechanical Nativity scenes!
Groeneveld Family - Netherlands
A tradition at my parents' home in the Netherlands (our CCS kids' opa and oma), is the reading of the Christmas Gospel from a Bible printed in the year 1637, almost 400 years old. My dad bought from a small inheritance when his father passed away. The text font is Gothic and only my dad is able to read it fluently. At Christmas he would read a part of the story as it occurred around Jesus' birth.
This bible is the first original translation directly from Hebrew, Amaraic and Greek into Dutch. It is the first edition of the first year this translation was printed, it is unique and very valuable and is in mint shape for it's age. We handle it with respect and it is a privilege for kids in the family to carry it and open it up.
I think this tradition emphasizes the significance of the age of the gospel and the importance of it being available in your own language true to its origin. There is something impressive about that and reassuring, not to say that proof of the gospel lies in its age, however it does show that it stood the test of time and that many people before us saw that this Christmas story was either a feel good story or it would hold the truth. The answer doesn't lie in the middle, it doesn't leave the leniency to cherry pick, it is too radical for that even in our age. It is either a fairy tale or it is the story that opens the door to God's actual Kingdom, if you believe that exists. In either case, people long before us over the centuries have ensured this story did not get altered from its original form.