You’ve Stollen My Heart

No, that’s not a typo. It’s a super clever/punny reference to one of my favorite Christmastime treats: stollen. This German treat is not exclusively found around Christmas, but that’s really its time to shine. It is basically a coffee cake, filled with fruit and/or nuts and covered with confectioner’s sugar. It’s not Christmas in the McDoogal house until we break out the stollen (although it’s anyone’s guess as to how a German tradition became part of an Irish-Italian household). My brother, at 30 still a bit of a messy eater, always ends up with powdered sugar in an implausibly large ring around his mouth. My barking at him to stop being a slob is a Christmas tradition I hold dear. Read More You’ve Stollen My Heart

A Very Polack Christmas (Part 1)

It’s come to my attention over the years that my family has relatively unusual holiday traditions. For one, my family identifies as Polish, even though most of the younger generation are more typical American mongrels than straight out of Poland, and we make a big deal about celebrating Wigilia, the traditional Christmas Eve dinner. And we also own a funeral parlor. And some people think it’s strange that we gather for Christmas there. Read More A Very Polack Christmas (Part 1)

One of my favorite Christmas traditions: Nikolaus

In Germany, the night between the 5th and 6th December is not any normal night. The kids prepare for it by cleaning and polishing their winter boots. When that is done, the boots are placed outside the front door and the kids go to bed. Usually they are having trouble sleeping. They are excited. I always tried to stay awake the whole night ““ but never could. When the morning finally arrived, they rush outside to get their boots ““ which now are filled with sweets and small presents. Read More One of my favorite Christmas traditions: Nikolaus