Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Веселого Різдва і з Новим Роком

Tomorrow is Ukrainian Christmas.
Because I am half Ukrainian, and my boys therefore are a quarter Ukrainian, we observe this tradition, just as my mom did when I was a child.

The Christmas tree remains up and decorated until tomorrow evening. All the other decorations and lights have already come down but leaving the tree up is nice, and I find that there are no tears from the boys upon ceremonial observation of this last vestige of the Christmas holidays. (Note the traditional spider web ornament.)

I baked a snickerdoodle coffee cake. It’s not grain pudding, true, but it’s also more likely my guys will enjoy this more.

I have a couple of books to wrap up for each boy: a coloring book, a couple novels I think Primo will like, that sort of little thing. I know they hope each year I will cave and get them a BIG gift, go out with a bang as it were (requests have even been made this year for Nintendo games), but I resolutely observe my personal imprint upon this tradition and give them books.

My mother used to cook halupchi for dinner on the day; I am thinking stuffed eggplant might be an acceptable substitute in these near-meatless parts.

It may be a little silly, this haphazard celebration of what should probably be a solemn holiday, but it keeps me in touch with my heritage, and I feel I am honoring my relatives and ancestors whom I admire and love, and it wraps up the holiday season nicely, in a low key way. It precludes that dreadful feeling of “Oh, all the nice stuff is over now!” and lets us down gently.

Khrystos Razhdaietsia!


delta said...

What a lovely tradition for your family!!

I couldn't help notice the halupchi. It must be related to haluski, which I think is of Polish origin. It is a very popular item at middle/high school football concession stands all around Pittsburgh. You can see a recipe for it at:

sueeeus said...

That is such a nice tradition and a sweet way to close out the season. How neat that you embrace your heritage.

Elizabeth said...

I'm half-Ukrainian as well but I'm afraid to say I couldn't wait to get our over-sized behemoth of a tree out of the house. (everyone had to go the long way around to the family room)
When I was growing up the tree stayed up and we had cabbage rolls but that was about it. (seems to me they made an appearance on Christmas Eve too) Unfortunately my children and husband dislike them intensely. There were no other gifts.
It's so nice you are keeping the tradition alive.

Suse said...

I love your traditions.

And I love your new blog look!

ThirdCat said...

that's beautiful

Kristin said...

That's very cool. Our tree went out the door the day after Christmas (!) due to the fact that it had stopped taking water approximately 2 days after we bought it in the beginning of December and I was tired of waking up all night convinced the house was on fire. Still finding pine needles everywhere though!

Anonymous said...


Halupchi is the Ukranian/Slovak name for what the Poles call Golabki.

Anonymous said...

Our Ukrainian tradition is to keep up the manger until Little Christmas. The tree came down on New Years day. I'm the only one in the family however that does! It's halupchi for us, and we don't use tomatoes in ours; but cook it on top of the stove. We line the bottom of the pot and between layers of the cabbage rolls with chopped cabbage and saurkraut. It's best the second day! Also, we sautee onions in bacon fat and mix 1/2 in the meat mixture and pour the remaining over the cabbage rolls. I made some today! The aroma is great! Cheers!