Thursday, December 31, 2015

Secret Santa z Klubem Polki - Uaktualnienie

Zbliża się koniec okresu Bożego Narodzenia, a ja miałam jeszcze jedno świąteczne, bardzo przyjemne, zadanie do wykonania.

Dopiero wczoraj miałam czas na to, by zająć się ozdobieniem mikołajkowych skarpet, które otrzymałam (razem z zestawem do ozdabiania i uroczymi czekoladkami: zobacz tutaj) od mojego Secret Santa z Klubu Polki na Obczyźnie. Santa już nie taki Secret. To Aleksandra z Niemiec tak mnie obdarowała. :)

Jedna skarpetka dla mojego męża jedna dla mnie. Do zawieszenia, nie do noszenia. Jeszcze zdążą sobie trochę powisieć, zanim schowamy wszystkie dekoracje świąteczne do pudełek. A w przyszłym roku będą jak znalazł. Umieścimy je w honorowym miejscu. Dziękujemy Aleksandra!



Santa ma oczy wszędzie - i patrzy czy jesteś grzeczny!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Spirit in Central Texas

Recently we have visited the Texas Hill Country and looked for Christmas Spirit there. And we found it in many places!
  • On the buildings



Old library building



  • In local  shops



  • In the park 

German style Christmas tower


Oh, so beautiful!

  • In The Rockbox Theater, where we watched a funny one-act Christmas play and quite a moving holiday songs and carols concert. 
Great actors and singers they have there, make sure you do not miss the theater when you happen to visit this beautiful town of Fredericksburg.


There is always something new to see and experience in Luckenbach. This time it was traditional Texas style Christmas decorations - really cute!



The Luckenbach stage had new features too. We did not even had to bring our guitars there. They had already been fixed. Obviously, we played country Christmas Carols too.



Both of us very much enjoyed the visit, the weather was cooperating and we had a great time!

To sum up, if you do not know what to do with your money, you can help us get a brand new house in the Hill Country. We could move there. Your donations are very much welcome!


Previous posts on our visits in the Hill Country:
Fredericksburg - National Museum of The Pacific War 
Fredericksburg - Side Streets & Roads 
Fredericksburg TX & Its Main Street 
Everybody Is Somebody in Luckenbach, Texas 
Deep in The Heart of Texas



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Music ABC: B


The Beatles
Their songs were my first music love. Because of them I started my interest in English - I wanted to know what they sang about. As far as I know, I am not the only one who began learning the language inspired by the Beatles. I have heard, quite a lot of people from various non English speaking countries felt similarly and did so too.
At that time, any books about bands or singers were not available in Polish stores. However, I did love listening to their songs so much that I made my own fan book. I collected all the pictures of the Liverpool band which I came across and magazine cut outs related to the group and its particular members (even when the Beatles split up) as well. And I stuck them in my album, and decorated it page by page. Guess what,  I still have it - you can see some parts of the book in the pictures/collage below. Why have I kept the book till today? Well, the answer is because of sentimental reasons. I spent a lot of time not only making creating it, including writing the song lyrics, and what matters most, put my teenage heart into it. So many emotions connected with the music itself and the song lyrics - from the early pieces of the Cavern club times until the very last album.

When I was about fifteen, 'Hard Days Night' movie with the Beatles was to be on TV - those days such programs were usually on TV during school hours. I so much wanted to see that film and, since it was before video recorders came into being, I asked my mum to let me stay at home and watch it. She agreed - because I never skipped school, there was no class test on that day and she also knew what it meant to me. I was so incredibly happy about it that I remember it even till today. I also recall, my classmates envied me, I was allowed to stay at home to watch the movie. Well, mum is quite a special woman and mother.


Despite my interest in The Beatles, I also listened to other kinds of music and some time later, I discovered

.
I was enchanted. Soft ballads and such delightful heavy music! I need to mention that I never cared about anything but music - meaning the musicians looks and all the frame connected with a band. Especially that, as already mentioned, I hardly ever was able to see them in magazines or on TV.

Anyway, a neighbor who lived opposite us (I learned yesterday that he had died recently - God bless his soul) happened to have a record by Black Sabbath. He actually did not like it at all but I did! It was 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath'. At that time, I also did not care much what the songs were about. On one hand, my English was not good enough then, on the other hand it really did not matter as, according to  me, the music was stunning. I also found the Gothic font (the back of the album cover - all the titles were printed in such a style) quite interesting and learned to write the letters like that. I quite often used the Gothic-like letters to write special messages. Such text looked nice, the only problem was - somehow - most people had problems with reading and understanding it. Because it looked different to the usual hand writing.
Years later, while visiting Birmingham, I saw this on the pavement (look at the photo below). The thought: 'Black Sabbath!'. Of course I had to take a picture of the star. I cannot even recall if there were any other marks like that on the city streets. Wish the spot I liked had been a bit cleaner though.



BUDGIE
I have already written in one of my previous posts that when I was growing up, it was the state Polish radio which was my music window to the world. Especially some of its programs and radio presenters. That was how I learned about various older and more contemporary musicians. When I heard Budgie, I also found out that the name of the band means a short form for budgerigar. Plenty of splendid guitar riffs, epic pieces like 'Parents'  or 'Riding My Nightmare' for example.
I reckon, I have seen them at concert - it was so long ago that I am almost not sure about it though. The only thing I can remember from the gig: I wanted them to play 'Turned to Stone' - my favorite song, but they did not. To my disappointment, they performed only the tracks from the latest Budgie album.

Blondie
Quite a few new wave bands/singers attracted my attention. One of them was Blondie. What I liked about Debbie Harry - in some songs she sounded so smoothly as if she was singing with no effort at all.

Polish 'B'
Breakout
Their album 'Blues' is the one which I find the best. It was recorded with Tadeusz Nalepa as the main vocalist/guitarist. I believe the album can be called a classic of the Polish rock/blues.  Thorough the years, the band also had a female singer but, in my opinion, no other songs by Breakout were more interesting than the ones from the 'Blues' album. Intriguing lyrics and superb blues tunes.



Classical 'B's
Borodin 
'Prince Igor' and 'Polovstian Dances' - totally magnificent.
Borodin (do you know he was a chemist also?) wrote such picturesque music, listening to it I can easily imagine eg. horse riders dressed in traditional Russian noble, winter outfits, galloping through a snowy wood - guess which part of Prince Igor I mean. :)


Brahms
'Hungarian Dances' - all twenty one of them. Which one is more beautiful, more exquisite? Do not know. All of them make a gorgeous music collection.
'Lullaby'
My mum was the director of our local youth club xylophone group. She taught us to play and prepared the xylophone pieces for us. 'Lullaby' was one of them. I still can remember most of it by heart:
E, E, G
E, E, G.......

Credits:
The Blues Breakout album cover: http://www.amazon.com/Breakout-Blues-Tadeusz-Nalepa/dp/B001BFI02S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450810239&sr=8-1&keywords=blues+breakout


Other posts of My Music ABC:
A



Monday, December 21, 2015

Our Christmas in Poland

In Poland, Christmas Eve supper is the main part of the celebrations, considering family gatherings as well.
When I was little, the Christmas Eve supper started when the first star appeared in the sky (usually it was about 6 PM). That was why my sister and myself watched the sky, through a closed window, to let everybody know when it was time to begin the festivity. The waiting part was tough - we could not wait to see the star!

Before the meal everybody shares a piece of the holy wafer, wishing each other all the best and good health in the new coming year. All quarrels, bad blood which happened earlier are supposed to be forgiven.

Sharing the Christmas wafer with you - God bless you all!
According to tradition, an empty plate/ additional seat at the table is prepared, in case if an unexpected visitor came for supper. Nobody should be alone on Christmas Eve. Another custom is to put some hay beneath the table cloth (for good luck). I guess it has some connection with the stable where Jesus was born.
The Christmas Eve menu varies, depending on the region of Poland but, traditionally it is always a meal which consists of twelve meatless dishes. The number (12) relates two the twelve apostles and twelve months in the year. In connection to the latter one, everybody should eat at least a bit of each of the twelve dishes, to have good luck thorough the entire next year.




What we had on the menu at our family home:
  • Mushroom soup, made from pieces of dry boletus and home made (by mum of course) pasta  - so delicious!
  • Noodles with poppy seeds mixed with honey, raisins, chopped nuts and some vanilla extract - my dreamy Christmas dish.
  • Fried fish with boiled potatoes - traditionally carp is eaten on Christmas Eve, but we did not care for it too much (it has a kind of silt taste due to its life habitat) so we preferred fried cod.
  • A salad made of sauerkraut and grated raw carrot + a bit of sugar (which is usually served with fried fish).
  • Compote (based on dried fruits) to drink. 
  • Herrings - I like them made in different ways: herrings in cream with chopped onion and pineapple pieces, herrings in oils with onion rings, so called 'Jewish style' herrings - sooooooooooo good!
Big plate: pierogi stuffed with sauerkraut and mushrooms
  • Fish balls in aspic.
  • Bread.
  • Vegetable salad.
Cakes:
  • Poppy seeds yeast log.
  • Cheesecake
  • Ginger bread

After the supper it was time to open the presents which had been placed by Saint Nicholas under the Christmas tree. It was a reason why the kids (including myself) did not want to eat much - we were simply eager to finish the supper quickly and open the gifts. But it was allowed only when everybody finished their meal.

And then, all the family sang carols, enjoying the holiday meeting and being together.


We most often did not go to bed as we waited till midnight to go to church for the Midnight Mass. The winters at that time were mostly freezing and snowy so when we were walking from the church, the frosted snow under our boots was making crunchy sounds and the white, fluffy snow was shimmering magically in the night street lights. When I was little a part of our Christmas tradition was meeting our neighbours after the midnight service (every other year we went to their place/ or they visited us). We talked and have some holiday food including meat and sauerkraut stew and more cakes. It was such fun!
It is said that the Christmas night is the only night in the year when all the animals can speak like humans - so beware what you can hear from your pet, in case if they have been mistreated in any way! Our dog never said anything but at the time when we were unpacking presents, he was surprisingly  sad when he found nothing for himself under the Christmas tree. The dog was actually a puppy then and it was his first holiday at our home. He seemed to be really sorrowful so we put a rubber toy under the tree and called our puppy. How playful he got when he saw the 'gift'! Since then, every Christmas, we always prepared a little something for him too. Nobody should be forgotten at this time of the year!

All in all, due to all the Christmas Eve excitement, we most often did not get up early on Christmas Day. And there was no reason to do it. All the presents had been received, so Christmas day was the time of relaxing or meeting some relatives again.
26 December is called 'the second day of Christmas' and it is a day off/holiday too. Another day to enjoy and celebrate with family and friends. Not to mention having more festive food!

Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia!


Friday, December 18, 2015

My Cosmetic Side: Aroma & Aromatherapy


I have always been interested in many different things considering the outside world and lifestyle. One of them is beauty and cosmetics in general, which is obviously quite a common interest for a woman (and not only). A reason why I started this blog was a thought, it would be my beauty related posts space. And at the beginning I was writing about my favorite cosmetics mostly. Nevertheless, after some time I got bored with the topic, mainly because my interests are so much wider than the beauty stuff. Do not get me wrong, there are specialists in the field which share very interesting information about e.g. makeup brands and their products, and I find reading their articles quite involving too. On the other hand, in my opinion, life, the world, means loads more things to learn, discover and experience. That is why I skipped writing on beauty items for quite a long time as it became too monotonous and one sided.
However tiresome it got then, it did not change the fact that the beauty routine and all the items connected with it are quite an important part of my life. I do not spend all day long in front of the mirror (maybe a few hours ;-)) but I would be incredibly miserable if I was not able to take care of my skin, hair and body as I am used to - which leads to the cosmetics world again.
That is why, every now and then, I am going to write about 'My Cosmetic Side' - including my favorite items and certain products I have been using. I will keep the alphabet pattern but, very likely I will not limit myself to this frame only.

Here is the entry for today:

Aroma & Aromatherapy

Since my nose is rather picky considering choosing the scents it tolerates, I associate aromatherapy with the distinctive aroma which is pleasant according to myself. And I do not mean any special kind of  healing treatment. Just a nice, scented bath can be a relaxing experience, especially when we can enjoy it after a long day. Read more about it in the post I wrote some time ago.

Talking about aroma and aromatherapy - the use and meaning of it may be quite unexpected. A couple of years ago, in the summer, we happened to have a biting flies season in our area. They were tiny and quite annoying, especially that the little creatures seemed to choose me mostly as the most interesting object to bite. It resulted in the big, red, itching spots on my skin which did not go out for weeks. I tried to use some insect repellents but they did not help much. That was why I finally decided to use the natural carnation oil which I had brought from Poland. I rubbed it all over myself - mainly the legs and arms as, due to summer temperatures, they were uncovered and most exposed to biting flies attacks. I smelled like a carnation field. The flowery aroma was quite strong but, luckily, I was not allergic to the oil. It did not irritate my skin, it must have irritated the nasty flies, though, as they stopped bugging me. I was really glad then. The carnation oil saved me.


New Hand Painted Birthday Card

I made this card for a family member - it is a birthday card with a few words in Polish on the cover.

My Hand Made/Painted Greeting Card - Pattern #2







Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Music ABC: A

I have been thinking of this post series for quite a while. Music has always been important in my life that is why I would like to mention it on my blog too. However, I am not going to write any encyclopedia-like or biography texts because you can easily find it somewhere else. I would rather tell you about the artists/composers that I like/have liked most, used to find them most interesting and on some moments of my life connected with their music.

At the very beginning I need to say that my taste in music has always been quite eclectic and I have enjoyed listening to various kinds of bands, singers - music in general. From classical music to rock and some heavy metal. This may be found unacceptable by many music fans as some people tend to prefer one genre only. I do equally take pleasure in listening to a symphony orchestra and to a hard rock band. The experience is totally different and enjoyable in totally different ways at the same time.
Do not worry, I am not going to talk about each and every artist/group I have listened to - will choose a few considering each letter of the alphabet.

To sum up, from time to time, I will share my music side on the blog, trying not to bore you as well.



The Alan Parsons Project

In 1991 it was still the time when it was not easy to get interesting LPs at music stores in Poland. That is why, while visiting friends in Denmark, I was happy to buy myself one of my most favorite records: 'The Turn of a Friendly Card' by Alan Parsons Project. I had known the music very well and was quite excited about getting the LP. However, my friends had not heard about the group so, when we came back to their place, they kindly offered to listen to the album together.
We did, not talk during the music perception. I liked it of course but, since the friends did not say much about it, somehow, I had a feeling they did not find it as interesting as I did. Well, maybe I was wrong but I was really grateful I could enjoy my LP at once and they were so nice to share it with me.
I bought something else then, but I will mention it in My Music ABC later - when I get to the letter 'P'.



The Animals
'The House of the Rising Sun' , of course, but I much more like 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'.


Accept
Somebody has told me that I must have a twisted personality to listen to such music. They did not know me at all - it was just their judgment. Maybe it was them who were twisted? Well, I still like some of the songs by Accept - let's say many - never liked all of them. 
Metal heart? Maybe - partly only.




 'I'm just a soul whose intentions are good;
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood....'

PS
I forgot to mention Adam & The Ants. Can anybody remember them? Their music was  so full of a positive and jolly spirit.  I also liked their image and the costumes Adam and the band members wore. It was so much more interesting than the girly looks of most of the bands of the 80s! My neighbor - a girl at my age  and of a totally different music taste - hated to hear Adam & The Ants when she popped in to visit me. She usually turned off my cassette recorder then. Anyway, I was quite happy when I got a (second hand) BRAVO magazine, brought by someone from Germany, with a poster of Adam Ant. I found it really cool so, of course, I displayed it in my room. And it stayed there for quite some time...



Follow my Pinterest Music board


Credits
Picture of 'Turn of A Friendly Card' album cover from: http://www.amazon.com/Turn-Friendly-Card-Parsons-Project/dp/B000IOM1Z0/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1450284532&sr=1-1&keywords=the+turn+of+a+friendly+card;
Picture of 'Metal Heart' album cover by Accept: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51tHJHkeA6L.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/METAL-HEART-Accept-ACCEPT/dp/B0014EOW1O/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1450284827&sr=1-3&keywords=metal+heart+accept)
 Quotation from the lyrics 'Don't let me be misunderstood' written by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, and Sol Marcus.
Picture of Adam & The Ants album http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/519xneZiU-L.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/Antmusic-Very-Best-Adam-Ants/dp/B00000INLA/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1450447856&sr=1-2&keywords=adam+and+the+ants)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Secret Santa with Polish Ladies Abroad / Secret Santa z Klubem Polki

This holiday season I have been part of Secret Santa at Polish Ladies Abroad Club. The idea was to send each other small gifts to be open on December 6th. The date was chosen because it is St. Nicholas Day, traditionally observed in Poland. On Dec. 6th, St. Nick brings little items, sweets and fruits to good children. The holiday action has spread in time though and some of us (the Club members) are likely to receive their gifts around Christmas.

I am very happy to tell you that my Secret Santa package arrived yesterday (from a Santa in Germany). He wrote on the envelope: 'Do not open before Christmas', but who could wait so long?!!
What I found inside - see the picture below - such cute chocolates and Christmas socks 'design yourself' set!
I am going to share the sweets with my husband, we will enjoy them at Christmas. My self designed socks are going to be beautiful, not ugly! When I finish decorating them, I will post the picture of my special socks to share it with you.

Thank you Santa!
So much joy your gift has brought!


Pierwszy raz w tym roku uczestniczę w świątecznej 'akcji' Klubu Polki na Obczyźnie zwanej Secret Santa. Jeśli ktoś pamięta z czasów szkolnych losowanie karteczek, komu zrobimy paczkę na Mikołaja, to mniej więcej o to chodzi. Z tą różnicą, że nasz klub to 'Mikołaje' mieszkający na całym świecie, a nie w pobliskim rejonie szkolnym. Poza tym, w odróżnieniu od mikołajek klasowych, nasze są naprawdę 'secret', czyli do samego końca nie wiemy, od kogo przyleci do nas prezencik.

Wczoraj dostałam podarunek od mojego Secret Santa. Gwiazdor napisał na kopercie 'Nie otwierać przed gwiazdką, ale kto by tak długo wytrzymał? Co znalazłam w środku, widać na zdjęciu. Bardzo fikuśne i urocze czekoladki oraz zestaw do kreatywnego ozdobienia świątecznych skarpet. Nie wiem czemu swetry i owe skarpety nazywane są 'ugly' (brzydkie), ja je lubię. A moje skarpety mikołajowe będą piękne!

Czekoladkami podzielę się z mężem - będziemy się nimi delektować w Święta. Po udekorowaniu skarpet od Mikołaja, oczywiście zaprezentuję Wam na blogu rezultat mojej kreatywności.


Dziekuję Mikołaju - Twój podarunek sprawił mi wiele radości!
No i zdobienie przede mną, ale uciecha!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Concert by Institute for Women Conductors

Having been busy with various Christmas projects and everyday life matters, I do not want to miss telling you about a wonderful event we attended at the Dallas Winspear Opera on Saturday, December 5th. It was the final concert of this year edition of the Program by Institute for Women Conductors. We had not heard much about the Institute and its works so when we got the tickets, we did not know what to expect. However, we hoped it would be at least good orchestra music.

The concert was much more than we thought it would be - it was a truly amazing experience. I need to mention, that neither of us had seen women conductors 'in action' before. During the concert six ladies conducted the Dallas Opera Orchestra. Some of the women were a lot more expressive than male conductors happened to be. Anyway, a few instrumental pieces by different composers were presented - great, professional performance meaning both the conductors and the musicians. Besides, each of the lady conductors led the orchestra to accompany the Dallas Opera singers. How beautiful their voices were! I was especially impressed by the resonant sopranos but it was also all the singers who made the performance great. They not only sang but created some mini drama acting as well. It added a lot to the concerto - thanks to the singers' role playing, it had some sad and funny elements too.
It was a night to remember indeed! Next year, we will try to see the concert by the Institute for Women Conductors again.


The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors was founded to support talented female  conductors and help them develop their career.
Last year over one hundred women conductors from twenty-seven applied for the program. Its schedule included (among others) seminars and discussions, conducting the Dallas Opera Orchestra and master classes led by specialists in the field of conducting.

You can read more about the Institute for Women Conductors and its Program here.

If you are a lady conductor (of forty years of age and younger) you can apply now for the next Institute Program edition.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Świąteczne Upominki / Christmas Gifts

To complete the rules of my little Christmas contest, I need to announce that Storyland 14 & Garoterapia - both persons who commented on the post about Kris Kringle - are receiving small gifts from myself.

By the way, I need to share something with you. Yesterday, we received a Christmas gift from my mum. In the package from Poland I found some Polish milk fudge candy (among others). I like them a lot so I am quite happy about the treat, also because I have not eaten the sweets for a few years.

The bag with a picture of Krecik (Little Mole), Czech cartoon character, was sent by my sister. Krecik was a popular bedtime TV cartoon when I was little.



Aby formalnościom stało się zadość, zawiadamiam, że małe upominki obiecane jako nagrody w moim mini konkursie świątecznym, otrzymują Storyland 14 i Garoterapia. Dziękuję za komentarze!

Wszystkim, którzy poświęcili czas na przeczytanie blogowych postów: Boże Narodzenie w Teksasie i Santa Claus alias? również serdecznie dziękuję i życzę Wam przyjemnych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia.

Przy okazji chciałam podzielić się z Wami małą radością. Wczoraj dostałam od mamy w ramach prezentu świątecznego, m.in. krówki mleczne (które ostatni raz jadłam kilka lat temu). Mała rzecz, a cieszy. I to jak! Torba z krecikiem, stanowiąca tło poniższej fotki, to część 'Mikołaja' od siostry. Krecika lubiłam oglądać, było to dawno temu oczywiście, ale sentyment pozostał.


Myślę o zorganizowaniu małej 'rozdawajki' na blogu w styczniu. Kto zainteresowany, zapraszam do czytania styczniowych wpisów 'Gone To Texas".
Pozdrawiam!



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Santas from All Over The World - Part 2

Yesterday I posted the first part of my 'story' about Santas and their helpers in different countries of the world. Here is part #2 and some more info about Christmas gift givers.
 

Italy

Italian Santa - Babbo Natale  - comes with presents for kids on Christmas Eve. Another (female) gift giver, called 'la Befana' arrives on January 6.


Lapland

Joulupukki (accompanied by a reindeer) wears snowshoes. He has many helpers - elves - who are also his assistants. They make toys and check what the good kids would want to get for Christmas. Joulupukki lives in the snowy Lapland countryside and has many reindeer. Of course the animals pull Joulupukki's  sleigh on Christmas Eve.

Luxemburg

St. Nicholas Day is November 6. St. Nick comes at night and puts small gifts into children's slippers. That is why kids put them in front of their bedroom doors on the night of Dec.5. Besides, they also place plates on the table (in the kitchen or dining room) as they hope Saint Nicholas will fill it with some sweet goodies. And he does it of course - if the kids have been good.


New Zealand

Christmas takes place in the summer in this part of the world. Father Christmas wears his usual red robe with fur trim. A traditional Christmas cake in New Zealand is Pavlova - a rich, sweet treat made of baked whipped egg whites and sugar, decorated with fruits and whipped cream.
Christmas Father appears twice a year in New Zealand - second time during the festivities in June (wintertime there).


Norway

In Norway Christmas celebrations start on December 21 at the time of the solstice.
In the old days, Julenisse, an elf-like character, arrived on Christmas Eve and placed bunches of barley in various spots of the homes and farmyards for good luck. Nowadays, he brings straw dolls instead of barley stocks. Only kittens are allowed to watch Julenisse when he arrives with presents.



Poland

St. Nicholas brings small gifts and sweets on December 6 (good children only of course). The ones who have been bad may find a birch lest by St. Nick instead of a nice present.
On Christmas Eve, which is also the day of the main family celebrations, St. Nicholas puts his gifts under the Christmas tree. The gifts are unpacked on the same day, usually after the festive supper.
The name of the Christmas Eve gift bringer varies depending on a region. So, instead of St. Nicholas, you may be met by Starman (who wears a long red robe and a bishop's hat) or an Angel for example.


Portugal

Padre Nicholas/ Pai Natal brings presents on Christmas Eve and leaves them under the Christmas Tree or the shoes placed near the fireplace (if there is one of course).


Romania

Caroling is a popular Christmas season custom in Romania. The carolers' leader usually carries a wooden star attached on a stick. The star is often decorated with a picture of the Holy Family. Romanian Santa, called Moş Crăciun/Moş Nicolae, comes on December 26.


Russia 

In modern times, Russian Died Moroz brings presents for children on New Year's Eve.
According to an old legend, Kolyada (an elf-like, beautiful lady) comes on Christmas Eve to present kids with holiday gifts. To honor her (and to make her arrive faster), children sing songs/carols.
Kolyada is also known as Christmas caroling - a custom observed mainly in villages
In pre-Christian times Kolyada was a winter festival which was later transformed into Christmas.


Scotland

Many centuries ago, Christmas was merrily celebrated in Scotland. Later, Hogmanay/ new Year's Day became a most popular festival. The most important person of Hogmanay is so called The First Footer - the first visitor which happens to visit us on new Year's Day. The person is supposed to bear good luck, that is why they should bring some good luck gifts such as a piece of coal, bread, some money or salt.

 

Sweden

Although Saint Lucy/Lucia is neither a Santa nor a gift giver, she is an important character of the Christmas season in Sweden. Lucia was a Christian virgin and martyr (she lived in the early 4th century). The feast dedicated to her is celebrated on December 13. The day also marks the winter solstice. It is said that, in the old days, in the evening on December 12, St. Lucia, wearing a crown of light, was seen in the snowfields of Sweden. That is why, every year on Dec. 13 Swedish girls, dressed in white robes, wear wreaths of holly and blazing candles on their heads.



Thailand

In Thailand Santa arrives on January 6. His outfit is red, but instead of the white fur trim, it is often decorated with Asian motifs.


  

The Philippines


In The Philippines Christmas season starts on December 16 and lasts till January 6 or the feast of Black Nazarene (Jan. 9) or the feast of the Santo Niño (the third Sunday of January). The Philipino Santa looks like his western relative. However, considering the climate in the Philippines maybe he would feel better in a liter outfit.


  USA

The name Santa Claus comes from the Dutch 'Sinterklaas'. The latter one was brought to the USA by the immigrants from The Netherlands. Later, due to pronunciation differences and mix-ups, Sinterklaas was transformed into Santa Claus.


Wales

The arrival of the Welsh Father Christmas is often proceeded by traditional Christmas songs concerts in which everybody, willing to sing, can participate.



You can read the first part of the 'story' about Santas from All Over The World here.

Happy Holidays!