Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Countdown - Day 10 - Greece & Poland

Today is a dreary, rainy day - in the 70s!  It is a perfect day to watch a movie, curled up on the couch.  Since we do not own a television, (yes, you read that right) we put a movie on Daddy's computer.  Look at these kiddos completely entranced.  Even our two year old sat still!!!

What could keep their attention like that?  A big, green bear :)  BOZ!  We were watching "A WowieBozowee Christmas.  For those unfamiliar with Boz, he is a lovable big green bear that lives next door to a sweet family, named The Baxters.  Think a combination of Barney and the Bible :)  The kids learn different things depending on the DVD, including the alphabet, counting, etc, but they are great Bible-based DVDs :)  You can check them out at the website.

Our Bible verses today were Matthew 1:22-26.  We then looked at two countries today - Greece and Poland.  The Greeks seem to have a lot of superstitions surrounding Christmas.  For example, they have crosses wrapped in basil, that they dip into holy wear that is then sprinkled around the house - to keep evil spirits away.  These same evil spirits are thought to come in the house via the chimney to spoil the milk and put fires out.  By having a constant fire in the fireplace, these spirits are thought to be kept away, as well.

Poland was where more of our focus was.  The Polish are very particular about how clean everything is on Christmas Day and do major cleaning on the days leading up to the special day.  It is a largely Catholic country.  As such, sustaining from eating meat on Christmas Eve is quite popular.  They have a special meal that night - Wigilia.  It is eaten after the first star appears that night.

To go along with Poland, our book was Wigilia: A Tale about a Polish-American Family on Christmas Eve, by Paulina Karwowska.  This was our first year reading this book.  I'm not crazy about the fact that it has Santa in it.  With that said, it is a wonderful way to teach children about how the Polish families celebrate Christmas.

Our craft was a yearly favorite.  We made delightful cinnamon applesauce ornaments :)  In a plastic ziploc bag, I mix equal amounts of applesauce and cinnamon, with a small amount of glue.  This allows the kids to mix the mixture, without getting real sticky and messy :)  Then they roll them out and cut shapes using cookie cutters.  We put holes in the top, to thread in ribbon, with a straw.  We usually bake the ornaments in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, for about an hour.

For supper, we went with a traditional Polish delight.  Homemade, gluten free pierogies in a Brown Butter Mushroom Sauce.  Unfortunately, I made the pasta a little too thick, but they were still good!  The brown butter mushroom sauce was fantastic!

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