It’s almost that time again! Days are getting longer, it’s crazy-hot outside here at ELC HQ in Melbourne, and everyone is running like crazy getting ready for the silly season to start.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the hectic madness of my day-to-day life—running a business, being a mama, and trying to also fit in some time with friends and extended family, who are possibly still waiting on a reply to that last text… sorry!!
Our family celebrates Christmas, and it is my baby son’s first one, which has me thinking back to my own childhood and family traditions. I LOVE a good holiday tradition, and family is everything to me. My upbringing made me exactly who I am today.
Christmas at our home was always a special time, and my mum created amazing celebrations to mark this time each year, but for us, it was never about presents-- it was about people and love.
We celebrated our traditional holiday dinner on Christmas Eve with all our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, all sharing in cooking the traditional Polish food in the weeks leading up to December 24th. We would all break bread before dinner, then sit down to a home-cooked traditional feast before singing carols, watching Carols by Candlelight, and opening presents.
On Christmas Day, my four sisters and I would open our presents (mum would buy us underwear and socks every year, funny now she is gone how we miss this tradition! You can probably guess what kind of undies I still give my sisters each year.)
We would then have breakfast with her parents (my Babcia and Dziadzia – Polish for Grandma and Grandpa), then we had open house from lunch.
Mum was an incredible hostess and would have the formal dining table decked out with every type of home-made food you could imagine. She prepared it all, with my eldest sister cooking a homemade pudding every year that would be served after dinner.
Mum would keep bringing more and more food out as the day went on, and we would still have leftovers for at least a week afterward. I remember music playing all day, from the Boney M. Christmas album to Michael Buble and even my fave, the Mariah Carey Christmas album (when I could sneak it on).
But one thing that stands out the most to me was how hard my mum worked to make everyone feel included and loved at the holidays, family or not.
We always had neighbours, extended family members, and friends; even our school dance teacher and his partner were there one year. Mum would invite anyone and everyone—if they didn’t have other plans, they came to our house.
Inclusivity to her meant no one was left out. Ever. When I think about it now, I realise that her lessons have permeated every part of me— they’re even part of the driving force of inclusivity behind my business.
She always made it her mission to ensure that everyone was included and could celebrate with love and joy around them.
This was the most important holiday tradition and one of the best lessons she taught us— to value ourselves and everyone around us by practicing active self-love and compassion. Nothing was owed to us, but we did owe all people respect.
Sadly, my mum and grandmother both passed away a number of years ago, but we have carried on the Christmas tradition and celebrate with a smaller family group now.
Continuing these traditions means so much to me, since it’s up to us now to ensure my son gets to have these wonderful memories handed down to him to enjoy just as we did.
Nowadays we go out to a nice restaurant in Melbourne for Christmas Day. But the most important tradition lives on— it’s always an open invitation for anyone to come along with us.
Every year the mix of people is different, but I love knowing that I can carry on Mum’s tradition of making sure that people we know are not celebrating alone.
So this silly season, I’m sending all the ELC love and warmth from our family to yours—wishes for a happy, peaceful holiday surrounded by loved ones. It can be a lonely time for some people, so look in on your neighbour, drop off some cookies for your kid’s dance teacher (store-bought is A-OK), and let’s all take some time to look after each other.
I would love to hear about your childhood traditions and how you have adapted them for your yourself and your family now!
Get in touch on insta @everydaylingerieco!
And if, like us, your family had a tradition of giving undies for Christmas, you can’t do better than these! Check out our full range here.