Lauren, an American, found herself living in Hungary for a couple of years. Here’s one of her favorite memories from Christmas there…
In Hungary, they celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. They spend the whole day cooking, and running around the house preparing for family to come over, and friends and neighbors drop in for a drink throughout the day. They put up the Christmas tree together and decorate it on this day, and leave it up until February. On Christmas Eve, they sit around a large family meal served on the inherited special dishes, give gifts, sing carols, and talk until late in the night.
One particular memory really stands out to me. Since I was just a guest in this country, some Hungarian friends invited me over for the Eve festivities.
The mother of the house grows her own Christmas trees, and had been selling them in previous years, so they always pick their own for the living room. As I was frying a mushroom in the kitchen, I heard some noise in the other room and went to witness the commotion. Mother and son had the front door open, attempting to wedge the gigantic tree through it, but it wouldn’t fit. They turned it every which way, but it refused to fit. It was a sight to see.
“What do we do?” I asked, because I wanted to help. They decided it would just have to go through the window! They had large enough windows that it just might fit, so I witnessed this very tall, very wide silver fur be shoved through a window and placed on a stand in the living room.
What a sight! And they had plenty of decorations for the whole thing! I laughed in amazement, and I am sure I will never forget that moment.