Christmas Traditions

This may surprise some of you, but yes tomorrow is Christmas day for me. As our Christmas goes, so do our traditions. I’m a bit rusty at explaining them, because some of these traditions are (I think) mainly ours, and I never thought I’d translate them to another language. Even English.

The very first thing that is a must, we always fast the day before Christmas, for us called “Badnje veče” or Christmas eve. So nothing that is of any animal source. Sadly, fish isn’t included, because it’s a water animal, which is discrimination. It’s an animal non the less, but most of the time fish is cooked the day before Christmas or baked beans.

Now bear this with me, this will be very hard to explain, but I’ll show you a few pictures.
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What you see in the picture is dried leaves of various oak trees, with twigs and branches made into some sort of bouquet, which is a tradition to bring this into your house the day before Christmas. It is called a Badnjak, which is why Christmas eve for us is translated Badnje vece, vece means eve.

There is no real translation as to what this truly means, or at least I can’t find the right words, but basically, our story says that on the day that Jesus Christ was born, “badnjak”, plural, were lit in a bonfire to warm the new born baby and his mother. After your lunch, many people, as well as myself and my family, go to church where the bonfire happens. People bring another set of their Badnjak and throw it in the fire and drink boiled wine, sometimes sweetened with honey.

That’s where I came from 20 minutes ago, and I’ll share a picture with you guys.
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There is no real routine on the actual day of Christmas. You wake up, have a toast, and feel merry. Usually, my country bakes some sort of bread;

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Don’t be mistaken, it’s not a cake, it’s just very decorated bread, called “Česnica”. The tradition is to put one coin in it, while you make it, bake it and right before you start your Christmas lunch, all of your family members stand in a circle around the table, spin it in their hands together in the air, and break it apart.
Everyone takes their own piece and whoever get’s the piece with a coin in it, will have the most luck and fortune will come to them throughout the year. And there’s no cheating. Some families who feel that the oldest male in the household should always get it cheat and plan where the coin will be, but my family doesn’t do that.

When I was younger, I almost always got it.

I sure hope that some of these traditions you guys have heard of, or maybe even do them your household. I honestly celebrate Christmas this way because it’s a cozy, nice way to bring my family together and it makes my mom really happy.

Today I tried blackberry wine for the first time and I must say I was amazed. I don’t like alcohol, at all, but if I had to pick one alcoholic drink that I would drink it’s wine. Red wine. I’m having my third glass right now, and that’s saying a lot for me.

I hope you guys are having a nice evening. I am sipping my wine slowly, talking to friends and nibbling on my almonds.

I’ll update you guys tomorrow on my cozy Christmas!

Decorating My Christmas Tree

To me, it’s actually a little bit early in the game. I know it’s December 12th and for those who celebrate Christmas on the 25th, which is in 13 days it’s long overdue probably, but that’s not the case with me.

I celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January, different calendars you know. We should celebrate it on the 25th, because Jesus was born on 25th of December, not the 7th of January but, it’s been like this for a long time. It’s been suggested to make the change, but the reaction isn’t satisfying. I guess that’s fine. Holidays seem to last longer this way. Many around the world start the holiday cheers and decorations as soon as December comes and my country follows, so everything feels Christmassy very very early. The only problem is that the Christmas channels and movies are aired throughout December, and when the time comes for my family to celebrate Christmas, the channels slowly stop, because for the rest the holidays have pretty much ended. This sucks bad, because sometimes you want to sit down and drink hot chocolate and spontaneously stumble upon a Christmas movie, which is rare in January, as suppose to getting your USB cube and watch a movie.

Anyhow, for today it was planned to decorate the house with lights, the Christmas tree and we wanted to try decorating the outside of our house, or the front door with a Christmas arch around it. I don’t think we’ll succeed in that, and not too fascinated with the idea only and I mean only because lights on the arch aren’t included. We don’t have automatic lights, and we don’t have anywhere to plug in the lights and the point of the decorations outside is to make a certain part of the house pop and stand out. That’s beautiful.

This is the time of year where I should be getting really excited and cheerful, especially about decorating the Christmas tree, but for someone reason, this year I’m not feeling it at all.

My mom is usually the most excited person in the room for making the home look very Christmas appropriate, but even she isn’t all that fascinated this year. I’m not sure why, but she definitely won’t let it result in her not decorating at all. To her, it’s not New Years without a tree, but honestly. She still has Some Christmas spirit left, but it’s doom and gloom at the moment.
If you were to ask me anything, at this point I’d just buy a pre-decorated Christmas tree in two different colors, maybe red and silver, or dark blue and silver, place on the 1st of January, just so I’ll have it when time to celebrate Christmas comes.  So the house is not quite bare on such a cozy holiday.

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Well none the less, I pushed that negativity aside and helped mom decorate the tree and it looks really cute and beautiful.

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How do you guys like it? 🙂 All it needs are lot’s and lot’s of presents underneath. I mean, why waste so much room, it’s there for a reason am I right? Preferably labeled “For Marija”. I’m such a great kid.

It’s already half past five, I don’t think anything else will be done to the house tonight. And whatever isn’t done today, won’t be done at all.
I actually feel like laying in bed and falling asleep but I won’t do that. Eating is way more precious.

Have you guys decorated your house yet? Show me pictures please of your Christmas tree if you’ve decorated or when you do decorate it. My mom and I, or well at least I am browsing new ways we can decorate ours. And it’s always nice seeing beautiful Christmas trees. They all are actually.

I hope you guys had a wonderful day. I will head off. I’m going to do some “arts and crafts”, and by that I mean cut pictures out of old magazines and make all types of collages with them. Cheers!

Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Anything worth having, is definitely worth waiting and fighting for.

And I’m not giving up on what I have fought and waited for such a long time.

The wait is a bitch, the loneliness is palpable, but the prize is unmeasurable. 

I needed the encouragement. Apologies for the absence, but life…

Animal Facts You May Not Know… #1

One of my favorite subjects in the entire world. Hours and hours of ”research” – late nights on various sites and wikipedia’s – on animals. All kinds of animals, all types of facts… I’m gonna write multiple posts on this. Tell me if you knew most or any of these.

  1. Cats are the most popular pets in the United states. Over 88 million pet cats. (What better way to start it huh)
  2. Turtles can breath through their butts.
  3. A group of cats is called a clowder.
  4. Cats sleep 70% of their life.
  5. Owning a cat can reduce the risk of a stroke and heart attacks.
  6. Gentoo penguins propose to their life mates with pebbles.
  7. In China, killing a Panda is punishable by death.
  8. Spider’s can’t fly. Praise Jesus… 
  9. Puffins mate for life (Just like penguins). They make their homes on cliff sides and set aside room for their toilet. Isn’t it wonderful when someone naturally mates for life. Ah, L’Amour.

  10. Oysters can actually change gender, depending on which is best for mating.
  11. Seahorses mate for life and when they travel, they hold each other’s tails.
  12. Turritopis nutricula – Immortal jellyfish is the only species known to live forever.
  13. Butterflies taste with their teeth. It makes sense when you think about it. 
  14. Squirrels will adopt other baby squirrels if they’re abandonded. Isn’t that absolutely lovely?! 
  15. Ostriches can run faster than horses and the male ostriches can roar like lions.
  16. Kangaroos use their tails for balance.
  17. On average, there are 50,000 spiders per acre in green areas. God, so help me… 
  18. Fleas can jump up to 200 times their height. This is equivalent to a man jumping the Empire State Building.
  19. A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
  20. There are one million ants for every human being on earth. No worries. These creatures never sleep and they don’t have lungs. So help me! I dislike bugs greatly. 

Adoring My Cats

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They bring me so much joy. Imagine sleeping next to these little cutties.
Animals are the secret to happiness and true love. No one will love you more purely and loyaly as they do. They only seek patience and their love needs to be deserved. An animal will never pretend. She remembers everything you did for her and never fails to thank you. If she doesn’t love you, she doesn’t for a good reason. You didn’t show her why she would and that’s the beauty in it.

“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” ― James Herriot

I know all of my cats love me because of the way they treat me and feel when something is wrong. They come without hesitation and just sit in my lap until I feel better. If I cry, they push their heads against me and look at me. How they feel me when I’m approaching my apartment. Wait in front of the front door and await my arrival and stomp me at the door. When the night falls, as soon as I turn off the lights, they know it’s time to go to bed. They let me lay down first, and they snuggle up all around me or on me. Sleep right next to my head.

It makes me tear up.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ― Anatole France

Love and cherish your pets. Sometimes they’re a better comfort than humans. And they’ll be there for you when no one else will.

Rest In Peace Baby.

I’ve had too much to think and for the first time my mind didn’t drift apart in a sea of sad and depressing stories and possible outcoms in my life. Which are terrifying in any case. But that didn’t last too long…

If I could have one wish of life, I would wish to have a house, a patch of a warm mountain if possible, where I could keep all of the kitties and animals I would save and cherish and take care off. In my post a few weeks ago, I told you guys about a little kitten I found and saved from a trash can right outside my building. I cleaned him, I fed him from my arms, I took him to the vet every week, I gave him medicine, I played with him every day, I checked on him, cuddled with him, gave him lots of liquids and space and yet, he was still struggling for his little life throughout all this time…
He would have good days and then a couple bad where just couldn’t move and refused to eat. I would lay next to him for hours and tried to calm him down, he didn’t want to sleep.

My poor baby’s heart stopped. It just stopped. He didn’t eat anything he could choke on, I didn’t let him near the other cats because he was very weak and fragile and they like to play rough. I came back home and he was gone. My heart stopped and I started crying. I just don’t understand why. The vet we took him too kept saying that he’s struggling with some internal injuries and infections that can be cured. I really thought he was going to make it. He would be fine, he would eat very nicely and he would cuddle up with me and purr and all of a sudden he’d cringe and groan like he was hurting really bad.
Part of me knew that he might die but after a week, I really thought he would be okay.

I feel like I didn’t do something, I feel like it’s partly my fault. I think I did everything I could but maybe I could’ve done just a little bit more. Maybe it would make a difference. I don’t know, I feel awful.
After awhile I just laid on my bed and thought about him and how much I love my other cats and how much I would give to save every little poor animal that’s struggling for his life.
He was just  a little baby, he became my baby.

I don’t understand. Who left him in the garbage can in the first place? How can someone be so cold? You’re not throwing away a hankerchief or an old bottle of spoiled milk, you’re throwing out a little creature that isn’t able to take care of themselves. Just, why? I will never get it. There are other ways to do these kinds of things and maybe if you hadn’t left him in a garbage can that is so deep he can’t escape from it, he might have lived. It’s like they wanted him to die in there. What would’ve happened if I hadn’t found him and took him out? He was a baby…

This isn’t the first time something like this happened. I’ve attempted to save a lot of cats and have saved a lot. There were other cases where the darlings couldn’t survive, but it’s heart breaking every time for me. I hope that each and every one animal that is struggling finds a home or finds a way out, or at the very least, finds her way around my building and my windows, I’ll do whatever I can and they’ll find eternal shelter in my home and heart.

At least my baby isn’t struggling further. Rest in peace… ❤

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