As the holiday season approaches, we're setting aside our usual business chatter to welcome you into our cherished family traditions. Join us, your hosts Julie Ball and Renee Gonzalez, as we reveal our intimate holiday celebrations and the ways we keep our family traditions alive no matter the distance.
Julie brings to life her family's long-standing Christmas Eve customs that have their roots in Slovakia and Poland. Get a taste of the unique old-world customs passed down through generations.
Renae shares her family's NYE tradition of exploring the world together as a family! Where have they been and where are they going next? Tune in to find out!
So gather 'round, and let's celebrate the holiday spirit and the joys of tradition together!
So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place.Speaker 2:
I'm Julie Ball and I'm Renee Gonzalez, your host here at Subscription Box.Speaker 1:
Basics a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs wanting to avoid overwhelm, so grab a coffee, some pen and paper and let's have some fun. Oh, hey, everybody, and welcome back to Subscription Box Basics. It is the holidays and I am here with Renee. Yes, we are taking some time off for the holidays, so we're recording this in advance, but the majority of our episodes are all about business, subscription boxes and how to grow your business, personal development, all those things. This we're going to just get a little bit personal and tell you a little bit about some of our holiday traditions. It's going to be super short and sweet, but we thought we'd just let you know what we do as families, right, renee?Speaker 2:
That sounds like a plan. If you are listening to this live, it is airing on Christmas day, so Merry Christmas. And if you are not listening live, or if you don't celebrate Christmas, happy holidays. But yeah, let's dive in and talk about a little bit of what we do. Do you want to go first, julie Sure?Speaker 1:
Yeah, I'll start. So I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, but I grew up near Pittsburgh and so so I'm 44 and I have gone up to Pittsburgh to visit my family Forty two of the 44 years. So at this point, like we have to keep going up there, even though we live eight to ten hour drive away, depending on traffic and depending on body stops and all that. But the two years that we missed one was COVID and then two was the year I was pregnant with McKenna. I had morning sickness and just all day sickness and I just couldn't bear the trip. So we will be going back to Western PA for the holidays and it is one of my favorite things. Christmas Eve for me is my very favorite day of the year, like it is so deeply rooted in tradition in our family, and so I'm going to just give you like a peek behind the scenes of what we do. My family is originally from like the Eastern European region. I was born here, my parents were born here. But you know, if you go back to our roots, that's where we're from, and so we've got Slovak and Polish roots, and so Christmas Eve dinner is this very special day for us and we still celebrate with a lot of those kind of old school, old country traditions. And our Christmas Eve dinner is actually called Veliya and we it's a meatless meal for us. So we do pierogies, we do fish, my family does seafood I don't because I'm allergic, but they'll eat it and then we there's always a soup, so it's like a sauerkraut soup or a pea soup, something very old country. And then we have other foods that are not, that are traditional, but you might not have heard of things like Bulbalki. Bulbalki is like this sweet dough dumpling that has honey and poppy seed on it. It's so delicious, I love it. And then we actually we sit around the table, we say our blessing and then we pass this Christmas wafer around and the word that they use in Eastern Europe is oplutki and so we pass around this. It's some people call it a Christmas waiver. It's just like this thin, flat, tasteless wafer and it's like basically breaking bread. You have this wafer, you break off a piece and pass it to the next person until everyone has the small piece, and then we say Merry Christmas Sometimes we say it in Polish and then we all eat our piece of bread. It's just this tradition. That kind of is like a nod to the old country, and a pletki actually translates to angel bread. So a lot of times there'll be like a picture of the nativity scene or something on it. So then we exchange presents and then on Christmas day we do this like we'll get together and have another meal and exchange presents with other sides of the family. But it is just such a special day for me because it's one of the one days that, like, my whole family is together and I just love the idea of it's 2023 and we're still doing some of these really rooted old traditions from our heritage. Oh big time.Speaker 2:
That's amazing, and quite the contrast from this. I feel like our family is very fortunate that the town we live in, both in sets of grandparents for our girls, are both found. So we see each other year round, which is amazing, but I feel like it takes away in a small sense. We still have a fantastic holiday season, but it does take away some of the specialness of getting weather during the holidays. So that's all. I love those traditions. That's amazing, and then I can tell us a little bit more about what we do too.Speaker 1:
You have a more modern day tradition, we go modern.Speaker 2:
So we, like I just mentioned, have both sets of grandparents in town. My parents literally live across or around the corner from us, and Justin's parents are very close too. So we are very fortunate that girls get to see their grandparents. We get to see our parents all year round. So our between Christmas and New Year's tradition we still get to hang with everyone on Christmas, but we for the last five years, have gone somewhere on vacation Even in 2020, we went camping locally, but we go away as a family of four between Christmas and New Year's, and this year we are switching it up a little bit and we leave Christmas night. So it'll be the first time as a family of four that we are traveling on Christmas night and we're going to London. So I cannot wait. So that is our Christmas tradition as a family of four. We still we wake up, we go Justin's family and we do breakfast, and then sometimes both of our families get together at my parents' house and extended family Like the girl, our siblings, the both aunt and uncles all go to my grandparents' house too. So we're shift or my parents, we're shifting everything up. We still get to see everyone and then we take off in the afternoon to head on an adventure. So, and we've done, oh, we've done New York, we've done Seattle, we've gone camping in 2020. We went to Hawaii the last two years and this will be our first time heading to Europe, so I'm excited.Speaker 1:
What is the one thing? Are there like one or two things this year in London that you're like too excited about?Speaker 2:
I'm really excited we have nothing set in stone for the most part. So that is where which might backfire on us.Speaker 1:
But that's like Wanderlust, but you never know where you're going to end up.Speaker 2:
We have never been. Justin and I have never been to London. We've never, the girls have never been to Europe. And we typically plan a few things, but we figured between, with it being that between the holiday season or between Christmas and New Year's that there'll still be decorations up. So we're just gonna yeah, we're underlasting, we're just gonna walk around. We have a few things where we wanna go, a few things we want to do. We wanna see the London Bridge. We have a couple museums. We wanna go to a couple landmarks we wanna see, but nothing's set in stone and if things don't happen, we might even. We wanna go to Paris. I wanna go to Paris for the day, take the train, but I'm trying to be very realistic because that has been on my bucket list and that has been something that I wanted to do in this year. So I'm trying to also just let it go. And if it doesn't happen, because realistically, like train ticket prices are outrageous, I know we're only there a week, so I'm trying not to completely. I can go off the hinge sometimes and just do things and I'm trying to pull it together and realize it's not just about me, it is about our. We're actually going with the four of us, and then we're meeting another family that lives in our local town too, that we're best friends with one of our best friends. We're meeting them there too. So I'm trying to know the trip's not just about me. So if we go to Paris, we go to Paris. If not, we're gonna be there for New Year's. We're gonna have a great time in London too, that's amazing.Speaker 1:
I love that tradition and we always do New Year's, usually just at our house here in Western NC, and it's fine, like that's okay with me. But man, I'm always like, oh, I wish I could go somewhere this year, and so I've been pitching it to my family.Speaker 2:
I have a subscription box tie-in too. For the last four or five years we've gotten your cheer their New Year's box too, and we take it. I pack it with us, we decorate our hotel room, our trailer. One year we stayed in Hawaii. We were camping in a canvas tent. We decorated our canvas tent. So shout out to your cheer, because they have their New Year's. Now we're subscribers, so we get them off, but for a while I would just get the New Year's box and it's awesome, and we would use it every year to decorate wherever we were going. So that's even a fun tradition too.Speaker 1:
Yeah, I love that. I'm glad you shared that. And, as a matter of fact, McKenna's in the other room, so I have to be somewhat quiet, but I'm subscribing us to Universal Yums for Christmas as a gift. Have you heard of that one? I have heard of that one. Yes, Okay, guys, if you haven't heard of this it is. They send you I think it's monthly, but they send you a monthly snack box from other cultures. So it's say, you want to taste the culture of your roots. So maybe there's a box for Eastern Europe, Maybe there's, I think there's boxes for Asia and there's boxes for different areas of South America. It's just so cool and the snacks I can imagine are so different than what we have here in the States. So I'm really excited about that. And we are homeschoolers so I'm gonna actually tie that into our homeschool as well. So when we get a box from some region, we're gonna do some sort of reading or research about that region. And I know, like we have Disney Plus as a subscription. Look at all these subscriptions tied in.Speaker 2:
Look at all these tie-ins.Speaker 1:
We didn't even mean to do this. So I know that Disney does a lot of like travel style videos where you get to learn about the animals of the region and stuff, and then, of course, national Geographic, like I think they've got a bunch of shows, and so this is gonna be like the year of virtual travel for us and we're gonna start putting together our bucket list. Mckenna has a few on her list already. She wants to go to New York City and she wants to go to Canada, so I was thinking, maybe Niagara Falls?Speaker 2:
Oh, perfect, you can knock them both out, yeah.Speaker 1:
I know we're like putting together this list. Not that it's all gonna happen at once, but it'll have a dream, right? A girl's gonna dream.Speaker 2:
Yeah, yeah, so that's awesome, yeah, so look at us. And we tied it into subscriptions too, so we are good to go, but Perfect. We wanna wish everyone a very happy holiday season, merry Christmas, and we hope whatever you have planned today and for the next few weeks is very special in your own little way, whether it's traditional or modern or just you. And yeah, we'll be back next week with another episode.Speaker 1:
Actually we can say we'll see you next year, right? Oh, yes, see you next year. All right, everybody. Thanks for listening today and we'll see you next year. Bye, bye, ara.