The Oplatki Tradition and Holiday Wishes

Every year since before I was born, my family has had a Polish Christmas Eve tradition. We wash our hands with a silver dollar before dinner, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest members of the family. It’s like…the sweetest tradition ever. This is to bring a year of financial goodness for everyone (I’m still waiting for mine to kick in…since 1997…)

My family celebrates Christmas Eve with oplatki and other Polish traditions, granting each other wishes for the coming year.

Then we feast on the Polish delicacies: pierogi (stuffed dumplings), gwumpki (cabbage rolls), kapusta (saurkraut), kielbasa (sausage–even though traditional Polaks don’t eat meat on Christmas Eve), and kolacky (cookies).

After the feast, we bust out one of my favorite parts of the evening: the oplatki (communion-like wafer of goodness). With the oplatki, everyone walks around to the members of the family, and shares with them three wishes and three pieces of their oplatki. When I was a kid, we all hated it. We would try to give Grandpa the biggest pieces, and ask for just the tiniest little bites for ourselves. As we got older, my sister and I would fight over the leftovers.

The thing was, three wishes to each family member can seem…tedious. I wish you happiness. Oplatki I wish you health. Oplatki I wish you lots of money. Oplatki Repeat for each person. From the time I turned 12, my aunt would always wish that I found love. Oplatki And so it would go until everyone had shared wishes with everyone else in a big happy family love sharing wish sharing circle. Oh and they hand fed the oplatki into your mouth, just like communion. (Click that if you’ve never read about my First Communion. Seriously. Go. I’ll wait.)

Anyways, back to wishes… I’ve already told you about my super awesome Christmas List… April, the sassy-pants behind First Time Mom & Dad granted me some wishes. Five of them for the holidays. Here they are in all their beautiful glory.

  1. I wish for the perfect job. One in which I am appreciated as a member of a team. One in which I can ask questions and offer answers/suggestions. One in which I make a decent salary, so that I can take my amazing boyfriend out to a fancy dinner once in a while. One in which I don’t feel worked to the bone, but I want to work hard for. One that makes me feel needed. You hear that, potential employers? I’m looking for the perfect job. Are you it?

  2. I wish for cancer to go away. Someone near and dear to our hearts is battling and I wish for her. To fight it. To beat it.*

  3. I wish for sponsorship from a cheese company. (Come on, we’ve got to lighten things up after the last one!)

  4. I wish for world peace world travel.

  5. I wish for cookies.

Cookie Monster Meme

 What are your 5 wishes?

*Brian’s mom passed away in March of 2013. We still miss her.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Christmas Memory

I’ll bet you’re thinking that I’m going to have some sappy-ass story with a title like “A Christmas Memory.”

Well, you’d be wrong then.

I was thinking about my gram recently. She passed away in 2008, but I still think of her often. Gram had a lot of grandchildren and not a lot of money, so she would usually buy us each one thing off of our Christmas list.

My Christmas list sophomore year of college included the following: Coffee maker, blender, and a backpack with lots of pockets. I was lucky, and managed to get all three from various sources. Gram got me  the backpack. It was a really nice backpack; it had everything I wanted in a backpack.

When I opened it up at Gram’s house I got really really excited. I opened all of the pockets, examined the quality workmanship, and planned out my strategy.

My dad, clever dad that he was, leaned over to me and asked, “Does your grandmother knowwhy she got you a backpack for Christmas?”

“Because I’m a proper college student and needed a backpack to put books in, Daddy.” I said with a sugary sweet voice.

“Don’t try to bullshit a bullshitter, Christine.”

I grinned. While my Gram believed that she was helping her studious granddaughter, my dad knew better. He knew that the backpack would never hold a book in its life (unless it was The Bartender’s Guide to Brilliance.) The backpack would become my Bar Bag of Joy. The pockets were to hold cups, stirrers, snacks, and garnishes. The bag was for the booze and mixers (usually vodka and Diet 7Up. Maybe a few Coronas.)

For the record, the coffee maker was to make coffee (so that I could have Bailey’s and coffee before class) and the blender was to make vodka slushies and mudslides. We didn’t mess around in those days.

Happy Holidays! It’s only going to get more festive around here. Get ready for it.

Christmas Tree

Author’s Note: I’ve decided to try this out a new theme segment. Let me know your thoughts on Monday Memories to Make You Laugh. More so, let me know if you’re interested in participating… I’ll even create a fun button!

Don’t forgot this is the last week to let me know if you want a Christmas card from Brian and I! We’ll be sending them out next week. If you would like one, send your information to quirkychrissy@gmail.com. I’m pretty excited about them.

Also (last thing today, I promise!), if you like my blog, please click below to vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs!

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!