The Oplatki Tradition and Holiday Wishes

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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.

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12 Responses

  1. I didn’t know Oplatki was a thing until I met Jim’s big Slovak family. Slovak traditions (and food) are a lot like Polish ones. I shall serenade you with my Slovak Christmas carol, yes?

  2. I want to come for Christmas Eve dinner. It sounds delicious!

    I want your wishes to come true too. Cheese sponsorship, cookies, kicking cancer in the balls, travel and a really great job…I am putting in a request to Santa on your behalf.

  3. Those traditions sound like a lot of fun! Are you allowed to make mean wishes on family members you don’t like, hehe?

    As for my 5 wishes:
    1. A professor job for ma’ man
    2. No more seizures for the Boog
    3. Get a publisher for this new writing project I’m working on
    4. Oh and some folks to interview for it, since it’s that kinda book
    5. A nap. Preferably a long one.

    1. LOL You can *secretly* make mean wishes…

      I hope you get your wishes. Those sound like the kind of wishes you totally need. 🙂 I’ll send a message to the wish gods.

  4. You are so awesome. I wish I had some of those traditions… all of thosse traditions. Now that I am a mother I want to have traditions to share with my son. And I also want to wish for world travel too! You are so Fabulous Chrissy!

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