Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
It is Christmas Eve afternoon. Not wanting to start any project because we are going to leave at 4:15 for Christmas Mass at 5:00, I was just surfing and an article titled, “I’m Sharing Opłatek With All of You” caught my eye. “Oh my gosh” I said out loud. The picture was of someone “breaking off” a piece of oplatek. Oplatek is unleavened bread, similar to what is used for Communion in the Catholic Church. It is the custom in Poland to have breaking of the bread with your family and wishing them health, happiness and success while doing so. As I read the article, memories of Christmas pass came to mind. Babcia (grandma) offering all of us to take a piece of Oplatek as she wished us a Merry Christmas. In later years, after Babcia passed, my mother took over for her. Her house became the family gathering and everyone that entered had to have a piece of Oplatek. It was family tradition. I have some Oplatek, wrapped in Sarah wrap, in a sealed envelope from those days. I think it is time for me to start the tradition up again. I think I will search the internet for some fresh Oplatek. What family traditions do you remember from your youth? Do you carry them out with your family now?
You can read more on this Polish custom here.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Christmas time. A beautiful time of the year. A time for recalling past Christmas’. But it can also be a hectic. I tend to start early so that I can sit back and relax in front of the tree. Of course, with just the two of us, I don’t do as much baking etc. as I did in the past. Our four daughters have done a great job of taking over that department. They also take turns planning and having the Christmas festivities. We just have to show up. Daughter number 3 posted a picture on Facebook of an angel on her Christmas tree and asked why each of the four girls, their dad and I hung a similar angel on the tree as the last ornament each year. When the girls were small I was wondering the aisles of the YBR store in our town. It carried anything and everything a person needed from groceries to boots to wear doing farm chores. And old mercantile type store straight out of pioneer days. I spotted a box of small angels, six of them, each different. I loved them and purchased them. A tradition was born. Every year from that Christmas on, each of us would hang our angel on the tree as our last ornament. It was my way of showing the girls the true meaning of Christmas. When the girls got their own homes, I gave each of them an Angle.
|Three of the Angles.|
I still have it.
|Fifty two years old this Christmas.|
This is the fifty-second time I have set it up. It is looking a bit worn but it is still very special to me. It reminds me of many Christmas’ past and how many little hands have arranged and re-arranged the pieces. I now own six different nativities and all of them go up every year.
One more tradition we had was going to Mass on Christmas Eve, stopping after church and buying a bottle of wine, going home and hubby making fudge, the old fashioned kind and me making eggnog. Fun times. Hubby still makes the fudge every Christmas, still using the same old fashioned recipe. But now he makes a lot of batches and divides them among 13 grandkids and four daughters and four sons–in-laws.
These are some of our traditions from past years. Do you have traditions that have special meaning in your family? Do you still carry them out, maybe in a different way? Fun time.
Enjoy the weeks before Christmas. But remember the reason for the season.