Friday, December 24, 2010


This is Oplatki, a Catholic communion wafer, shared in Polish homes on Christmas Eve.  It's a long standing tradition in Spoke's family. 

When she moved to Dallas, we began to spend our Christmas Eves with Kevin's mother Ellie, and Aunt Millie, her sister-in-law.  The two ladies spent much time together.  (Think a Neil Simon play; that's how they were.)

Until the later years, Ellie would do the cooking for the Christmas Eve dinner.  Of course it was always fish, and since I raved about them the very first time, she'd make Egg Noodles with Poppy Seeds, just for me.  She was like that. 

The Oplatki, often blessed by parish priests, would be waiting on a small china plate and when dinner was ready, Ellie would break the wafers.

You'd be given a piece which you'd offer some of to another person, taking a piece of theirs at the same time.  You'd both eat the wafer as you do at Holy Communion, then hug and wish each other blessings for the coming year.  By tradition, you will break bread with everyone present. 

There may be lumps-in-throats, even tiny tears, as one might get a little sentimental, or come to realize any old issues just melted away. 

Spoke and I would put on a big, romantic show for the ladies when we were sharing our Oplatki.  They got such a kick out of that.

I'm proof that you don't have to be Polish or Catholic to celebrate with Oplatki.  I highly recommend it.  It's quite a warm-fuzzies tradition. 

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