Christmas is right around the corner and we are getting ready to celebrate our Polish/Lithuanian Oplatek Christmas Tradition!
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The best part about Christmas for me is being with family. The traditions that we celebrate are what bring us together and are some of my fondest Christmas memories.
When I was a little girl one of my favorite Christmas traditions was the big open house party that we would throw on Christmas night. The entire family would come as well as friends from near and far.
The kids would congregate in the basement to play games. It wasn’t a fancy finished basement and there wasn’t any heat. We did have a pool table and ping pong table though. That was all we needed to have fun.
The men would celebrate a toast in the kitchen while the ladies gathered around the piano in the dining room. Frank would play every Christmas song he knew as the ladies sang along.
When I run into old friends today they always reminisce about those Christmas parties and all the fun we had.
Another one of my favorite Christmas traditions is our Polish/Lithuanian Oplatek Christmas Tradition. It’s the one Christmas tradition that we have celebrated as long as I can remember.
Oplatek (pronounced Opwatek) is a thin unleavened wafer similar to the host that you get at church. The wafers are usually embossed with religious images. The tradition is to “break bread” with your family and wish each other something nice. (Click here for the history)
We always started with the head of the household which when I was little was my grandfather. He would break a piece of the Oplatek off and then pass it to my grandmother and wish her something nice. Then it would continue around the table with everyone wishing each other kind wishes until it got back to my grandfather.
It’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions today because when we celebrate it, it’s like my grandfather and grandmother are right here with us. It’s also a wonderful way to Celebrate my Heritage.
The most special part about our Oplatek Christmas Tradition this year is that the Oplatek that we will be celebrating with came from our family in Lithuania!
Every year my mom sends a Christmas care package to them and they send one to us! We always look forward to see what goodies will come each year. It usually always includes Oplatek so when we celebrate our tradition it’s like they are with us too!
Do you celebrate the Oplatek Christmas Tradition? I’d love to hear about how you celebrate it. Leave me a comment below!
If you would like to start your own Oplatek Christmas Tradition and don’t know where to get your Oplatek you can actually order it right on Amazon! Here’s the link to one of the packages that we’ve bought in the past.
To help you start your Oplatek Christmas Tradition this is my wish for you. I wish you a very Merry Christmas, good health and a joyous New Year!
Here are some of our favorite Polish and Lithuanian foods to make from my Celebrating Our Heritage Series!