when planning for the high holy feast days form Christmas Eve through to Little Christmas (or Epiphany). I start planning in September (it's easy to remember, my birthday is EXACTLY 3 months before Christmas Day!) and add and subtract ideas all the way to about half-way thru Advent. Christmas is that important to me.
Some traditions we repeat every year ... some are new ... and some are traditions I used to do when I was little but have forgotten or lost track thereof. One of these old traditions just came across my desk this morning: a note from Catholic Company that they are beginning to take pre-orders for Oplatki!
Well then, dear reader, you must NOT be Polish, Czech, Slovak or Lithuanian! Oplatki (also known as oplatke, oplatek, etc) is reminiscent of communion host -- a thin, wafer-like bread whose name means roughly, "angel bread". This is traditionally only served at Christmas with family members sharing a wafer each on Christmas day (or, as we used to, throughout the Christmas season).
My dad's aunt, a Religious Sister of Mercy in Chicago, used to send us the wafers each year. We always added a touch of honey to the wafer, but this may not be capital "T" tradititional. Each wafer came in its own envelope and was stamped with a holy image for the Christmas season -- manger scene, the Holy Family, or star shining over the crib, etc. After saying a brief prayer, Dad would take a bit of the wafer and then pass it on to the next ... and the next ... and so on around the table. The sharing helps us remember that we are all one ... but we need to extend charity to each other. We need to serve and share with each other.
The Oplatki is a tradition I'm planning on resurrecting this year ... and sharing with family and friends to introduce them to this Old World tradition, still meaningful in the 21st century!
moving again ...
5 years ago