Oplatek (pronounced oh-pwa-tek) is a wafer exchanged with a blessing among friends and family on Christmas Eve. It's a Polish tradition that my mom’s family has been doing forever and a very special part of our holidays.
Here’s how it works: Everybody at Christmas Eve gets a piece of oplatek. Then you go around to everyone in the room one by one, take a piece of the other person’s wafer, they take a piece of yours, you exchange a loving thought, blessing or hope and then share a kiss. Doing oplatek was something I looked forward to every year when I was younger. There were always so many of us gathered together at my Babcie and Dziadzia’s (Polish for grandmother and grandfather) house or wherever we were celebrating that year, and it was so special to hear the happy buzz of the room as all everyone milled around.
These days, the amount of love is the same but not the number of people in the room. Since my immediate family moved from Connecticut in 2001, there are only a few of us in Reno to participate. But we can now add a new member to the tradition – Brayden!
This past Christmas was his first experience with oplatek – and he liked it!
My mom, dad, brother and I each took a moment sharing Brayden’s inaugural nibbles.
It was so cute watching him munch on the wafer, and it goes without saying how great his little baby kisses were.
This was obviously an event that took place over the holidays, but I wanted to post it to share this special first with all of you (and especially our family back home in Connecticut). We may be separated by thousands of miles, but our traditions keep us as close as ever.