Traditions are a good thing. In the funeral industry, we see a lot of different traditions that help guide people through a death. Whether it’s a religious tradition that gives someone’s heart peace or something as simple as gathering photos together for a visitation, when someone we loves dies, we need a purpose to keep going.
I did not realize that the Christmas Eve tradition of the Christmas wafer, Oplatki, was a Polish tradition until I brought my boyfriend (now husband) to my family’s Christmas some ten years ago. Coming from a German background, he had no idea what we were doing. I thought he was nuts.
I love traditions. I think that they give us something to look forward to and something to pass on to the younger generations. In times of confusion, such as a funeral, they give us a reason to keep moving forward. Sometimes you just need to keep busy.
I’m looking forward to Santa coming to my family’s Christmas Eve this year, just like the years passed. After giving the younger kids their gifts, we all sing Christmas carols together before he leaves. It’s created many memories for me and I know my little cousins will have great memories, too.
And my husband has gotten used to the Oplatki. I think it has become a tradition that he enjoys. Something that we will continue to pass on to our kids one day as well.