Wigilia (Polish Christmas Eve)


Every Christmas Eve for over 100 years, all of my family members on my mother's side gather together to celebrate. The festivities start with each person getting a wafer. Then we exchange pieces of wafers as we greet each other, and wish each other good health in the coming year. We then eat all of the delicious polish food that everyone has brought. My mom's signature dish is cheese pierogies that everyone loves. Then, one of my older cousins dresses up as Santa and knocks on the door with a sack of presents over his shoulder. My younger cousins usually scream and jump because they get to see the very famous Santa. "Santa" starts calling names, and reading what they have done in that past year, good and bad, and he gives each kid a present. After Santa has to get on his way, the adults and older kids get to have fun. We do an exchange of very corny gifts that usually make their way back from previous years. The most infamous gift is a multicolored fish that nobody can seem to get rid of. At the end of the party, I feel very satisfied with seeing all of my family members that I don't usually see. Everyone always has a good time, and we always walk away with a stupid gift. 

Place(s): New York

– N.G.

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more