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Oplatki

My mom's side off the family is Polish. So at Christmas we Pwat.

More formally, we share the oplatki, a rectangle of bland wafer meant to echo the Catholic communion ritual. Cracked-off portions await diners on their plates as the meal begins, and the celebration kicks off with everyone exchanging, one-to-one, bits of wafer and wishes of "Merry Christmas."

That's how we were raised, at least, and how any formal Christmas dinners were and still are initiated, sometimes with stated appreciations of those gathered and the blessings we've enjoyed.

But informally, and with increased levels of absurdity and laughter shared among immediate family, like-minded cousins, and girlfriends and guests who might appreciate the mad dash to claim a lion's share of white or pink wafery, we go all in on a land grab.

From our teen years onward, the earnestness of this holiday rite has been skewered with giggles and absurd attempts to subvert the genial sharing. We hold our wafer tightly so only the tiniest corner is accessible to the person we're exchanging with. We do end runs under the shielding hand of the other to crack off bigger chunks of their wafer than we're giving up. We extend arms well beyond the normal courteous reach to break off a chunk from someone far across the table ("Hey, cuz, pwat with ME!").

I think even the dog got in on some pwat action on occasion, earning wedges under the table. (I've learned in recent years that apparently the pink wafer is actually intended for the family pets, so maybe the founding Polish fathers had a less solemn tone in mind in the first place.)

In minutes, a winner emerges, flecks of white and pink marking the trail to their otherwise pristine plate, as they cram the last chunks of the bounty into their mouth.

Yeah, we pwat.

Sports bra and dork shorts

Easter Eggs