[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Christmas Memories from Sierpc, RusPoland

LMPauling lmpauling at utech.net
Mon Jan 2 16:38:43 PST 2006

I have been working with some of my taped interviews of former residents of 
Sierpc and reread these memories of Christmas celebration. I thought you 
might like to read them too on this 9th Day of Christmas.

This is an interview taped in 1998 with Edmund (born 1912) and Natalie 
Ruppel (born 1915) who lived in the city of Sierpc until January 1945. I am 
typing it just as it was told to me.

Just like Christmas. Everybody will have a Buntetelle they call it. And you 
know, they carry nuts today on. They put all the cookies on, candies, for 
each one, for each person. Only the cake would be for everybody. That would 
be sliced, and bread you know. We all baked our own.

It's very nice. Christmas Eve is very nice. It's a really big holiday, 
Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve to church, and then First day to church, and 
Second Christmas day to church we went. Aber we had home always party too. 
All the family would get together.
First day not. Oh no, there was no parties first day. First day you went to 
church and came home. And the mother or the father would read the book, and 
the children had to sit down and sing and pray. And the second day you came 
to church in the morning. Afternoon was no church. Afternoon you could go 
visit people. The old folks go visit...the young people got together to 
visit. It was party.

Everyone had a Christmas tree and in the church too. Not electric. Burning 
candles. And we don't have bulbs. We had everything made from straw. We made 
from straw that round, and then from silver paper and gold paper wrapping, 
and apples on such a nice little red ones, and cookies hanging, candies, 
chocolate. And it would be all hanged up, maybe by very rich people, not 
this class of people, not this class of people like working people.

We had, each one would have, so much apples, so much chocolate, so much 
candies, so much walnuts wrapped in silver and gold. And for each would be a 
string already wrapped to eat and would be hanging on the Christmas tree. 
Church was papers too. Only candles and white papers. So make lines and put 
on, and would be hanging like icicles.

Children had Christmas Eve they would be singing. That's in the church, you 
know. Every child had a verse to say and it was beautiful.

Even Santa Claus will come in house. Even Inge (their daughter) can tell 
you. She should pray and she don't want pray. Santa Claus will come, and he 
will have big sack, and he will give everybody. And then everybody, the 
children, should say prayer or sing a song. And she should pray, and she 
don't want to pray. And he emptied his bag and put her in. Aber she begged, 
so she will get out, she will pray. And she prayed. She remembers that today 

When I was home, we don't have nothing. Only candles. We took straw, that's 
really from the rye, from the wheat, cut it in pieces. And piece of paper, 
and pieces of straw, and you should see what beautiful things you can make 
for Christmas.

Linda Pauling

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