University of Detroit Mercy Libraries / Instructional Design Studio
James Callow Folklore Archive

Collection Home

About Dr. James T. Callow

Dr. James T. Callow publications


Browse by

Subject heading



Questions or comments on this site? Please email

The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

search for

Content filter is on

Willia (Veeleea) (unsure of spelling)

This is a Polish custom that was brought over from Poland, near
Krakow. On Christmas Eve, we would eat a supper of 12 items,
including fish, pierogi, sour mushroom soup (made with dried
mushrooms), bread, butter, prunes and barley. I can't remember
what else-- except no meat. We did not get presents because we
really did not have money, so there was usually a long table set up
that had straw on it, covered by a white table cloth. Under the
straw, there were pennies, and when it was time, the children put
their hands under the straw and found as many pennies as they
could. We would then go to Christmas Eve Mass, and then go
caroling from house to house. This was the big thing years ago.
We were gone half the night, usually in a horse and buggy. We
would then go back to the house we started at, and eat the ham
which we were now allowed to eat because it was after midnight.
The money that we had gotten from under the straw we used to buy
candy. There was a candy store at the corner of 23 Mile Road, and
when we went back to school we would stop there to buy the candy.

Submitter comment: Because of this "penny tradition," I remember that whenever my
Great Uncle Al came to Grandma's house when we were there, he
always passed out silver dollars to the children. He also did this
when my mom was a little girl. We liked it when he came over
because he gave us the silver dollars, but we could have done
without his cigars.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Mount Clemens

Subject headings: 686 Seconds / Twice / Two
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Table setting and clearing
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Songs, caroling
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 00001920'S

University of Detroit Mercy
4001 W. McNichols Detroit , MI , 48221-3038
This site is endorsed by the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) and supports the views, values, and mission of UDM. The University of Detroit Mercy web site provides links to other web sites, both public and private, for informational purposes. The inclusion of these links on UDM's site does not imply endorsement by the University. Please contact the Instructional Design Studio for any questions regarding this web site.