Customers Crowd Butcher Shop for Christmas Kielbasi

OLYPHANT -- For many of us about to celebrate Christmas, holiday traditions run deep -- often to our family's native country.

In Lackawanna County, customers crowded a butcher shop to prepare for a Polish Christmas tradition.

It's not exactly dreams of sugar plums for the staff at Bosak's Choice Meats in Olyphant. They have another way to know it's almost Christmas.

"If you like stress, it's good!" said Tom Bosak. "We'll be crawling out of here, the whole crew, we'll just be crawling out of here on Saturday."

It's nonstop work from now until the weekend as customers line up for traditional parts of a Christmas dinner.

"The kielbasi, the hams, rib roast, the filets, we're just going to blast through them. We'll go until we sell out," said Bosak.

Ed Diskin came for Kielbasi and pierogies but wasn't expecting to have to wait in line.

"I was wondering what was going on," said Diskin. "I didn't think it was going to be this crowded during the week. I'm surprised."

Bosak's famous smoked kielbasi is by far the best seller, a traditional Christmas dish for Polish families.

"My wife was Polish. I'm Irish. It's a tradition," Diskin explained. "Her traditions were kind of kept on after she passed."

While it's meat that's sold here, customers also take home longstanding memories.

"My kids come over and they sit down and chow down," said Ernest Pawloski.

"Good old horseradish, and salads, and ham. We always get a ham, too. Everybody loves ham," added Joan Pawloski.

The Pawloskis cross county lines to get their Christmas kielbasi, making the half-hour drive from the Wilkes-Barre area.

"It's been the last couple of years. It's an old-fashioned butcher shop and we used to make out own kielbasi, but we're getting too old so we come up here and buy it. We like this one," said Ernest.

A trip worth taking hundreds of families will follow between now and Christmas Eve.