Friday, December 10, 2010


I am a self professed traditionalist.
I love every aspect of the holidays.
I feel giddy each time a Christmas card arrives in the mail.
I jump like a child each time the delivery truck stops at the house...
even when it's a gift I've ordered for someone else.
I delight in every single Christmas Carol.
My top two:
Bing Crosby's White Christmas
Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd's
Mary Did You Know?

Whenever I hear Bing,
I am immediately transported back to my family's
Christmases past.
It was my Dad's favorite song.
Oh how my Dad wanted to be a singer...
only he couldn't carry a tune.
But he had the heart and soul of a singer.

In my younger years, we would all await the arrival of the fire truck, with Santa on board, in the town square.
A large, beautiful, towering Christmas tree stood proudly awaiting Santa along with us.
Every child received a paper bag of treats, unlike anything
you see today.
It was filled with fresh peanuts in the shells,
cream drops, ribbon candy and a multitude of other sins.
To me, it was better than any haul I could make during Halloween.

I was the youngest of four.
Yes, the baby.  A title I carry proudly!
For many years, my siblings were off
to war, work, college and married life.
I loved helping my Mom with all of her preparations for Christmas.
Waiting for brothers, a sister, sister in laws, a brother in law and many
nieces and nephews was almost as exciting as waiting for Santa to make his appearance.

I need to make a confession here.
My Mom made the best date filled cookies in the world!
It was necessary to refrigerate the dough for these cookies.
My poor Mom would make her double batch of dough and
place it in the refrigerator, only to go back to it
and find most of it gone!
The cookie dough mice enjoyed the chilled dough nearly as much as the cookie itself.
No matter how much she buried (hid) that dough in the fridge,
we would find it and eat it.
How she never strangled us, I will never know.
A mother's Christmas Love, I suppose.

My Mom make GREAT Christmas goodies.  Many of which I try
to carry on to this day.
We had a huge silver tray that Mom would methodically
fill with all of her candies and cookies.
There was only one rule with this bounty.
The youngest grandchild was always the first one to reach out to that tray
to take whatever they liked.
I smile when I recall the squeals of excitement each of my nieces and nephews
let out as they got their chance at being first.

My Mom was brilliant.
After years of trying to do a big Christmas Eve dinner and dealing
with all of the clean up, while children pleaded to open gifts,
she started serving spaghetti for supper.
It was perfectly suited for the holidays and our ancestry.
We are part Sicilian(we are not allowed to say Italian!).
The sauce, in it's ravishing red, fit Christmas perfectly.
And clean up was a snap,
which greatly reduced the amount of whining begging my parents had to listen to.

On Christmas Eve, we exchanged gifts to each other.
Santa's gifts never arrived until Christmas morning.
We spent Christmas Eve, opening gifts,
and eating.
  Oh yes, all of those treats beckoned to us from across the room.
Plus, to those that appreciate it (I wasn't one),
Mom put out the Shrimp Cocktail.
We would laugh and sing the night away.

Christmas morning, we played with whatever Santa brought us.
We'd feast on a huge Turkey with all the fixins'.
To coin a phrase,
it was a wonderful time of year.

We no longer have those big Maddy Christmases.
In fact, we haven't in many, many years.
My Dad passed away this month over twenty years ago.
My siblings have daughters in laws, son in laws and grandchildren galore.
It's not practical anymore.

I miss those days.
They live on in my heart and soul.
These are some of my Christmases past.
These are some of my traditions.

I'd love to hear your Christmas memories and traditions!

1 comment:

Kandi said...

That sounds like a wonderful Family Christmas! Your parents really made it special...we also opened presents Christmas Eve and Santa came Christmas morning. It wouldn't feel right any other way!