Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The traditions of Christmas

Do you have family traditions at Christmas? I hope so. They add continuity and joy to the holidays. Our Christmas cookies are a tradition that go back generations. My mother used to bake filled cookies that have evolved into thumbprint cookies with fruit jam or jelly filling the thumbprint embedded in the middle of the cookie like the ones in the picture. My Better Half still bakes thousands of orange cookies and mails a bunch to her brother each year. That recipe came down from the patriarchal branch of her family tree.

"thumb print cookies" & friends
"thumb print cookies" & friends
Photo by J. Harrington

We're considering passing on our usual wreathes on the house and garage this year, since we're getting a new roof next week (we hope); then windows; then siding. I don't expect the siding to get started until next year, but wonder about wear and tear on outside decorations with workmen going back and forth and up and down.

If a Christmas tree can be "overstuffed," ours usually is. Many of the ornaments have special memories associated with them, including some that remind me of dogs we no longer get to share Christmas with. I believe it's possible that a Labrador Retriever was the original Cookie Monster, before the blue guy showed up on Sesame Street. Neither of the older generation's current four-legged cookie monsters are blue, but they do get sad if they don't get a share of our Christmas cookies. They don't understand that chocolate and raisins aren't OK for dogs.

SiSi, my "cookie monster"
SiSi, my "cookie monster"
Photo by J. Harrington


Franco, the Better Half's "cookie monster"
Franco, the Better Half's "cookie monster"
Photo by J. Harrington

Another major tradition that we've had for more than a quarter of a century is that, in our house, Christmas stops at noon. After 12:00 pm it's our son's birthday. The poor guy had the misfortune to be born right on Christmas day so the noon-time start is our solution. He does get separate presents, no doubling up, another tradition we have. I've already written about getting in trouble by not playing the Amy Grant Christmas CD first. We also have a collection of Christmas books we've collected over the year's and pick out a new one each year. This year it's the Christmas Wish.

the Christmas Wish book
the Christmas Wish

I'm looking forward to reading it one of these evenings. Today's Christmas wish for you is that you have, or start, Christmas traditions that make you feel as warm and fuzzy as I am just writing about ours. And, at this time of year, each day we enjoy a

Winter Twilight


Anne Porter 

On a clear winter’s evening
The crescent moon 

And the round squirrels’ nest
In the bare oak 

Are equal planets.


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