Ok, folks, I am one big sucker for Christmas.
The Christmas Carols started playing over a month ago. The tree, which has been claimed by my cat Kansas, has been up and creating a warm glow in my living room. The Santa snow ball is out on the table. The crystal figurines of the Blessed Mother are out and shining! My friends have dropped by to visit and share in my joy. My beloved Glass House Tavern is wrapped in the Christmas spirit with lights, music, wreaths and special eggnog!
Being a hopeless voyeur, the apartment buildings across the street offer wonderful glimpses into their decorations. Trees are up and decorated. Menorahs have all been lit for Chanukah and then their are the seculars who absolutely refuse to acknowledge this magical time of light and joy. No questions Santa will not find cookies and milk when he visits.....if he visits them!
While watching my food intake this year, can't help but remember those special Christmas dishes that made our family table groan from the huge number of dishes. My mother would make Lemon Butter (does anyone still make it?), spiced peaches, pickled beets, filling (with cigar ash for good luck), cranberries, mashed potatoes, candied yams, peas, corn, succotash, ambrosia, pecan pies, mince meat pies and pumpkin pies. That, of course, followed the hot cinnamon rolls in the morning as we opened Santa's gifts.
Afterwards the entire extended family would stretch out on available furniture and floors groaning with filled guts. Not, however, so filled that we ignored the left overs which provided an entire evening meal usually with coconut cake.
Never will forget the White Christmas with at least eight inches of drifting snow. Between gifts and the meal my dad hooked our sleighs on the Allis Chalmer tractor and pulled us over the fields and through the woods. It was magical.
Then there was the Christmas after President Kennedy was shot just a month before and my parents went into overdrive to cut through our grief and make sure joy was the rule of the day. President Johnson turn on the lights to the National Christmas Tree on December 23rd which sort of gave the country permission to embrace the holiday despite our intense grief.
No matter what my status economically, health wise or professionally the holiday of Christmas has always been a place of pure joy and happiness.
Merry Christmas Everyone!!! Ho, Ho, Ho!