Happy Holiday Memory

Edith_layton2

Greetings to All and to All a great Holiday memory.

We all look forward to the Holiday season, but most of us flavor our expectations with remembrances of an earlier day. Children, like puppies and kittens, think with their tastebuds and noses. Such memories become indelible.
I suppose that’s why there’s such emotional turmoil in some hearts at the closing of the year.
As for me, I remember my earliest childhood (I had one, really) when each of my neighbors had different reasons for their holiday lights. We were a Norman Rockwell sort of suburbia. We not only tolerated, we loved each other’s festivals.

My best friends, Jimmy and Anne, celebrated different reasons for joy at the dark of the season. And as for me? Well, my family celebrated every holiday that came along.

I’d go next door to Jimmy’s house to watch him play with the newest trains in his ever-growing train set. The living room was vast and dim. At Christmas he had a Christmas tree that went straight up to the ceiling. His train set was nestled in cotton stretched to look like snow at the base of the tree. Ornaments covered the pine needles, and were themselves coated over with tinsel, and I had never seen anything more dazzling in all my life, not even the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. The house smelled of pine and cedar, wood crackling in the fireplace, all overlaid with the scent of dinner in the oven.

Anne’s grandmother did the cooking in their family. Alas, she was a dreadful cook. And so her Chanukah lotkes were almost inedible, her beef needed a hacksaw, and her cookies were dry as the Negev. As were her other Holiday treats. We ate them out of respect. But Anne got gifts too. And she had a menorah lit with candles against the dark of the year, and so even her granny’s ghastly food tasted better by the steady glow of their small clean clear lights. We sang songs, and laughed, and made the house safe and cozy against the night.

My mother hated to cook. How can you celebrate everything if you can’t cook? She did it very nicely, thank you. She was the manager of an exclusive chocolate shop where they made all their own chocolate. So Christmas for me was Santas filled with rich, cremes flavored with maple, rum and berries. We had trees of solid milk or dark. Chocolate Dreidels. Brittle and fudge and truffles. Fat chocolate covered prunes that had been soaked in rum. Peppermint this and jellies of that. Chocolate covered everything! Ah me. I don’t remember what was for dinner. For me, the holidays were a constant desert.

When I grew up and had my own family, I had to invent my own Holiday Feast.
I made it as ecumenical as my upbringing. And so I share with you my recipe for the best ever Winter Solstice meal. I once studied cooking at the China Institute in Manhattan, and I loved French food. Thus – my Boeuf du Chine.

All ingredient sizes are up to the chef.

Take a really good tender beef roast.
Cut into tidy squares. Dredge in flour, and saute on all sides.
Have a huge pot ready to put them in.
In that pot: at least four cans of pure beef broth, a bunch or two of chopped scallions, as much crushed garlic as you like.
At least two handfuls of peeled tiny pearl onions.
6 to 8 carrots, chopped into segments
2 big crispy green peppers, likewise sliced.
And – a few handfuls of dried Chinese Mushrooms, soaked in water until they expand.
Slice them and into the pot they go.
1 cup of good dark soy sauce (Kikkoman is good)
Ditto Beaujolais.
As it cooks, add as much soy sauce and Beaujolais as you like.

Cook and cook and taste, and add. Cook some more until everything is soft and rich, tasting of earth and field, soy sauce and wine.
Serve with a crunchy French bread, potatoes if you want them, a green salad on the side. And more wine of your choice.
(Note to those who abhor alcohol. There is no alcohol content in the stew itself now. It’s all been cooked out.)

The thing is to make a memory to lighten the darkness of the year, and our lives.
I have so many glorious holiday memories. I know you do too.
Do share your favorite with us, please.
I’ll pick a name (blindfolded) and send an autographed copy of one of my Regency Christmas Anthologies to some merry person who posts a memory here.

200 thoughts on “Happy Holiday Memory”

  1. The Christmas Eve parties my parents used to have at their house are among my favorite holiday memories. There was so much anticipation about what was under the tree and all the adults and kids had such a good time.

    Reply
  2. The Christmas Eve parties my parents used to have at their house are among my favorite holiday memories. There was so much anticipation about what was under the tree and all the adults and kids had such a good time.

    Reply
  3. The Christmas Eve parties my parents used to have at their house are among my favorite holiday memories. There was so much anticipation about what was under the tree and all the adults and kids had such a good time.

    Reply
  4. The Christmas Eve parties my parents used to have at their house are among my favorite holiday memories. There was so much anticipation about what was under the tree and all the adults and kids had such a good time.

    Reply
  5. The Christmas Eve parties my parents used to have at their house are among my favorite holiday memories. There was so much anticipation about what was under the tree and all the adults and kids had such a good time.

    Reply
  6. I love the holiday season, full of Hanukkah and Christmas lights, gifts, and, of course, food. One of my favorite Christmas romances is Ms. Layton’s “The Gingerbread Men”. The smell of gingerbread (I think I like the smell even more than I like the gingerbread itself) permeated the story, but what truly lifted it into the realm of the memorable was how well every character was delineated through his/her reaction to gingerbread. The hero’s mistress, for example, sprang (is that a word?) fully formed from the page, and the poignancy of her story lingers with me still. Just goes to show what an expert can do, even within the limited confines of a short story/novella.

    Reply
  7. I love the holiday season, full of Hanukkah and Christmas lights, gifts, and, of course, food. One of my favorite Christmas romances is Ms. Layton’s “The Gingerbread Men”. The smell of gingerbread (I think I like the smell even more than I like the gingerbread itself) permeated the story, but what truly lifted it into the realm of the memorable was how well every character was delineated through his/her reaction to gingerbread. The hero’s mistress, for example, sprang (is that a word?) fully formed from the page, and the poignancy of her story lingers with me still. Just goes to show what an expert can do, even within the limited confines of a short story/novella.

    Reply
  8. I love the holiday season, full of Hanukkah and Christmas lights, gifts, and, of course, food. One of my favorite Christmas romances is Ms. Layton’s “The Gingerbread Men”. The smell of gingerbread (I think I like the smell even more than I like the gingerbread itself) permeated the story, but what truly lifted it into the realm of the memorable was how well every character was delineated through his/her reaction to gingerbread. The hero’s mistress, for example, sprang (is that a word?) fully formed from the page, and the poignancy of her story lingers with me still. Just goes to show what an expert can do, even within the limited confines of a short story/novella.

    Reply
  9. I love the holiday season, full of Hanukkah and Christmas lights, gifts, and, of course, food. One of my favorite Christmas romances is Ms. Layton’s “The Gingerbread Men”. The smell of gingerbread (I think I like the smell even more than I like the gingerbread itself) permeated the story, but what truly lifted it into the realm of the memorable was how well every character was delineated through his/her reaction to gingerbread. The hero’s mistress, for example, sprang (is that a word?) fully formed from the page, and the poignancy of her story lingers with me still. Just goes to show what an expert can do, even within the limited confines of a short story/novella.

    Reply
  10. I love the holiday season, full of Hanukkah and Christmas lights, gifts, and, of course, food. One of my favorite Christmas romances is Ms. Layton’s “The Gingerbread Men”. The smell of gingerbread (I think I like the smell even more than I like the gingerbread itself) permeated the story, but what truly lifted it into the realm of the memorable was how well every character was delineated through his/her reaction to gingerbread. The hero’s mistress, for example, sprang (is that a word?) fully formed from the page, and the poignancy of her story lingers with me still. Just goes to show what an expert can do, even within the limited confines of a short story/novella.

    Reply
  11. I remember baking. When my mother went back to work I was a teenager and I realized that she had little time to bake like she used to so I would bake for weeks before Christmas and freeze everything. The first year that I went away to college I didn’t think about baking but when I got home my mother asks me what ingredients I wanted that year and I realized that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the holidays as much if I didn’t have all that baking to do.

    Reply
  12. I remember baking. When my mother went back to work I was a teenager and I realized that she had little time to bake like she used to so I would bake for weeks before Christmas and freeze everything. The first year that I went away to college I didn’t think about baking but when I got home my mother asks me what ingredients I wanted that year and I realized that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the holidays as much if I didn’t have all that baking to do.

    Reply
  13. I remember baking. When my mother went back to work I was a teenager and I realized that she had little time to bake like she used to so I would bake for weeks before Christmas and freeze everything. The first year that I went away to college I didn’t think about baking but when I got home my mother asks me what ingredients I wanted that year and I realized that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the holidays as much if I didn’t have all that baking to do.

    Reply
  14. I remember baking. When my mother went back to work I was a teenager and I realized that she had little time to bake like she used to so I would bake for weeks before Christmas and freeze everything. The first year that I went away to college I didn’t think about baking but when I got home my mother asks me what ingredients I wanted that year and I realized that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the holidays as much if I didn’t have all that baking to do.

    Reply
  15. I remember baking. When my mother went back to work I was a teenager and I realized that she had little time to bake like she used to so I would bake for weeks before Christmas and freeze everything. The first year that I went away to college I didn’t think about baking but when I got home my mother asks me what ingredients I wanted that year and I realized that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the holidays as much if I didn’t have all that baking to do.

    Reply
  16. Ok, but setting down the pine needles, my upbringing was rather bleak, so holidays are hit or miss. Love Halloween, but the winter holidays were problematic. But I do have one woth passing on – my younger brother was 3, and struggling with belief in Santa, which I really wanted him to have. Christmas found him getting presents, but he was sad and teary. It turned out he’d decided to ‘test’ Santa by ONLY telling Santa the one thing he wanted most. Which was an inexpensive toy typewriter that had pictures on the keys instead of letters so a toddler could string together a sentence or story. (It’s 1978, it wasn’t a hit)
    So my mom got up early on the 26th and I kept him busy so he wouldn’t know she was awake (the old man was passed out, so it was plausible) and she came home with it wrapped, shoved it under the couch and behind some debris (we lived in a house Clean Sweep wouldn’t enter) and then acted like she’d just woken up. He was still kind of wistful, but agreed to help me move some stuff around in the room, which let us have him ‘find’ it. He took a big breath in and whispered “Santa didn’t forget me!!!” He had total faith it would be the typewriter, and it was.
    30 years out he still looks under the furniture before we call the gifting done.

    Reply
  17. Ok, but setting down the pine needles, my upbringing was rather bleak, so holidays are hit or miss. Love Halloween, but the winter holidays were problematic. But I do have one woth passing on – my younger brother was 3, and struggling with belief in Santa, which I really wanted him to have. Christmas found him getting presents, but he was sad and teary. It turned out he’d decided to ‘test’ Santa by ONLY telling Santa the one thing he wanted most. Which was an inexpensive toy typewriter that had pictures on the keys instead of letters so a toddler could string together a sentence or story. (It’s 1978, it wasn’t a hit)
    So my mom got up early on the 26th and I kept him busy so he wouldn’t know she was awake (the old man was passed out, so it was plausible) and she came home with it wrapped, shoved it under the couch and behind some debris (we lived in a house Clean Sweep wouldn’t enter) and then acted like she’d just woken up. He was still kind of wistful, but agreed to help me move some stuff around in the room, which let us have him ‘find’ it. He took a big breath in and whispered “Santa didn’t forget me!!!” He had total faith it would be the typewriter, and it was.
    30 years out he still looks under the furniture before we call the gifting done.

    Reply
  18. Ok, but setting down the pine needles, my upbringing was rather bleak, so holidays are hit or miss. Love Halloween, but the winter holidays were problematic. But I do have one woth passing on – my younger brother was 3, and struggling with belief in Santa, which I really wanted him to have. Christmas found him getting presents, but he was sad and teary. It turned out he’d decided to ‘test’ Santa by ONLY telling Santa the one thing he wanted most. Which was an inexpensive toy typewriter that had pictures on the keys instead of letters so a toddler could string together a sentence or story. (It’s 1978, it wasn’t a hit)
    So my mom got up early on the 26th and I kept him busy so he wouldn’t know she was awake (the old man was passed out, so it was plausible) and she came home with it wrapped, shoved it under the couch and behind some debris (we lived in a house Clean Sweep wouldn’t enter) and then acted like she’d just woken up. He was still kind of wistful, but agreed to help me move some stuff around in the room, which let us have him ‘find’ it. He took a big breath in and whispered “Santa didn’t forget me!!!” He had total faith it would be the typewriter, and it was.
    30 years out he still looks under the furniture before we call the gifting done.

    Reply
  19. Ok, but setting down the pine needles, my upbringing was rather bleak, so holidays are hit or miss. Love Halloween, but the winter holidays were problematic. But I do have one woth passing on – my younger brother was 3, and struggling with belief in Santa, which I really wanted him to have. Christmas found him getting presents, but he was sad and teary. It turned out he’d decided to ‘test’ Santa by ONLY telling Santa the one thing he wanted most. Which was an inexpensive toy typewriter that had pictures on the keys instead of letters so a toddler could string together a sentence or story. (It’s 1978, it wasn’t a hit)
    So my mom got up early on the 26th and I kept him busy so he wouldn’t know she was awake (the old man was passed out, so it was plausible) and she came home with it wrapped, shoved it under the couch and behind some debris (we lived in a house Clean Sweep wouldn’t enter) and then acted like she’d just woken up. He was still kind of wistful, but agreed to help me move some stuff around in the room, which let us have him ‘find’ it. He took a big breath in and whispered “Santa didn’t forget me!!!” He had total faith it would be the typewriter, and it was.
    30 years out he still looks under the furniture before we call the gifting done.

    Reply
  20. Ok, but setting down the pine needles, my upbringing was rather bleak, so holidays are hit or miss. Love Halloween, but the winter holidays were problematic. But I do have one woth passing on – my younger brother was 3, and struggling with belief in Santa, which I really wanted him to have. Christmas found him getting presents, but he was sad and teary. It turned out he’d decided to ‘test’ Santa by ONLY telling Santa the one thing he wanted most. Which was an inexpensive toy typewriter that had pictures on the keys instead of letters so a toddler could string together a sentence or story. (It’s 1978, it wasn’t a hit)
    So my mom got up early on the 26th and I kept him busy so he wouldn’t know she was awake (the old man was passed out, so it was plausible) and she came home with it wrapped, shoved it under the couch and behind some debris (we lived in a house Clean Sweep wouldn’t enter) and then acted like she’d just woken up. He was still kind of wistful, but agreed to help me move some stuff around in the room, which let us have him ‘find’ it. He took a big breath in and whispered “Santa didn’t forget me!!!” He had total faith it would be the typewriter, and it was.
    30 years out he still looks under the furniture before we call the gifting done.

    Reply
  21. Oh, Liz… that tale brought tears to my eyes!
    My own favorite memory is nowhere near as moving. Just me and my brother, maybe 7 and 5 respectively, hiding out behind the Christmas tree, which was in a corner, so there was a nice “secret” space behind it. All the grown-ups were talking about boring grown up stuff, but back there in our piney cave, lit only by the big-bulb tree lights (this was in the days before little twinkling ones hit town), we were having an adventure. Lost in the forest, with only a few scraps to sustain us! Bears! Night! Daaaaaanger!
    We’d supplied ourselves with some odd-shaped chunks of leftover turkey and some foil, and we “cooked” them on the tree lights, whispering the story of our adventure, which we were making up as we went along. The turkey bits got even more dried out then they’d been originally (my mother believed in making sure no germ could possibly survive in anything she fixed), and yet somehow I remember the taste vividly, whereas the dinner they’d come from is completely forgotten. I’m not even sure which aunts and uncles were present that Christmas, but I can still see a little foil packet balanced on the twig above a white tree light as if it were right here before me.
    It would have been a good moment to stop the world.

    Reply
  22. Oh, Liz… that tale brought tears to my eyes!
    My own favorite memory is nowhere near as moving. Just me and my brother, maybe 7 and 5 respectively, hiding out behind the Christmas tree, which was in a corner, so there was a nice “secret” space behind it. All the grown-ups were talking about boring grown up stuff, but back there in our piney cave, lit only by the big-bulb tree lights (this was in the days before little twinkling ones hit town), we were having an adventure. Lost in the forest, with only a few scraps to sustain us! Bears! Night! Daaaaaanger!
    We’d supplied ourselves with some odd-shaped chunks of leftover turkey and some foil, and we “cooked” them on the tree lights, whispering the story of our adventure, which we were making up as we went along. The turkey bits got even more dried out then they’d been originally (my mother believed in making sure no germ could possibly survive in anything she fixed), and yet somehow I remember the taste vividly, whereas the dinner they’d come from is completely forgotten. I’m not even sure which aunts and uncles were present that Christmas, but I can still see a little foil packet balanced on the twig above a white tree light as if it were right here before me.
    It would have been a good moment to stop the world.

    Reply
  23. Oh, Liz… that tale brought tears to my eyes!
    My own favorite memory is nowhere near as moving. Just me and my brother, maybe 7 and 5 respectively, hiding out behind the Christmas tree, which was in a corner, so there was a nice “secret” space behind it. All the grown-ups were talking about boring grown up stuff, but back there in our piney cave, lit only by the big-bulb tree lights (this was in the days before little twinkling ones hit town), we were having an adventure. Lost in the forest, with only a few scraps to sustain us! Bears! Night! Daaaaaanger!
    We’d supplied ourselves with some odd-shaped chunks of leftover turkey and some foil, and we “cooked” them on the tree lights, whispering the story of our adventure, which we were making up as we went along. The turkey bits got even more dried out then they’d been originally (my mother believed in making sure no germ could possibly survive in anything she fixed), and yet somehow I remember the taste vividly, whereas the dinner they’d come from is completely forgotten. I’m not even sure which aunts and uncles were present that Christmas, but I can still see a little foil packet balanced on the twig above a white tree light as if it were right here before me.
    It would have been a good moment to stop the world.

    Reply
  24. Oh, Liz… that tale brought tears to my eyes!
    My own favorite memory is nowhere near as moving. Just me and my brother, maybe 7 and 5 respectively, hiding out behind the Christmas tree, which was in a corner, so there was a nice “secret” space behind it. All the grown-ups were talking about boring grown up stuff, but back there in our piney cave, lit only by the big-bulb tree lights (this was in the days before little twinkling ones hit town), we were having an adventure. Lost in the forest, with only a few scraps to sustain us! Bears! Night! Daaaaaanger!
    We’d supplied ourselves with some odd-shaped chunks of leftover turkey and some foil, and we “cooked” them on the tree lights, whispering the story of our adventure, which we were making up as we went along. The turkey bits got even more dried out then they’d been originally (my mother believed in making sure no germ could possibly survive in anything she fixed), and yet somehow I remember the taste vividly, whereas the dinner they’d come from is completely forgotten. I’m not even sure which aunts and uncles were present that Christmas, but I can still see a little foil packet balanced on the twig above a white tree light as if it were right here before me.
    It would have been a good moment to stop the world.

    Reply
  25. Oh, Liz… that tale brought tears to my eyes!
    My own favorite memory is nowhere near as moving. Just me and my brother, maybe 7 and 5 respectively, hiding out behind the Christmas tree, which was in a corner, so there was a nice “secret” space behind it. All the grown-ups were talking about boring grown up stuff, but back there in our piney cave, lit only by the big-bulb tree lights (this was in the days before little twinkling ones hit town), we were having an adventure. Lost in the forest, with only a few scraps to sustain us! Bears! Night! Daaaaaanger!
    We’d supplied ourselves with some odd-shaped chunks of leftover turkey and some foil, and we “cooked” them on the tree lights, whispering the story of our adventure, which we were making up as we went along. The turkey bits got even more dried out then they’d been originally (my mother believed in making sure no germ could possibly survive in anything she fixed), and yet somehow I remember the taste vividly, whereas the dinner they’d come from is completely forgotten. I’m not even sure which aunts and uncles were present that Christmas, but I can still see a little foil packet balanced on the twig above a white tree light as if it were right here before me.
    It would have been a good moment to stop the world.

    Reply
  26. My favorite memory, year in and year out, is singing–beautiful traditional carols and complex choral pieces. Handel is best of all. Our church is strict about saving the Hallelujah Chorus for Easter, but we’ve done “And the Glory of the Lord” and “Glory to God” for Christmas.
    I’ve got plenty of fond food memories, too, though. I used to make Martha Washington Candy (http://recipes.albertarose.org/holiday/holiday_marthaw_candy.htm)
    every year, but lately I haven’t had time. It’s easy but time-intensive. Maybe I’ll try again this year, though. It’s been too long…

    Reply
  27. My favorite memory, year in and year out, is singing–beautiful traditional carols and complex choral pieces. Handel is best of all. Our church is strict about saving the Hallelujah Chorus for Easter, but we’ve done “And the Glory of the Lord” and “Glory to God” for Christmas.
    I’ve got plenty of fond food memories, too, though. I used to make Martha Washington Candy (http://recipes.albertarose.org/holiday/holiday_marthaw_candy.htm)
    every year, but lately I haven’t had time. It’s easy but time-intensive. Maybe I’ll try again this year, though. It’s been too long…

    Reply
  28. My favorite memory, year in and year out, is singing–beautiful traditional carols and complex choral pieces. Handel is best of all. Our church is strict about saving the Hallelujah Chorus for Easter, but we’ve done “And the Glory of the Lord” and “Glory to God” for Christmas.
    I’ve got plenty of fond food memories, too, though. I used to make Martha Washington Candy (http://recipes.albertarose.org/holiday/holiday_marthaw_candy.htm)
    every year, but lately I haven’t had time. It’s easy but time-intensive. Maybe I’ll try again this year, though. It’s been too long…

    Reply
  29. My favorite memory, year in and year out, is singing–beautiful traditional carols and complex choral pieces. Handel is best of all. Our church is strict about saving the Hallelujah Chorus for Easter, but we’ve done “And the Glory of the Lord” and “Glory to God” for Christmas.
    I’ve got plenty of fond food memories, too, though. I used to make Martha Washington Candy (http://recipes.albertarose.org/holiday/holiday_marthaw_candy.htm)
    every year, but lately I haven’t had time. It’s easy but time-intensive. Maybe I’ll try again this year, though. It’s been too long…

    Reply
  30. My favorite memory, year in and year out, is singing–beautiful traditional carols and complex choral pieces. Handel is best of all. Our church is strict about saving the Hallelujah Chorus for Easter, but we’ve done “And the Glory of the Lord” and “Glory to God” for Christmas.
    I’ve got plenty of fond food memories, too, though. I used to make Martha Washington Candy (http://recipes.albertarose.org/holiday/holiday_marthaw_candy.htm)
    every year, but lately I haven’t had time. It’s easy but time-intensive. Maybe I’ll try again this year, though. It’s been too long…

    Reply
  31. Oh, Liz. Post that there recipe. Please.
    Because, Susan D/C – I love gingerbread. But the truth is that it’s not a personal Christmas memory. I never ever saw it until I was grown.
    And Maya – not pickled! Around here, every market carries the real thing: they’re tiny onions covered with a thin silvery coat that you can peel off. Scrumptous in a stew. (Of course, pickled and popped in gin and vodka ain’t bad, either)

    Reply
  32. Oh, Liz. Post that there recipe. Please.
    Because, Susan D/C – I love gingerbread. But the truth is that it’s not a personal Christmas memory. I never ever saw it until I was grown.
    And Maya – not pickled! Around here, every market carries the real thing: they’re tiny onions covered with a thin silvery coat that you can peel off. Scrumptous in a stew. (Of course, pickled and popped in gin and vodka ain’t bad, either)

    Reply
  33. Oh, Liz. Post that there recipe. Please.
    Because, Susan D/C – I love gingerbread. But the truth is that it’s not a personal Christmas memory. I never ever saw it until I was grown.
    And Maya – not pickled! Around here, every market carries the real thing: they’re tiny onions covered with a thin silvery coat that you can peel off. Scrumptous in a stew. (Of course, pickled and popped in gin and vodka ain’t bad, either)

    Reply
  34. Oh, Liz. Post that there recipe. Please.
    Because, Susan D/C – I love gingerbread. But the truth is that it’s not a personal Christmas memory. I never ever saw it until I was grown.
    And Maya – not pickled! Around here, every market carries the real thing: they’re tiny onions covered with a thin silvery coat that you can peel off. Scrumptous in a stew. (Of course, pickled and popped in gin and vodka ain’t bad, either)

    Reply
  35. Oh, Liz. Post that there recipe. Please.
    Because, Susan D/C – I love gingerbread. But the truth is that it’s not a personal Christmas memory. I never ever saw it until I was grown.
    And Maya – not pickled! Around here, every market carries the real thing: they’re tiny onions covered with a thin silvery coat that you can peel off. Scrumptous in a stew. (Of course, pickled and popped in gin and vodka ain’t bad, either)

    Reply
  36. My favorite childhood holiday memory is of lying under the lighted tree, no one else in the room, and gazing up at the colored jack frost patterns the combination of lights and pine needles made on the ceiling.
    I look for that pattern every year.

    Reply
  37. My favorite childhood holiday memory is of lying under the lighted tree, no one else in the room, and gazing up at the colored jack frost patterns the combination of lights and pine needles made on the ceiling.
    I look for that pattern every year.

    Reply
  38. My favorite childhood holiday memory is of lying under the lighted tree, no one else in the room, and gazing up at the colored jack frost patterns the combination of lights and pine needles made on the ceiling.
    I look for that pattern every year.

    Reply
  39. My favorite childhood holiday memory is of lying under the lighted tree, no one else in the room, and gazing up at the colored jack frost patterns the combination of lights and pine needles made on the ceiling.
    I look for that pattern every year.

    Reply
  40. My favorite childhood holiday memory is of lying under the lighted tree, no one else in the room, and gazing up at the colored jack frost patterns the combination of lights and pine needles made on the ceiling.
    I look for that pattern every year.

    Reply
  41. Wow. I’m hungry now.
    My family will never forget the year my husband and the kids cut down a tree from the Forest Primeval and were unable to get it into the tree stand no matter what. After a whole lot of tree-falling, sticky sap and cussing (a Robinson Christmas wouldn’t be the same without taking the Lord’s name in vain—a lot), he finally brought the chainsaw into the family room, looking a whole lot like Jack Nicholson in the Shining. But he conquered the tree and there was very little blood.

    Reply
  42. Wow. I’m hungry now.
    My family will never forget the year my husband and the kids cut down a tree from the Forest Primeval and were unable to get it into the tree stand no matter what. After a whole lot of tree-falling, sticky sap and cussing (a Robinson Christmas wouldn’t be the same without taking the Lord’s name in vain—a lot), he finally brought the chainsaw into the family room, looking a whole lot like Jack Nicholson in the Shining. But he conquered the tree and there was very little blood.

    Reply
  43. Wow. I’m hungry now.
    My family will never forget the year my husband and the kids cut down a tree from the Forest Primeval and were unable to get it into the tree stand no matter what. After a whole lot of tree-falling, sticky sap and cussing (a Robinson Christmas wouldn’t be the same without taking the Lord’s name in vain—a lot), he finally brought the chainsaw into the family room, looking a whole lot like Jack Nicholson in the Shining. But he conquered the tree and there was very little blood.

    Reply
  44. Wow. I’m hungry now.
    My family will never forget the year my husband and the kids cut down a tree from the Forest Primeval and were unable to get it into the tree stand no matter what. After a whole lot of tree-falling, sticky sap and cussing (a Robinson Christmas wouldn’t be the same without taking the Lord’s name in vain—a lot), he finally brought the chainsaw into the family room, looking a whole lot like Jack Nicholson in the Shining. But he conquered the tree and there was very little blood.

    Reply
  45. Wow. I’m hungry now.
    My family will never forget the year my husband and the kids cut down a tree from the Forest Primeval and were unable to get it into the tree stand no matter what. After a whole lot of tree-falling, sticky sap and cussing (a Robinson Christmas wouldn’t be the same without taking the Lord’s name in vain—a lot), he finally brought the chainsaw into the family room, looking a whole lot like Jack Nicholson in the Shining. But he conquered the tree and there was very little blood.

    Reply
  46. I remember most vividly the year my sister and her husband brought home their baby daughter for us all to meet. We had her baptism and of course the family photo to go with it. i’d made a comment about how the family had grown so much we were going to have to have people stretched out and held up by the others. Sure enough my brothers hoisted me into their arms and held me up while the photo was taken. It’s a fabulous photo, everyone with grins on faces, looking pretty normal except for one young woman stretched out like a playboy centerfold – except she’s clothed!

    Reply
  47. I remember most vividly the year my sister and her husband brought home their baby daughter for us all to meet. We had her baptism and of course the family photo to go with it. i’d made a comment about how the family had grown so much we were going to have to have people stretched out and held up by the others. Sure enough my brothers hoisted me into their arms and held me up while the photo was taken. It’s a fabulous photo, everyone with grins on faces, looking pretty normal except for one young woman stretched out like a playboy centerfold – except she’s clothed!

    Reply
  48. I remember most vividly the year my sister and her husband brought home their baby daughter for us all to meet. We had her baptism and of course the family photo to go with it. i’d made a comment about how the family had grown so much we were going to have to have people stretched out and held up by the others. Sure enough my brothers hoisted me into their arms and held me up while the photo was taken. It’s a fabulous photo, everyone with grins on faces, looking pretty normal except for one young woman stretched out like a playboy centerfold – except she’s clothed!

    Reply
  49. I remember most vividly the year my sister and her husband brought home their baby daughter for us all to meet. We had her baptism and of course the family photo to go with it. i’d made a comment about how the family had grown so much we were going to have to have people stretched out and held up by the others. Sure enough my brothers hoisted me into their arms and held me up while the photo was taken. It’s a fabulous photo, everyone with grins on faces, looking pretty normal except for one young woman stretched out like a playboy centerfold – except she’s clothed!

    Reply
  50. I remember most vividly the year my sister and her husband brought home their baby daughter for us all to meet. We had her baptism and of course the family photo to go with it. i’d made a comment about how the family had grown so much we were going to have to have people stretched out and held up by the others. Sure enough my brothers hoisted me into their arms and held me up while the photo was taken. It’s a fabulous photo, everyone with grins on faces, looking pretty normal except for one young woman stretched out like a playboy centerfold – except she’s clothed!

    Reply
  51. Edith, your post was radiant, brilliant, evanescent, lyrical, and every other superlative. It evoked the holiday spirit so well. What a word-weaver you are! It made me very sentimental. I enjoyed everyone else’s comments, too. Liz, I shed a few tears at your sweet story of the typewriter. And by all means, share your gingerbread recipe!
    I came from a very poor family, with Mom raising us 3 kids by herself, and without child support from the dadster. But our Christmases were always full to the brim, despite our lack of funds, because each year we would get a Christmas basket from the local charity group, with more food than you could possibly eat.
    Our very best Christmas ever was when a college sorority and fraternity got together and “adopted” us. They arrived on Christmas Eve in 3 cars, piled high with presents and cheerful college kids. Mom wept as they carried armload after armload of presents into the house and placed them under the tree. They sang songs as they came and went. They devoured Mom’s spritz cookies by the handful. They hugged everyone and spread so much happiness.
    We had to put the tree stand on a pile of books because there were so many presents they wouldn’t fit under our pathetic little tree! They made Mom open one present right away. It was a bright red apron that had an embroidered devil holding a pitchfork, and emblazoned across the front it said, “To hell with housework!” Mom loved that apron and wore it for years and years!

    Reply
  52. Edith, your post was radiant, brilliant, evanescent, lyrical, and every other superlative. It evoked the holiday spirit so well. What a word-weaver you are! It made me very sentimental. I enjoyed everyone else’s comments, too. Liz, I shed a few tears at your sweet story of the typewriter. And by all means, share your gingerbread recipe!
    I came from a very poor family, with Mom raising us 3 kids by herself, and without child support from the dadster. But our Christmases were always full to the brim, despite our lack of funds, because each year we would get a Christmas basket from the local charity group, with more food than you could possibly eat.
    Our very best Christmas ever was when a college sorority and fraternity got together and “adopted” us. They arrived on Christmas Eve in 3 cars, piled high with presents and cheerful college kids. Mom wept as they carried armload after armload of presents into the house and placed them under the tree. They sang songs as they came and went. They devoured Mom’s spritz cookies by the handful. They hugged everyone and spread so much happiness.
    We had to put the tree stand on a pile of books because there were so many presents they wouldn’t fit under our pathetic little tree! They made Mom open one present right away. It was a bright red apron that had an embroidered devil holding a pitchfork, and emblazoned across the front it said, “To hell with housework!” Mom loved that apron and wore it for years and years!

    Reply
  53. Edith, your post was radiant, brilliant, evanescent, lyrical, and every other superlative. It evoked the holiday spirit so well. What a word-weaver you are! It made me very sentimental. I enjoyed everyone else’s comments, too. Liz, I shed a few tears at your sweet story of the typewriter. And by all means, share your gingerbread recipe!
    I came from a very poor family, with Mom raising us 3 kids by herself, and without child support from the dadster. But our Christmases were always full to the brim, despite our lack of funds, because each year we would get a Christmas basket from the local charity group, with more food than you could possibly eat.
    Our very best Christmas ever was when a college sorority and fraternity got together and “adopted” us. They arrived on Christmas Eve in 3 cars, piled high with presents and cheerful college kids. Mom wept as they carried armload after armload of presents into the house and placed them under the tree. They sang songs as they came and went. They devoured Mom’s spritz cookies by the handful. They hugged everyone and spread so much happiness.
    We had to put the tree stand on a pile of books because there were so many presents they wouldn’t fit under our pathetic little tree! They made Mom open one present right away. It was a bright red apron that had an embroidered devil holding a pitchfork, and emblazoned across the front it said, “To hell with housework!” Mom loved that apron and wore it for years and years!

    Reply
  54. Edith, your post was radiant, brilliant, evanescent, lyrical, and every other superlative. It evoked the holiday spirit so well. What a word-weaver you are! It made me very sentimental. I enjoyed everyone else’s comments, too. Liz, I shed a few tears at your sweet story of the typewriter. And by all means, share your gingerbread recipe!
    I came from a very poor family, with Mom raising us 3 kids by herself, and without child support from the dadster. But our Christmases were always full to the brim, despite our lack of funds, because each year we would get a Christmas basket from the local charity group, with more food than you could possibly eat.
    Our very best Christmas ever was when a college sorority and fraternity got together and “adopted” us. They arrived on Christmas Eve in 3 cars, piled high with presents and cheerful college kids. Mom wept as they carried armload after armload of presents into the house and placed them under the tree. They sang songs as they came and went. They devoured Mom’s spritz cookies by the handful. They hugged everyone and spread so much happiness.
    We had to put the tree stand on a pile of books because there were so many presents they wouldn’t fit under our pathetic little tree! They made Mom open one present right away. It was a bright red apron that had an embroidered devil holding a pitchfork, and emblazoned across the front it said, “To hell with housework!” Mom loved that apron and wore it for years and years!

    Reply
  55. Edith, your post was radiant, brilliant, evanescent, lyrical, and every other superlative. It evoked the holiday spirit so well. What a word-weaver you are! It made me very sentimental. I enjoyed everyone else’s comments, too. Liz, I shed a few tears at your sweet story of the typewriter. And by all means, share your gingerbread recipe!
    I came from a very poor family, with Mom raising us 3 kids by herself, and without child support from the dadster. But our Christmases were always full to the brim, despite our lack of funds, because each year we would get a Christmas basket from the local charity group, with more food than you could possibly eat.
    Our very best Christmas ever was when a college sorority and fraternity got together and “adopted” us. They arrived on Christmas Eve in 3 cars, piled high with presents and cheerful college kids. Mom wept as they carried armload after armload of presents into the house and placed them under the tree. They sang songs as they came and went. They devoured Mom’s spritz cookies by the handful. They hugged everyone and spread so much happiness.
    We had to put the tree stand on a pile of books because there were so many presents they wouldn’t fit under our pathetic little tree! They made Mom open one present right away. It was a bright red apron that had an embroidered devil holding a pitchfork, and emblazoned across the front it said, “To hell with housework!” Mom loved that apron and wore it for years and years!

    Reply
  56. Love your chocolate Christmas, Edith. I’m happy just eating all the homemade cookies my sister’s bake every year.
    I’m the oldest of six kids, so for years I’d be up all night to the wee hours of the morning helping wrap all the gifts hidden around and putting together bikes and toys. Christmas dinner was alternated every year between the grandmothers, but one year we were going to eat home when one became sick last minute, so my mother defrosted a turkey to cook. Last minute she comes home from the hospital and wants my aunts to have Christmas after all. So my mother had this turkey to cook and threw it in the oven while I wrapped along with her and my next oldest sister, father struggling with the bikes. We feasted on turkey and dressing with gravy just after midnight, with leftovers for the kids after Christmas Day. Don’t you know it was the best, juciest turkey ever, and a nice break from the usual craziness in our house Christmas Eve. Christmas Day I didn’t eat much dinner after that, saved room for all those Christmas cookies.

    Reply
  57. Love your chocolate Christmas, Edith. I’m happy just eating all the homemade cookies my sister’s bake every year.
    I’m the oldest of six kids, so for years I’d be up all night to the wee hours of the morning helping wrap all the gifts hidden around and putting together bikes and toys. Christmas dinner was alternated every year between the grandmothers, but one year we were going to eat home when one became sick last minute, so my mother defrosted a turkey to cook. Last minute she comes home from the hospital and wants my aunts to have Christmas after all. So my mother had this turkey to cook and threw it in the oven while I wrapped along with her and my next oldest sister, father struggling with the bikes. We feasted on turkey and dressing with gravy just after midnight, with leftovers for the kids after Christmas Day. Don’t you know it was the best, juciest turkey ever, and a nice break from the usual craziness in our house Christmas Eve. Christmas Day I didn’t eat much dinner after that, saved room for all those Christmas cookies.

    Reply
  58. Love your chocolate Christmas, Edith. I’m happy just eating all the homemade cookies my sister’s bake every year.
    I’m the oldest of six kids, so for years I’d be up all night to the wee hours of the morning helping wrap all the gifts hidden around and putting together bikes and toys. Christmas dinner was alternated every year between the grandmothers, but one year we were going to eat home when one became sick last minute, so my mother defrosted a turkey to cook. Last minute she comes home from the hospital and wants my aunts to have Christmas after all. So my mother had this turkey to cook and threw it in the oven while I wrapped along with her and my next oldest sister, father struggling with the bikes. We feasted on turkey and dressing with gravy just after midnight, with leftovers for the kids after Christmas Day. Don’t you know it was the best, juciest turkey ever, and a nice break from the usual craziness in our house Christmas Eve. Christmas Day I didn’t eat much dinner after that, saved room for all those Christmas cookies.

    Reply
  59. Love your chocolate Christmas, Edith. I’m happy just eating all the homemade cookies my sister’s bake every year.
    I’m the oldest of six kids, so for years I’d be up all night to the wee hours of the morning helping wrap all the gifts hidden around and putting together bikes and toys. Christmas dinner was alternated every year between the grandmothers, but one year we were going to eat home when one became sick last minute, so my mother defrosted a turkey to cook. Last minute she comes home from the hospital and wants my aunts to have Christmas after all. So my mother had this turkey to cook and threw it in the oven while I wrapped along with her and my next oldest sister, father struggling with the bikes. We feasted on turkey and dressing with gravy just after midnight, with leftovers for the kids after Christmas Day. Don’t you know it was the best, juciest turkey ever, and a nice break from the usual craziness in our house Christmas Eve. Christmas Day I didn’t eat much dinner after that, saved room for all those Christmas cookies.

    Reply
  60. Love your chocolate Christmas, Edith. I’m happy just eating all the homemade cookies my sister’s bake every year.
    I’m the oldest of six kids, so for years I’d be up all night to the wee hours of the morning helping wrap all the gifts hidden around and putting together bikes and toys. Christmas dinner was alternated every year between the grandmothers, but one year we were going to eat home when one became sick last minute, so my mother defrosted a turkey to cook. Last minute she comes home from the hospital and wants my aunts to have Christmas after all. So my mother had this turkey to cook and threw it in the oven while I wrapped along with her and my next oldest sister, father struggling with the bikes. We feasted on turkey and dressing with gravy just after midnight, with leftovers for the kids after Christmas Day. Don’t you know it was the best, juciest turkey ever, and a nice break from the usual craziness in our house Christmas Eve. Christmas Day I didn’t eat much dinner after that, saved room for all those Christmas cookies.

    Reply
  61. When my eldest daughter was a toddler we had the In-Laws come for Christmas Day. I’d been Very Restrained about the presents (M-I-L dislikes Christmas and writes checks in lieu of presents), and there were only 4 presents for Daughter under the tree.
    Daughter opened one present, a little doctor kit, and as kids do, she started playing with it and my M-I-L says, “I don’t know why you got her All These Things, you could’ve just given her that ONE and she would’ve been happy!”
    Two days later we traveled across the US to my parents’ house to spend a post-Christmas week with them. Shortly after we arrived my mom started giggling maniacally and bringing down laundry baskets full of presents from upstairs to put under the tree. She staged a whole “Christmas morning” the next day.
    I counted the presents: there were THIRTY presents under the tree for Toddler Daughter, TEN for me and TEN for Husband. Of course Daughter got bored somewhere around present number 15. I thought my head was going to blow up.
    I always say that marriage is like a Permanent Cross-Cultural Experience. That particular Christmas was like a microcosm of the differences between Husband’s family and My family that we have tried to negotiate (not always smoothly) in our marriage.
    I can laugh about it now, sort of!

    Reply
  62. When my eldest daughter was a toddler we had the In-Laws come for Christmas Day. I’d been Very Restrained about the presents (M-I-L dislikes Christmas and writes checks in lieu of presents), and there were only 4 presents for Daughter under the tree.
    Daughter opened one present, a little doctor kit, and as kids do, she started playing with it and my M-I-L says, “I don’t know why you got her All These Things, you could’ve just given her that ONE and she would’ve been happy!”
    Two days later we traveled across the US to my parents’ house to spend a post-Christmas week with them. Shortly after we arrived my mom started giggling maniacally and bringing down laundry baskets full of presents from upstairs to put under the tree. She staged a whole “Christmas morning” the next day.
    I counted the presents: there were THIRTY presents under the tree for Toddler Daughter, TEN for me and TEN for Husband. Of course Daughter got bored somewhere around present number 15. I thought my head was going to blow up.
    I always say that marriage is like a Permanent Cross-Cultural Experience. That particular Christmas was like a microcosm of the differences between Husband’s family and My family that we have tried to negotiate (not always smoothly) in our marriage.
    I can laugh about it now, sort of!

    Reply
  63. When my eldest daughter was a toddler we had the In-Laws come for Christmas Day. I’d been Very Restrained about the presents (M-I-L dislikes Christmas and writes checks in lieu of presents), and there were only 4 presents for Daughter under the tree.
    Daughter opened one present, a little doctor kit, and as kids do, she started playing with it and my M-I-L says, “I don’t know why you got her All These Things, you could’ve just given her that ONE and she would’ve been happy!”
    Two days later we traveled across the US to my parents’ house to spend a post-Christmas week with them. Shortly after we arrived my mom started giggling maniacally and bringing down laundry baskets full of presents from upstairs to put under the tree. She staged a whole “Christmas morning” the next day.
    I counted the presents: there were THIRTY presents under the tree for Toddler Daughter, TEN for me and TEN for Husband. Of course Daughter got bored somewhere around present number 15. I thought my head was going to blow up.
    I always say that marriage is like a Permanent Cross-Cultural Experience. That particular Christmas was like a microcosm of the differences between Husband’s family and My family that we have tried to negotiate (not always smoothly) in our marriage.
    I can laugh about it now, sort of!

    Reply
  64. When my eldest daughter was a toddler we had the In-Laws come for Christmas Day. I’d been Very Restrained about the presents (M-I-L dislikes Christmas and writes checks in lieu of presents), and there were only 4 presents for Daughter under the tree.
    Daughter opened one present, a little doctor kit, and as kids do, she started playing with it and my M-I-L says, “I don’t know why you got her All These Things, you could’ve just given her that ONE and she would’ve been happy!”
    Two days later we traveled across the US to my parents’ house to spend a post-Christmas week with them. Shortly after we arrived my mom started giggling maniacally and bringing down laundry baskets full of presents from upstairs to put under the tree. She staged a whole “Christmas morning” the next day.
    I counted the presents: there were THIRTY presents under the tree for Toddler Daughter, TEN for me and TEN for Husband. Of course Daughter got bored somewhere around present number 15. I thought my head was going to blow up.
    I always say that marriage is like a Permanent Cross-Cultural Experience. That particular Christmas was like a microcosm of the differences between Husband’s family and My family that we have tried to negotiate (not always smoothly) in our marriage.
    I can laugh about it now, sort of!

    Reply
  65. When my eldest daughter was a toddler we had the In-Laws come for Christmas Day. I’d been Very Restrained about the presents (M-I-L dislikes Christmas and writes checks in lieu of presents), and there were only 4 presents for Daughter under the tree.
    Daughter opened one present, a little doctor kit, and as kids do, she started playing with it and my M-I-L says, “I don’t know why you got her All These Things, you could’ve just given her that ONE and she would’ve been happy!”
    Two days later we traveled across the US to my parents’ house to spend a post-Christmas week with them. Shortly after we arrived my mom started giggling maniacally and bringing down laundry baskets full of presents from upstairs to put under the tree. She staged a whole “Christmas morning” the next day.
    I counted the presents: there were THIRTY presents under the tree for Toddler Daughter, TEN for me and TEN for Husband. Of course Daughter got bored somewhere around present number 15. I thought my head was going to blow up.
    I always say that marriage is like a Permanent Cross-Cultural Experience. That particular Christmas was like a microcosm of the differences between Husband’s family and My family that we have tried to negotiate (not always smoothly) in our marriage.
    I can laugh about it now, sort of!

    Reply
  66. One of the best memories I have of Christmas was the year I received a shiny blue petal car. I remember my Mom telling me to open the door and look to see if Santa had left any presents on the porch. There it was, all shiny with a big red bow and I was so overcome with joy that I ran outside without any slippers. LOL

    Reply
  67. One of the best memories I have of Christmas was the year I received a shiny blue petal car. I remember my Mom telling me to open the door and look to see if Santa had left any presents on the porch. There it was, all shiny with a big red bow and I was so overcome with joy that I ran outside without any slippers. LOL

    Reply
  68. One of the best memories I have of Christmas was the year I received a shiny blue petal car. I remember my Mom telling me to open the door and look to see if Santa had left any presents on the porch. There it was, all shiny with a big red bow and I was so overcome with joy that I ran outside without any slippers. LOL

    Reply
  69. One of the best memories I have of Christmas was the year I received a shiny blue petal car. I remember my Mom telling me to open the door and look to see if Santa had left any presents on the porch. There it was, all shiny with a big red bow and I was so overcome with joy that I ran outside without any slippers. LOL

    Reply
  70. One of the best memories I have of Christmas was the year I received a shiny blue petal car. I remember my Mom telling me to open the door and look to see if Santa had left any presents on the porch. There it was, all shiny with a big red bow and I was so overcome with joy that I ran outside without any slippers. LOL

    Reply
  71. I always wanted a pedal car! I actually have a pedal car Xmas ornament I bought myself. (My favorite so far is cooking turkey on the holiday lights. I adore that.) I think what’s interesting about the holiday is that no matter what someone’s holiday is like, someone else can relate to it. I have the in laws that hate Christmas, I’m the overindulgent one, other people responded to us pulling something good out of our hats for my brother, the winter holidays really are the universal ones. And I love bone dry turkey. So all the bad cooks out there can invite me over.

    Reply
  72. I always wanted a pedal car! I actually have a pedal car Xmas ornament I bought myself. (My favorite so far is cooking turkey on the holiday lights. I adore that.) I think what’s interesting about the holiday is that no matter what someone’s holiday is like, someone else can relate to it. I have the in laws that hate Christmas, I’m the overindulgent one, other people responded to us pulling something good out of our hats for my brother, the winter holidays really are the universal ones. And I love bone dry turkey. So all the bad cooks out there can invite me over.

    Reply
  73. I always wanted a pedal car! I actually have a pedal car Xmas ornament I bought myself. (My favorite so far is cooking turkey on the holiday lights. I adore that.) I think what’s interesting about the holiday is that no matter what someone’s holiday is like, someone else can relate to it. I have the in laws that hate Christmas, I’m the overindulgent one, other people responded to us pulling something good out of our hats for my brother, the winter holidays really are the universal ones. And I love bone dry turkey. So all the bad cooks out there can invite me over.

    Reply
  74. I always wanted a pedal car! I actually have a pedal car Xmas ornament I bought myself. (My favorite so far is cooking turkey on the holiday lights. I adore that.) I think what’s interesting about the holiday is that no matter what someone’s holiday is like, someone else can relate to it. I have the in laws that hate Christmas, I’m the overindulgent one, other people responded to us pulling something good out of our hats for my brother, the winter holidays really are the universal ones. And I love bone dry turkey. So all the bad cooks out there can invite me over.

    Reply
  75. I always wanted a pedal car! I actually have a pedal car Xmas ornament I bought myself. (My favorite so far is cooking turkey on the holiday lights. I adore that.) I think what’s interesting about the holiday is that no matter what someone’s holiday is like, someone else can relate to it. I have the in laws that hate Christmas, I’m the overindulgent one, other people responded to us pulling something good out of our hats for my brother, the winter holidays really are the universal ones. And I love bone dry turkey. So all the bad cooks out there can invite me over.

    Reply
  76. Ok, it’s not actually my gingerbread – it’s Marilyn Moore’s from her Wooden Spoon series. If you don’t have at least one of her baking books, you’re deprived. She has a molasses cookie people beg me for with their wallets open and a hand on their heart. And if you’re really into it – I order my spices from Penzey’s – so good. But this year I had to outsource the cooking, all I’ve done is a few key lime pies cause the tree was full.
    Oven 350, greased 8×8
    Bowl one –
    1 3/4 c flour
    1/4 t salt
    1 t baking soda
    1 t ginger (I get a little heavy handed here)
    1/2 t cinnamon
    Bowl two – Cream together
    1/3 c shortening (I use butter)
    1/2 c sugar
    (add in order, blending after each)
    1 large egg
    1/2 c unsulphered molasses (try a new brand)
    1/2 of Bowl One
    1/3 c VERY hot water
    rest of Bowl One
    1/3 c VERY hot water
    Pour into dish, press into corners and bake for 30 min or until lightly springy in center when touched. I serve it with freshly whipped cream, but she serves it with a Vinegar Sauce or a Tart Lemon sauce. It (the vinegar sauce) uses raisins and I think raisins are evil.

    Reply
  77. Ok, it’s not actually my gingerbread – it’s Marilyn Moore’s from her Wooden Spoon series. If you don’t have at least one of her baking books, you’re deprived. She has a molasses cookie people beg me for with their wallets open and a hand on their heart. And if you’re really into it – I order my spices from Penzey’s – so good. But this year I had to outsource the cooking, all I’ve done is a few key lime pies cause the tree was full.
    Oven 350, greased 8×8
    Bowl one –
    1 3/4 c flour
    1/4 t salt
    1 t baking soda
    1 t ginger (I get a little heavy handed here)
    1/2 t cinnamon
    Bowl two – Cream together
    1/3 c shortening (I use butter)
    1/2 c sugar
    (add in order, blending after each)
    1 large egg
    1/2 c unsulphered molasses (try a new brand)
    1/2 of Bowl One
    1/3 c VERY hot water
    rest of Bowl One
    1/3 c VERY hot water
    Pour into dish, press into corners and bake for 30 min or until lightly springy in center when touched. I serve it with freshly whipped cream, but she serves it with a Vinegar Sauce or a Tart Lemon sauce. It (the vinegar sauce) uses raisins and I think raisins are evil.

    Reply
  78. Ok, it’s not actually my gingerbread – it’s Marilyn Moore’s from her Wooden Spoon series. If you don’t have at least one of her baking books, you’re deprived. She has a molasses cookie people beg me for with their wallets open and a hand on their heart. And if you’re really into it – I order my spices from Penzey’s – so good. But this year I had to outsource the cooking, all I’ve done is a few key lime pies cause the tree was full.
    Oven 350, greased 8×8
    Bowl one –
    1 3/4 c flour
    1/4 t salt
    1 t baking soda
    1 t ginger (I get a little heavy handed here)
    1/2 t cinnamon
    Bowl two – Cream together
    1/3 c shortening (I use butter)
    1/2 c sugar
    (add in order, blending after each)
    1 large egg
    1/2 c unsulphered molasses (try a new brand)
    1/2 of Bowl One
    1/3 c VERY hot water
    rest of Bowl One
    1/3 c VERY hot water
    Pour into dish, press into corners and bake for 30 min or until lightly springy in center when touched. I serve it with freshly whipped cream, but she serves it with a Vinegar Sauce or a Tart Lemon sauce. It (the vinegar sauce) uses raisins and I think raisins are evil.

    Reply
  79. Ok, it’s not actually my gingerbread – it’s Marilyn Moore’s from her Wooden Spoon series. If you don’t have at least one of her baking books, you’re deprived. She has a molasses cookie people beg me for with their wallets open and a hand on their heart. And if you’re really into it – I order my spices from Penzey’s – so good. But this year I had to outsource the cooking, all I’ve done is a few key lime pies cause the tree was full.
    Oven 350, greased 8×8
    Bowl one –
    1 3/4 c flour
    1/4 t salt
    1 t baking soda
    1 t ginger (I get a little heavy handed here)
    1/2 t cinnamon
    Bowl two – Cream together
    1/3 c shortening (I use butter)
    1/2 c sugar
    (add in order, blending after each)
    1 large egg
    1/2 c unsulphered molasses (try a new brand)
    1/2 of Bowl One
    1/3 c VERY hot water
    rest of Bowl One
    1/3 c VERY hot water
    Pour into dish, press into corners and bake for 30 min or until lightly springy in center when touched. I serve it with freshly whipped cream, but she serves it with a Vinegar Sauce or a Tart Lemon sauce. It (the vinegar sauce) uses raisins and I think raisins are evil.

    Reply
  80. Ok, it’s not actually my gingerbread – it’s Marilyn Moore’s from her Wooden Spoon series. If you don’t have at least one of her baking books, you’re deprived. She has a molasses cookie people beg me for with their wallets open and a hand on their heart. And if you’re really into it – I order my spices from Penzey’s – so good. But this year I had to outsource the cooking, all I’ve done is a few key lime pies cause the tree was full.
    Oven 350, greased 8×8
    Bowl one –
    1 3/4 c flour
    1/4 t salt
    1 t baking soda
    1 t ginger (I get a little heavy handed here)
    1/2 t cinnamon
    Bowl two – Cream together
    1/3 c shortening (I use butter)
    1/2 c sugar
    (add in order, blending after each)
    1 large egg
    1/2 c unsulphered molasses (try a new brand)
    1/2 of Bowl One
    1/3 c VERY hot water
    rest of Bowl One
    1/3 c VERY hot water
    Pour into dish, press into corners and bake for 30 min or until lightly springy in center when touched. I serve it with freshly whipped cream, but she serves it with a Vinegar Sauce or a Tart Lemon sauce. It (the vinegar sauce) uses raisins and I think raisins are evil.

    Reply
  81. Omg, you guys started me talking about food. Or rather, baking. For the other side of my family we always make Mandel Brate with chocolate and nuts instead of fruit – no one keeps kosher so there is a total war between the Two Schools. My aunt likes a dry and crumbly almost biscotti version with walnuts and chocolate chips – I like a fussy moist version marbled with almond paste, hazelnuts, and darker chocolate.
    My brother says give him a plate of both and let him think it over again.

    Reply
  82. Omg, you guys started me talking about food. Or rather, baking. For the other side of my family we always make Mandel Brate with chocolate and nuts instead of fruit – no one keeps kosher so there is a total war between the Two Schools. My aunt likes a dry and crumbly almost biscotti version with walnuts and chocolate chips – I like a fussy moist version marbled with almond paste, hazelnuts, and darker chocolate.
    My brother says give him a plate of both and let him think it over again.

    Reply
  83. Omg, you guys started me talking about food. Or rather, baking. For the other side of my family we always make Mandel Brate with chocolate and nuts instead of fruit – no one keeps kosher so there is a total war between the Two Schools. My aunt likes a dry and crumbly almost biscotti version with walnuts and chocolate chips – I like a fussy moist version marbled with almond paste, hazelnuts, and darker chocolate.
    My brother says give him a plate of both and let him think it over again.

    Reply
  84. Omg, you guys started me talking about food. Or rather, baking. For the other side of my family we always make Mandel Brate with chocolate and nuts instead of fruit – no one keeps kosher so there is a total war between the Two Schools. My aunt likes a dry and crumbly almost biscotti version with walnuts and chocolate chips – I like a fussy moist version marbled with almond paste, hazelnuts, and darker chocolate.
    My brother says give him a plate of both and let him think it over again.

    Reply
  85. Omg, you guys started me talking about food. Or rather, baking. For the other side of my family we always make Mandel Brate with chocolate and nuts instead of fruit – no one keeps kosher so there is a total war between the Two Schools. My aunt likes a dry and crumbly almost biscotti version with walnuts and chocolate chips – I like a fussy moist version marbled with almond paste, hazelnuts, and darker chocolate.
    My brother says give him a plate of both and let him think it over again.

    Reply
  86. Jackpot! Edith Layton blogging and it involves food and I just emailed you about your Christmas anthologies! Can’t get any better on a snowy day!
    Growing up we celebrated Christmas Eve with the traditional 13 varieties of fish. Fried bacala (cod fish). Steamed mussels made on the stovetop topped by scrambled eggs and parmeggiano regiano cheese and finished off in the oven. Pasta made with a tomato sauce full of stuffed scungli. Jumbo shrimp cocktail in a Lemoncello sauce. Baccala salad. Seafood salad. Stuffed clams. Man am I hungry now!
    That stew sounds marvelous! Can’t wait to try it out.

    Reply
  87. Jackpot! Edith Layton blogging and it involves food and I just emailed you about your Christmas anthologies! Can’t get any better on a snowy day!
    Growing up we celebrated Christmas Eve with the traditional 13 varieties of fish. Fried bacala (cod fish). Steamed mussels made on the stovetop topped by scrambled eggs and parmeggiano regiano cheese and finished off in the oven. Pasta made with a tomato sauce full of stuffed scungli. Jumbo shrimp cocktail in a Lemoncello sauce. Baccala salad. Seafood salad. Stuffed clams. Man am I hungry now!
    That stew sounds marvelous! Can’t wait to try it out.

    Reply
  88. Jackpot! Edith Layton blogging and it involves food and I just emailed you about your Christmas anthologies! Can’t get any better on a snowy day!
    Growing up we celebrated Christmas Eve with the traditional 13 varieties of fish. Fried bacala (cod fish). Steamed mussels made on the stovetop topped by scrambled eggs and parmeggiano regiano cheese and finished off in the oven. Pasta made with a tomato sauce full of stuffed scungli. Jumbo shrimp cocktail in a Lemoncello sauce. Baccala salad. Seafood salad. Stuffed clams. Man am I hungry now!
    That stew sounds marvelous! Can’t wait to try it out.

    Reply
  89. Jackpot! Edith Layton blogging and it involves food and I just emailed you about your Christmas anthologies! Can’t get any better on a snowy day!
    Growing up we celebrated Christmas Eve with the traditional 13 varieties of fish. Fried bacala (cod fish). Steamed mussels made on the stovetop topped by scrambled eggs and parmeggiano regiano cheese and finished off in the oven. Pasta made with a tomato sauce full of stuffed scungli. Jumbo shrimp cocktail in a Lemoncello sauce. Baccala salad. Seafood salad. Stuffed clams. Man am I hungry now!
    That stew sounds marvelous! Can’t wait to try it out.

    Reply
  90. Jackpot! Edith Layton blogging and it involves food and I just emailed you about your Christmas anthologies! Can’t get any better on a snowy day!
    Growing up we celebrated Christmas Eve with the traditional 13 varieties of fish. Fried bacala (cod fish). Steamed mussels made on the stovetop topped by scrambled eggs and parmeggiano regiano cheese and finished off in the oven. Pasta made with a tomato sauce full of stuffed scungli. Jumbo shrimp cocktail in a Lemoncello sauce. Baccala salad. Seafood salad. Stuffed clams. Man am I hungry now!
    That stew sounds marvelous! Can’t wait to try it out.

    Reply
  91. My memory is of all the good food and candy awaiting our tasting; Dad would get out the brown paper bags and put some of each candy in a dish and bring out the Christmas oranges and some pop and we’d have a treat the last few days before Christmas.
    There was pies, cinnamon rolls, cookies and fruit cake also.
    Later, when I left home I’d come home Christmas Eve and run to the tree and dive under to see who had whose name and what gifts lay under the tree.

    Reply
  92. My memory is of all the good food and candy awaiting our tasting; Dad would get out the brown paper bags and put some of each candy in a dish and bring out the Christmas oranges and some pop and we’d have a treat the last few days before Christmas.
    There was pies, cinnamon rolls, cookies and fruit cake also.
    Later, when I left home I’d come home Christmas Eve and run to the tree and dive under to see who had whose name and what gifts lay under the tree.

    Reply
  93. My memory is of all the good food and candy awaiting our tasting; Dad would get out the brown paper bags and put some of each candy in a dish and bring out the Christmas oranges and some pop and we’d have a treat the last few days before Christmas.
    There was pies, cinnamon rolls, cookies and fruit cake also.
    Later, when I left home I’d come home Christmas Eve and run to the tree and dive under to see who had whose name and what gifts lay under the tree.

    Reply
  94. My memory is of all the good food and candy awaiting our tasting; Dad would get out the brown paper bags and put some of each candy in a dish and bring out the Christmas oranges and some pop and we’d have a treat the last few days before Christmas.
    There was pies, cinnamon rolls, cookies and fruit cake also.
    Later, when I left home I’d come home Christmas Eve and run to the tree and dive under to see who had whose name and what gifts lay under the tree.

    Reply
  95. My memory is of all the good food and candy awaiting our tasting; Dad would get out the brown paper bags and put some of each candy in a dish and bring out the Christmas oranges and some pop and we’d have a treat the last few days before Christmas.
    There was pies, cinnamon rolls, cookies and fruit cake also.
    Later, when I left home I’d come home Christmas Eve and run to the tree and dive under to see who had whose name and what gifts lay under the tree.

    Reply
  96. My family has weird traditions- including chili and oyster stew for Christmas Eve supper! We always got together at Grandmother’s on Christmas Eve (beats dragging the kids away from presents on Christmas morning.) My Grandfather wanted oyser stew- a traditional treat ( think Little House on the Prairie) but the kids wouldn’t eat it. So my mom suggested chili for the kids- easy, cheap, and popular for the winter. When the celebration moved to my Mom’s, the menu stayed the same, and now my sister hosts everyone with the same chili and oyster stew. Another tradition- the Scout Reindeer. See, it was hard to get the kids to leave off playing with their cousins when it was time to go home, and so my brother, then a teen-ager, sneaked out to the garage, retrieved the stuffed deer head trophy my dad owned, brought it around to the front of the house and stuck it up through the bushes under the living room window. “Look!” cried my Dad. “it’s the Scout Reindeer! Santa sends him around to check if the kid are in bed, so he can bring their presents.” The kids couldn’t get their coats on fast enough. That was more than thirty years ago, and that moth-eaten deer head will make another appearance around 9:00 on the 24th, this time at the back door of my sister’s house. Some things are just too much fun to give up.. I love Christmas- “it has done me good, and continues to do so, and so I say, God bless it”. Scrooge’s nephew was right!

    Reply
  97. My family has weird traditions- including chili and oyster stew for Christmas Eve supper! We always got together at Grandmother’s on Christmas Eve (beats dragging the kids away from presents on Christmas morning.) My Grandfather wanted oyser stew- a traditional treat ( think Little House on the Prairie) but the kids wouldn’t eat it. So my mom suggested chili for the kids- easy, cheap, and popular for the winter. When the celebration moved to my Mom’s, the menu stayed the same, and now my sister hosts everyone with the same chili and oyster stew. Another tradition- the Scout Reindeer. See, it was hard to get the kids to leave off playing with their cousins when it was time to go home, and so my brother, then a teen-ager, sneaked out to the garage, retrieved the stuffed deer head trophy my dad owned, brought it around to the front of the house and stuck it up through the bushes under the living room window. “Look!” cried my Dad. “it’s the Scout Reindeer! Santa sends him around to check if the kid are in bed, so he can bring their presents.” The kids couldn’t get their coats on fast enough. That was more than thirty years ago, and that moth-eaten deer head will make another appearance around 9:00 on the 24th, this time at the back door of my sister’s house. Some things are just too much fun to give up.. I love Christmas- “it has done me good, and continues to do so, and so I say, God bless it”. Scrooge’s nephew was right!

    Reply
  98. My family has weird traditions- including chili and oyster stew for Christmas Eve supper! We always got together at Grandmother’s on Christmas Eve (beats dragging the kids away from presents on Christmas morning.) My Grandfather wanted oyser stew- a traditional treat ( think Little House on the Prairie) but the kids wouldn’t eat it. So my mom suggested chili for the kids- easy, cheap, and popular for the winter. When the celebration moved to my Mom’s, the menu stayed the same, and now my sister hosts everyone with the same chili and oyster stew. Another tradition- the Scout Reindeer. See, it was hard to get the kids to leave off playing with their cousins when it was time to go home, and so my brother, then a teen-ager, sneaked out to the garage, retrieved the stuffed deer head trophy my dad owned, brought it around to the front of the house and stuck it up through the bushes under the living room window. “Look!” cried my Dad. “it’s the Scout Reindeer! Santa sends him around to check if the kid are in bed, so he can bring their presents.” The kids couldn’t get their coats on fast enough. That was more than thirty years ago, and that moth-eaten deer head will make another appearance around 9:00 on the 24th, this time at the back door of my sister’s house. Some things are just too much fun to give up.. I love Christmas- “it has done me good, and continues to do so, and so I say, God bless it”. Scrooge’s nephew was right!

    Reply
  99. My family has weird traditions- including chili and oyster stew for Christmas Eve supper! We always got together at Grandmother’s on Christmas Eve (beats dragging the kids away from presents on Christmas morning.) My Grandfather wanted oyser stew- a traditional treat ( think Little House on the Prairie) but the kids wouldn’t eat it. So my mom suggested chili for the kids- easy, cheap, and popular for the winter. When the celebration moved to my Mom’s, the menu stayed the same, and now my sister hosts everyone with the same chili and oyster stew. Another tradition- the Scout Reindeer. See, it was hard to get the kids to leave off playing with their cousins when it was time to go home, and so my brother, then a teen-ager, sneaked out to the garage, retrieved the stuffed deer head trophy my dad owned, brought it around to the front of the house and stuck it up through the bushes under the living room window. “Look!” cried my Dad. “it’s the Scout Reindeer! Santa sends him around to check if the kid are in bed, so he can bring their presents.” The kids couldn’t get their coats on fast enough. That was more than thirty years ago, and that moth-eaten deer head will make another appearance around 9:00 on the 24th, this time at the back door of my sister’s house. Some things are just too much fun to give up.. I love Christmas- “it has done me good, and continues to do so, and so I say, God bless it”. Scrooge’s nephew was right!

    Reply
  100. My family has weird traditions- including chili and oyster stew for Christmas Eve supper! We always got together at Grandmother’s on Christmas Eve (beats dragging the kids away from presents on Christmas morning.) My Grandfather wanted oyser stew- a traditional treat ( think Little House on the Prairie) but the kids wouldn’t eat it. So my mom suggested chili for the kids- easy, cheap, and popular for the winter. When the celebration moved to my Mom’s, the menu stayed the same, and now my sister hosts everyone with the same chili and oyster stew. Another tradition- the Scout Reindeer. See, it was hard to get the kids to leave off playing with their cousins when it was time to go home, and so my brother, then a teen-ager, sneaked out to the garage, retrieved the stuffed deer head trophy my dad owned, brought it around to the front of the house and stuck it up through the bushes under the living room window. “Look!” cried my Dad. “it’s the Scout Reindeer! Santa sends him around to check if the kid are in bed, so he can bring their presents.” The kids couldn’t get their coats on fast enough. That was more than thirty years ago, and that moth-eaten deer head will make another appearance around 9:00 on the 24th, this time at the back door of my sister’s house. Some things are just too much fun to give up.. I love Christmas- “it has done me good, and continues to do so, and so I say, God bless it”. Scrooge’s nephew was right!

    Reply
  101. What a wonderful topic! My favorite food-related Christmas memory is kneading Dutch Cake with my dad and little brother. It’s a German, yeast-risen holiday bread, which we had to knead for a long time. It’s so wet that it’s more like a batter than a dough, and we called it “gooping” rather than kneading. My dad would get out the big roasting pan, we’d roll up our sleeves, and then we’d start pulling and tossing the very sticky dough. Six hands in the one pan. Scraping our hands clean and washing up afterward was an endeavor. But the reward was toasted, buttery, cinnamon-topped raisin bread.

    Reply
  102. What a wonderful topic! My favorite food-related Christmas memory is kneading Dutch Cake with my dad and little brother. It’s a German, yeast-risen holiday bread, which we had to knead for a long time. It’s so wet that it’s more like a batter than a dough, and we called it “gooping” rather than kneading. My dad would get out the big roasting pan, we’d roll up our sleeves, and then we’d start pulling and tossing the very sticky dough. Six hands in the one pan. Scraping our hands clean and washing up afterward was an endeavor. But the reward was toasted, buttery, cinnamon-topped raisin bread.

    Reply
  103. What a wonderful topic! My favorite food-related Christmas memory is kneading Dutch Cake with my dad and little brother. It’s a German, yeast-risen holiday bread, which we had to knead for a long time. It’s so wet that it’s more like a batter than a dough, and we called it “gooping” rather than kneading. My dad would get out the big roasting pan, we’d roll up our sleeves, and then we’d start pulling and tossing the very sticky dough. Six hands in the one pan. Scraping our hands clean and washing up afterward was an endeavor. But the reward was toasted, buttery, cinnamon-topped raisin bread.

    Reply
  104. What a wonderful topic! My favorite food-related Christmas memory is kneading Dutch Cake with my dad and little brother. It’s a German, yeast-risen holiday bread, which we had to knead for a long time. It’s so wet that it’s more like a batter than a dough, and we called it “gooping” rather than kneading. My dad would get out the big roasting pan, we’d roll up our sleeves, and then we’d start pulling and tossing the very sticky dough. Six hands in the one pan. Scraping our hands clean and washing up afterward was an endeavor. But the reward was toasted, buttery, cinnamon-topped raisin bread.

    Reply
  105. What a wonderful topic! My favorite food-related Christmas memory is kneading Dutch Cake with my dad and little brother. It’s a German, yeast-risen holiday bread, which we had to knead for a long time. It’s so wet that it’s more like a batter than a dough, and we called it “gooping” rather than kneading. My dad would get out the big roasting pan, we’d roll up our sleeves, and then we’d start pulling and tossing the very sticky dough. Six hands in the one pan. Scraping our hands clean and washing up afterward was an endeavor. But the reward was toasted, buttery, cinnamon-topped raisin bread.

    Reply
  106. I remember decorating the beautiful tree with my mom and when we used to finish – at about 4 AM, we used to dring hot cocoa and eat biscuits 🙂

    Reply
  107. I remember decorating the beautiful tree with my mom and when we used to finish – at about 4 AM, we used to dring hot cocoa and eat biscuits 🙂

    Reply
  108. I remember decorating the beautiful tree with my mom and when we used to finish – at about 4 AM, we used to dring hot cocoa and eat biscuits 🙂

    Reply
  109. I remember decorating the beautiful tree with my mom and when we used to finish – at about 4 AM, we used to dring hot cocoa and eat biscuits 🙂

    Reply
  110. I remember decorating the beautiful tree with my mom and when we used to finish – at about 4 AM, we used to dring hot cocoa and eat biscuits 🙂

    Reply
  111. Scout reindeer! How funny!
    I forgot to mention 2 other holiday traditions in my family. Instead of the usual ham or turkey for Christmas, we start out with homemade French onion soup, put under the broiler so the cheese melts and bubbles over the toast floated on top of the soup. Then we have huge crab Louis salads with fresh crab.
    One year, one of us received a Christmas present decorated with a hideous plastic flower arrangement on the package. It was an avocado green flower with yellow highlights–spectacularly ugly. All during the time we unwrapped our other presents, we kept laughing about that horrid flower.
    The next year, the flower appeared on another family member’s package, much to everyone’s amusement. And the next year, it appeared again. And again. For years and years, until the thing got so old it fell apart. We used to look forward to that flower’s appearance each year, and then laugh like loons whenever the “victim” found it decorating their present.

    Reply
  112. Scout reindeer! How funny!
    I forgot to mention 2 other holiday traditions in my family. Instead of the usual ham or turkey for Christmas, we start out with homemade French onion soup, put under the broiler so the cheese melts and bubbles over the toast floated on top of the soup. Then we have huge crab Louis salads with fresh crab.
    One year, one of us received a Christmas present decorated with a hideous plastic flower arrangement on the package. It was an avocado green flower with yellow highlights–spectacularly ugly. All during the time we unwrapped our other presents, we kept laughing about that horrid flower.
    The next year, the flower appeared on another family member’s package, much to everyone’s amusement. And the next year, it appeared again. And again. For years and years, until the thing got so old it fell apart. We used to look forward to that flower’s appearance each year, and then laugh like loons whenever the “victim” found it decorating their present.

    Reply
  113. Scout reindeer! How funny!
    I forgot to mention 2 other holiday traditions in my family. Instead of the usual ham or turkey for Christmas, we start out with homemade French onion soup, put under the broiler so the cheese melts and bubbles over the toast floated on top of the soup. Then we have huge crab Louis salads with fresh crab.
    One year, one of us received a Christmas present decorated with a hideous plastic flower arrangement on the package. It was an avocado green flower with yellow highlights–spectacularly ugly. All during the time we unwrapped our other presents, we kept laughing about that horrid flower.
    The next year, the flower appeared on another family member’s package, much to everyone’s amusement. And the next year, it appeared again. And again. For years and years, until the thing got so old it fell apart. We used to look forward to that flower’s appearance each year, and then laugh like loons whenever the “victim” found it decorating their present.

    Reply
  114. Scout reindeer! How funny!
    I forgot to mention 2 other holiday traditions in my family. Instead of the usual ham or turkey for Christmas, we start out with homemade French onion soup, put under the broiler so the cheese melts and bubbles over the toast floated on top of the soup. Then we have huge crab Louis salads with fresh crab.
    One year, one of us received a Christmas present decorated with a hideous plastic flower arrangement on the package. It was an avocado green flower with yellow highlights–spectacularly ugly. All during the time we unwrapped our other presents, we kept laughing about that horrid flower.
    The next year, the flower appeared on another family member’s package, much to everyone’s amusement. And the next year, it appeared again. And again. For years and years, until the thing got so old it fell apart. We used to look forward to that flower’s appearance each year, and then laugh like loons whenever the “victim” found it decorating their present.

    Reply
  115. Scout reindeer! How funny!
    I forgot to mention 2 other holiday traditions in my family. Instead of the usual ham or turkey for Christmas, we start out with homemade French onion soup, put under the broiler so the cheese melts and bubbles over the toast floated on top of the soup. Then we have huge crab Louis salads with fresh crab.
    One year, one of us received a Christmas present decorated with a hideous plastic flower arrangement on the package. It was an avocado green flower with yellow highlights–spectacularly ugly. All during the time we unwrapped our other presents, we kept laughing about that horrid flower.
    The next year, the flower appeared on another family member’s package, much to everyone’s amusement. And the next year, it appeared again. And again. For years and years, until the thing got so old it fell apart. We used to look forward to that flower’s appearance each year, and then laugh like loons whenever the “victim” found it decorating their present.

    Reply
  116. Wonderful post, Edith. Put me in the Christmas spirit. (been down sick since Thanksgiving.)
    I came from a very large family (9 kids) and every year us kids would put on a Christmas pageant for all (my parents) to see. One year we did the 12 Days of Christmas song with each of us assigned one or more of the numbers. I’ll never forget our long, long practices to get it just right. My siblings still talk about that abusive older sister who made them sing until they were horse. But the pageant turned out well. It was one of the best.
    Nina, the older sister who still is razzed every time the song is played.

    Reply
  117. Wonderful post, Edith. Put me in the Christmas spirit. (been down sick since Thanksgiving.)
    I came from a very large family (9 kids) and every year us kids would put on a Christmas pageant for all (my parents) to see. One year we did the 12 Days of Christmas song with each of us assigned one or more of the numbers. I’ll never forget our long, long practices to get it just right. My siblings still talk about that abusive older sister who made them sing until they were horse. But the pageant turned out well. It was one of the best.
    Nina, the older sister who still is razzed every time the song is played.

    Reply
  118. Wonderful post, Edith. Put me in the Christmas spirit. (been down sick since Thanksgiving.)
    I came from a very large family (9 kids) and every year us kids would put on a Christmas pageant for all (my parents) to see. One year we did the 12 Days of Christmas song with each of us assigned one or more of the numbers. I’ll never forget our long, long practices to get it just right. My siblings still talk about that abusive older sister who made them sing until they were horse. But the pageant turned out well. It was one of the best.
    Nina, the older sister who still is razzed every time the song is played.

    Reply
  119. Wonderful post, Edith. Put me in the Christmas spirit. (been down sick since Thanksgiving.)
    I came from a very large family (9 kids) and every year us kids would put on a Christmas pageant for all (my parents) to see. One year we did the 12 Days of Christmas song with each of us assigned one or more of the numbers. I’ll never forget our long, long practices to get it just right. My siblings still talk about that abusive older sister who made them sing until they were horse. But the pageant turned out well. It was one of the best.
    Nina, the older sister who still is razzed every time the song is played.

    Reply
  120. Wonderful post, Edith. Put me in the Christmas spirit. (been down sick since Thanksgiving.)
    I came from a very large family (9 kids) and every year us kids would put on a Christmas pageant for all (my parents) to see. One year we did the 12 Days of Christmas song with each of us assigned one or more of the numbers. I’ll never forget our long, long practices to get it just right. My siblings still talk about that abusive older sister who made them sing until they were horse. But the pageant turned out well. It was one of the best.
    Nina, the older sister who still is razzed every time the song is played.

    Reply
  121. I love doing lots of finger foods one of my favorites and easy is the pinapple ham finger sandwhich. cut all corners off bread then cut in the middle. Drain juice out of crushed pinapple then mix with cream cheese you want 3 parts cream cheese to 1 part pinapple crumble some bacon in the ream cheese and mix in pinapply spread on both sides of bread and ham in the middle. Yum! as for the chocolate shop i could never work there i’m a total chocholic

    Reply
  122. I love doing lots of finger foods one of my favorites and easy is the pinapple ham finger sandwhich. cut all corners off bread then cut in the middle. Drain juice out of crushed pinapple then mix with cream cheese you want 3 parts cream cheese to 1 part pinapple crumble some bacon in the ream cheese and mix in pinapply spread on both sides of bread and ham in the middle. Yum! as for the chocolate shop i could never work there i’m a total chocholic

    Reply
  123. I love doing lots of finger foods one of my favorites and easy is the pinapple ham finger sandwhich. cut all corners off bread then cut in the middle. Drain juice out of crushed pinapple then mix with cream cheese you want 3 parts cream cheese to 1 part pinapple crumble some bacon in the ream cheese and mix in pinapply spread on both sides of bread and ham in the middle. Yum! as for the chocolate shop i could never work there i’m a total chocholic

    Reply
  124. I love doing lots of finger foods one of my favorites and easy is the pinapple ham finger sandwhich. cut all corners off bread then cut in the middle. Drain juice out of crushed pinapple then mix with cream cheese you want 3 parts cream cheese to 1 part pinapple crumble some bacon in the ream cheese and mix in pinapply spread on both sides of bread and ham in the middle. Yum! as for the chocolate shop i could never work there i’m a total chocholic

    Reply
  125. I love doing lots of finger foods one of my favorites and easy is the pinapple ham finger sandwhich. cut all corners off bread then cut in the middle. Drain juice out of crushed pinapple then mix with cream cheese you want 3 parts cream cheese to 1 part pinapple crumble some bacon in the ream cheese and mix in pinapply spread on both sides of bread and ham in the middle. Yum! as for the chocolate shop i could never work there i’m a total chocholic

    Reply
  126. My happiest memory is when I got a cat (wild feral barn cat lol) when I was in grade school. My parents were not really animal people and I had begged for years and years and years. There’s a long story to that cat but I’ll just say taking care of ferals and strays is now a big part of my life. (I have 7 inside cats and 5 (at the moment) outside cats.

    Reply
  127. My happiest memory is when I got a cat (wild feral barn cat lol) when I was in grade school. My parents were not really animal people and I had begged for years and years and years. There’s a long story to that cat but I’ll just say taking care of ferals and strays is now a big part of my life. (I have 7 inside cats and 5 (at the moment) outside cats.

    Reply
  128. My happiest memory is when I got a cat (wild feral barn cat lol) when I was in grade school. My parents were not really animal people and I had begged for years and years and years. There’s a long story to that cat but I’ll just say taking care of ferals and strays is now a big part of my life. (I have 7 inside cats and 5 (at the moment) outside cats.

    Reply
  129. My happiest memory is when I got a cat (wild feral barn cat lol) when I was in grade school. My parents were not really animal people and I had begged for years and years and years. There’s a long story to that cat but I’ll just say taking care of ferals and strays is now a big part of my life. (I have 7 inside cats and 5 (at the moment) outside cats.

    Reply
  130. My happiest memory is when I got a cat (wild feral barn cat lol) when I was in grade school. My parents were not really animal people and I had begged for years and years and years. There’s a long story to that cat but I’ll just say taking care of ferals and strays is now a big part of my life. (I have 7 inside cats and 5 (at the moment) outside cats.

    Reply
  131. My favorite Christmas memory is ‘cookie day’, usually around the 23rd. Mom would take a day off work and spend the whole day in the kitchen making snacks from scratch. Sugar cookies, fudge brownies, kringle balls, cranberry nut bread, etc. My sister and I got to decorate the sugar cookies and kringle balls, and help crush the nuts for the bread and fudge.
    I’d go to bed that night with a stomach ache from too many sweets, but it was well worth it. This year I get to help participate at my sister’s house for her kids, and I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

    Reply
  132. My favorite Christmas memory is ‘cookie day’, usually around the 23rd. Mom would take a day off work and spend the whole day in the kitchen making snacks from scratch. Sugar cookies, fudge brownies, kringle balls, cranberry nut bread, etc. My sister and I got to decorate the sugar cookies and kringle balls, and help crush the nuts for the bread and fudge.
    I’d go to bed that night with a stomach ache from too many sweets, but it was well worth it. This year I get to help participate at my sister’s house for her kids, and I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

    Reply
  133. My favorite Christmas memory is ‘cookie day’, usually around the 23rd. Mom would take a day off work and spend the whole day in the kitchen making snacks from scratch. Sugar cookies, fudge brownies, kringle balls, cranberry nut bread, etc. My sister and I got to decorate the sugar cookies and kringle balls, and help crush the nuts for the bread and fudge.
    I’d go to bed that night with a stomach ache from too many sweets, but it was well worth it. This year I get to help participate at my sister’s house for her kids, and I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

    Reply
  134. My favorite Christmas memory is ‘cookie day’, usually around the 23rd. Mom would take a day off work and spend the whole day in the kitchen making snacks from scratch. Sugar cookies, fudge brownies, kringle balls, cranberry nut bread, etc. My sister and I got to decorate the sugar cookies and kringle balls, and help crush the nuts for the bread and fudge.
    I’d go to bed that night with a stomach ache from too many sweets, but it was well worth it. This year I get to help participate at my sister’s house for her kids, and I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

    Reply
  135. My favorite Christmas memory is ‘cookie day’, usually around the 23rd. Mom would take a day off work and spend the whole day in the kitchen making snacks from scratch. Sugar cookies, fudge brownies, kringle balls, cranberry nut bread, etc. My sister and I got to decorate the sugar cookies and kringle balls, and help crush the nuts for the bread and fudge.
    I’d go to bed that night with a stomach ache from too many sweets, but it was well worth it. This year I get to help participate at my sister’s house for her kids, and I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

    Reply
  136. I still tell my kids about our Christmas. So many lights and garland and streamers hanging from the ceilings. The freshly cut Christmas tree that was pulled through the snow and smelled so nice. Christmas Eve we would lay in the twinkling lights and glistening garland and listen to the Christmas music playing on the radio and always start giggling when Alvin and the Chipmunks came on. Come bed time we would all partner up (some of my aunt’s and my uncle were teens)and early in the morning everyone was woke up by my uncle who was worse than us kids!

    Reply
  137. I still tell my kids about our Christmas. So many lights and garland and streamers hanging from the ceilings. The freshly cut Christmas tree that was pulled through the snow and smelled so nice. Christmas Eve we would lay in the twinkling lights and glistening garland and listen to the Christmas music playing on the radio and always start giggling when Alvin and the Chipmunks came on. Come bed time we would all partner up (some of my aunt’s and my uncle were teens)and early in the morning everyone was woke up by my uncle who was worse than us kids!

    Reply
  138. I still tell my kids about our Christmas. So many lights and garland and streamers hanging from the ceilings. The freshly cut Christmas tree that was pulled through the snow and smelled so nice. Christmas Eve we would lay in the twinkling lights and glistening garland and listen to the Christmas music playing on the radio and always start giggling when Alvin and the Chipmunks came on. Come bed time we would all partner up (some of my aunt’s and my uncle were teens)and early in the morning everyone was woke up by my uncle who was worse than us kids!

    Reply
  139. I still tell my kids about our Christmas. So many lights and garland and streamers hanging from the ceilings. The freshly cut Christmas tree that was pulled through the snow and smelled so nice. Christmas Eve we would lay in the twinkling lights and glistening garland and listen to the Christmas music playing on the radio and always start giggling when Alvin and the Chipmunks came on. Come bed time we would all partner up (some of my aunt’s and my uncle were teens)and early in the morning everyone was woke up by my uncle who was worse than us kids!

    Reply
  140. I still tell my kids about our Christmas. So many lights and garland and streamers hanging from the ceilings. The freshly cut Christmas tree that was pulled through the snow and smelled so nice. Christmas Eve we would lay in the twinkling lights and glistening garland and listen to the Christmas music playing on the radio and always start giggling when Alvin and the Chipmunks came on. Come bed time we would all partner up (some of my aunt’s and my uncle were teens)and early in the morning everyone was woke up by my uncle who was worse than us kids!

    Reply
  141. We always had a beautiful, if not the biggest tree. Scotch pine was a favorite and many of the decorations continued to favorites for years. Mom was a great cook, so for days we made Christmas cookies – sometimes for gifts – and fudge. My favorites, aside from fudge, were Russian tea cakes or sometimes called Mexican wedding rings. No one made them like mom. My sister in law, who is also a very good cook, is planning roast beef and Yorkshire pudding…yum, yum, yum. I’ll have to find a way to send her your recipe. I love anthologies – it’s a good way to discover an author new to me. Would love to read yours.

    Reply
  142. We always had a beautiful, if not the biggest tree. Scotch pine was a favorite and many of the decorations continued to favorites for years. Mom was a great cook, so for days we made Christmas cookies – sometimes for gifts – and fudge. My favorites, aside from fudge, were Russian tea cakes or sometimes called Mexican wedding rings. No one made them like mom. My sister in law, who is also a very good cook, is planning roast beef and Yorkshire pudding…yum, yum, yum. I’ll have to find a way to send her your recipe. I love anthologies – it’s a good way to discover an author new to me. Would love to read yours.

    Reply
  143. We always had a beautiful, if not the biggest tree. Scotch pine was a favorite and many of the decorations continued to favorites for years. Mom was a great cook, so for days we made Christmas cookies – sometimes for gifts – and fudge. My favorites, aside from fudge, were Russian tea cakes or sometimes called Mexican wedding rings. No one made them like mom. My sister in law, who is also a very good cook, is planning roast beef and Yorkshire pudding…yum, yum, yum. I’ll have to find a way to send her your recipe. I love anthologies – it’s a good way to discover an author new to me. Would love to read yours.

    Reply
  144. We always had a beautiful, if not the biggest tree. Scotch pine was a favorite and many of the decorations continued to favorites for years. Mom was a great cook, so for days we made Christmas cookies – sometimes for gifts – and fudge. My favorites, aside from fudge, were Russian tea cakes or sometimes called Mexican wedding rings. No one made them like mom. My sister in law, who is also a very good cook, is planning roast beef and Yorkshire pudding…yum, yum, yum. I’ll have to find a way to send her your recipe. I love anthologies – it’s a good way to discover an author new to me. Would love to read yours.

    Reply
  145. We always had a beautiful, if not the biggest tree. Scotch pine was a favorite and many of the decorations continued to favorites for years. Mom was a great cook, so for days we made Christmas cookies – sometimes for gifts – and fudge. My favorites, aside from fudge, were Russian tea cakes or sometimes called Mexican wedding rings. No one made them like mom. My sister in law, who is also a very good cook, is planning roast beef and Yorkshire pudding…yum, yum, yum. I’ll have to find a way to send her your recipe. I love anthologies – it’s a good way to discover an author new to me. Would love to read yours.

    Reply
  146. My favorite memory growing up of christmas is christmas morning, coffee brewing, fireplace going and the entire family excitedly opening presents and tossing the wwrapping paper into the fire. We always had a small breakfast and a HUGE dinner and lots of desserts. I love the holidays and find I tend to go overboard at Christmas. It just feels so good to give back to all my family and friends who mean so much to me.

    Reply
  147. My favorite memory growing up of christmas is christmas morning, coffee brewing, fireplace going and the entire family excitedly opening presents and tossing the wwrapping paper into the fire. We always had a small breakfast and a HUGE dinner and lots of desserts. I love the holidays and find I tend to go overboard at Christmas. It just feels so good to give back to all my family and friends who mean so much to me.

    Reply
  148. My favorite memory growing up of christmas is christmas morning, coffee brewing, fireplace going and the entire family excitedly opening presents and tossing the wwrapping paper into the fire. We always had a small breakfast and a HUGE dinner and lots of desserts. I love the holidays and find I tend to go overboard at Christmas. It just feels so good to give back to all my family and friends who mean so much to me.

    Reply
  149. My favorite memory growing up of christmas is christmas morning, coffee brewing, fireplace going and the entire family excitedly opening presents and tossing the wwrapping paper into the fire. We always had a small breakfast and a HUGE dinner and lots of desserts. I love the holidays and find I tend to go overboard at Christmas. It just feels so good to give back to all my family and friends who mean so much to me.

    Reply
  150. My favorite memory growing up of christmas is christmas morning, coffee brewing, fireplace going and the entire family excitedly opening presents and tossing the wwrapping paper into the fire. We always had a small breakfast and a HUGE dinner and lots of desserts. I love the holidays and find I tend to go overboard at Christmas. It just feels so good to give back to all my family and friends who mean so much to me.

    Reply
  151. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s memories. One of my favorite childhood memories is making and decorating sugar cookies with my Dad. He was the baker in the family and we always had wonderful pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Besides the traditional ones he’d do things like chocolate cream pie, lemon meringue, Boston Cream, etc. It makes me hungry thinking about it. 🙂
    Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  152. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s memories. One of my favorite childhood memories is making and decorating sugar cookies with my Dad. He was the baker in the family and we always had wonderful pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Besides the traditional ones he’d do things like chocolate cream pie, lemon meringue, Boston Cream, etc. It makes me hungry thinking about it. 🙂
    Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  153. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s memories. One of my favorite childhood memories is making and decorating sugar cookies with my Dad. He was the baker in the family and we always had wonderful pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Besides the traditional ones he’d do things like chocolate cream pie, lemon meringue, Boston Cream, etc. It makes me hungry thinking about it. 🙂
    Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  154. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s memories. One of my favorite childhood memories is making and decorating sugar cookies with my Dad. He was the baker in the family and we always had wonderful pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Besides the traditional ones he’d do things like chocolate cream pie, lemon meringue, Boston Cream, etc. It makes me hungry thinking about it. 🙂
    Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  155. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s memories. One of my favorite childhood memories is making and decorating sugar cookies with my Dad. He was the baker in the family and we always had wonderful pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Besides the traditional ones he’d do things like chocolate cream pie, lemon meringue, Boston Cream, etc. It makes me hungry thinking about it. 🙂
    Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  156. I have got to have my husband fix that! I don’t really do much of the cooking around our house.
    My favorite memories of the holidays were always the candies that one of my aunts made and brought to the family party; my grandpa making fudge and letting us the lick the bowl, the spoon, the pot; all the jokes and laughter. Although the best, I was about five and it wasn’t long before my great-grandpa (he was the absolute best) passed away, but I was curled up against him on the couch on Christmas Eve. I’ll never remember what the movie on was, but I’ll definitely never forget that night.

    Reply
  157. I have got to have my husband fix that! I don’t really do much of the cooking around our house.
    My favorite memories of the holidays were always the candies that one of my aunts made and brought to the family party; my grandpa making fudge and letting us the lick the bowl, the spoon, the pot; all the jokes and laughter. Although the best, I was about five and it wasn’t long before my great-grandpa (he was the absolute best) passed away, but I was curled up against him on the couch on Christmas Eve. I’ll never remember what the movie on was, but I’ll definitely never forget that night.

    Reply
  158. I have got to have my husband fix that! I don’t really do much of the cooking around our house.
    My favorite memories of the holidays were always the candies that one of my aunts made and brought to the family party; my grandpa making fudge and letting us the lick the bowl, the spoon, the pot; all the jokes and laughter. Although the best, I was about five and it wasn’t long before my great-grandpa (he was the absolute best) passed away, but I was curled up against him on the couch on Christmas Eve. I’ll never remember what the movie on was, but I’ll definitely never forget that night.

    Reply
  159. I have got to have my husband fix that! I don’t really do much of the cooking around our house.
    My favorite memories of the holidays were always the candies that one of my aunts made and brought to the family party; my grandpa making fudge and letting us the lick the bowl, the spoon, the pot; all the jokes and laughter. Although the best, I was about five and it wasn’t long before my great-grandpa (he was the absolute best) passed away, but I was curled up against him on the couch on Christmas Eve. I’ll never remember what the movie on was, but I’ll definitely never forget that night.

    Reply
  160. I have got to have my husband fix that! I don’t really do much of the cooking around our house.
    My favorite memories of the holidays were always the candies that one of my aunts made and brought to the family party; my grandpa making fudge and letting us the lick the bowl, the spoon, the pot; all the jokes and laughter. Although the best, I was about five and it wasn’t long before my great-grandpa (he was the absolute best) passed away, but I was curled up against him on the couch on Christmas Eve. I’ll never remember what the movie on was, but I’ll definitely never forget that night.

    Reply

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