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As Christmas quickly approaches, cards begin to arrive, the kitchen gets busier, and candles in windows begin to shine all over the county.
When my mother was living, it was a Christmas tradition to get family and friends together for a fried oyster feast. My hubby always helped her with the cooking because he likes oysters, but not ME! The only oyster meal I want is the stew in which the oysters are cooked!
Another old tradition by hunters was the shooting of mistletoe out of trees. When hubby and I built our first home, one of our hunter friends would come by the house every Christmas season with mistletoe for decorating. Now, artificial mistletoe is used for the kissing ball!
When we had small children at home, it was our tradition to go out and cut down our own Christmas tree. No matter how cold, we’d all walk and walk until we found the perfect tree for decorating. Hubby would cut it down, we’d all help pull it to the truck and then we’d place it in a tub of water when we got home.
The next day the tree was set in our Christmas tree stand and lovingly decorated. Tradition set in when we used the same ornaments that our grandparents used for decorating and then covered the tree with foil icicles.
Sometime during the Christmas season, my mother would surprise us with her traditional delicious fried apple pies. That was one Christmas tradition we looked forward to and never, ever forgot. None of us has eaten any fried pies that taste like hers since.
I suppose it’s tradition to send out Christmas cards but with the high cost of postage and cards, our list is considerably shorter than it used to be. One good thing, though, is that we can email Christmas greetings to those who have computers. I just need to get more of our friends’ email addresses!
Christmas cookies will always be a strong tradition in this household. We still like the old-fashioned cookies that are simpler to make. My sugar cookie recipe, handed down from a Mrs. Hardy who used to live in this town, and my oatmeal cookie recipe from our dear neighbor, Mrs. Daniel, from long ago are every family member’s favorite! These two ladies will never be forgotten as long as I’m able to cook these two kinds of cookies.
Placing candles in our windows is another tradition, I suppose. But, why do the candles burn so brightly one year and half of the bulbs don’t burn the next year? I think it’s a Chinese conspiracy. The bulbs are made to last only one Christmas season.
This reporter has a solemn tradition and that is the placing of flowers on graves of our loved ones to be remembered at this time of the year. I visit Beulah, Lebanon and Evergreen to check on the tombstones while remembering those who used to celebrate the holidays with us.
As we look back, I think we all can remember Christmas at our grandmother’s house with family members from near and far coming as a tradition to share time with one another.
As Christmas approaches, pause for a minute to remember your family traditions. It will make your heart sing!
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR HOME TO YOURS!