|Christmas 1970: Grandmother holding her first great-grandchild.|
Well....here we are. Tomorrow will be the first day of December, and Sunday is the first day of Advent. Where, oh where did this year go?
As I begin the preparations for this holiday season, I've been thinking about HOW my traditions can to be. Many of them came with me to adulthood, such as putting up the Christmas tree. Now, I have to admit I've changed it up a little!
My Dad believed in putting up the tree just a few days before Christmas. And, it always came down by New Year's Eve. Of course, we always had a live tree...a cedar tree that came from the woods around where we lived. It had those hot lights and tinsel that MUST be applied one at a time!!!!! (They were also taken off the tree and stored in their box to reuse next year!!!) The ornaments were always packed away in their original boxes, which showed lots of wear and tear from the many years of usage.
I LOVE putting up a Christmas tree. I enjoy having it up for more than a week! That's why I use an artificial tree. (I figured out that my Dad was concerned about the fire danger from a dried tree. There were always a few house fires caused by Christmas trees when I was growing up.)
At this moment, my tree is sitting (in a box) in the living room just waiting for my attention. When the kids were little, we made it a big deal...hot chocolate, Christmas music, and unpacking their special ornaments that we had been collecting since they were born.
This year the hold up is the Christmas tree skirt. It's still in the sewing stages....but getting close. I actually started this several years ago, and I decided that this was the year to finish it!!!!
The poinsettias are starting to put on their lovely leaves. I don't know if they will be as showy this year as they have been in the past, though.
The fact that I have had these plants for so long is a pure miracle!
This is the one that started it all. The year that my brother was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, he sent Mom her FIRST nutcracker. Who knew that it would become such a collection so many years later. One of these days I'm going to count how many are in this collection!!! They are like members of the family that I see once a year.
Another family tradition: hot tamales.
Now, my friends in the South West tell me that these are NOT tamales! But, this is the kind we make in our family. In fact, we used to get together the Saturday after Thanksgiving to make them. But, we are all scattered now, so I just took some time and made some this week. It's just perfect with a bowl of chili.
My Mom and her sister always planned a family get together during the holidays, and we have continued that tradition still. We take turns alternating between East TN and North AL. My cousin in Chattanooga joins us, and we have a lively time. Since our gathering can happen anytime between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, we just call it Thanksmas. This year it is right before Christmas here at my house. (I should have waited and let them help me make tamales!!!!) I figure I have three weeks to get everything done....surely that is doable.
After all, I only have one more weaving project to do.........