Christmas, Once Again

“How does/did your family countdown to Christmas? Did/do you have any special family traditions?”


My mother decorated early. We always got a huge Christmas tree, one carefully selected and as close to prefect as possible. Seriously, my generally tight-fisted, impatient father would take Mom to as many Christmas tree stands as necessary until she was happy with one.

The presents under the tree! Not expensive, but never the cheapest, quality over quantity. When I was little, the beautifully wrapped gifts seemed like, well, Santa  magic! I always got a new doll, though I did not get the other presents that I drooled over in the ads. Still, the ones I got were chosen with care.

Dad also bought everything Mom needed to bake incredible amounts of delicious foods, savory and sweet.  To be fair, no matter how he kept money from her and some of us, we always had plenty of food  and Mom was allowed to bake her heart out all year.

I learned to cook from all of this. Family used to ‘drop in’ (literally) from out of state, family closer always came in, and friends could be there.

I tried to duplicate that myself.

When my mother was still with us and we lived near each other, (fortunately, my family joined us here for my mother’s last years), I made some, she and other members made some of the foods and we made a big feast.

When Mom was gone and my kids got married, we still did that, but like with Thanksgiving, I had a smaller feast ready here and we’d end up at my place for more.

After a while, it was me making mine here, with my kids, grandkids and friends coming in.

I still bake and decorate, but gone are the coworkers of ours who got Christmas goodies. Gone are the open-houses I had when my kids and their friends took piano lessons and I would have a Christmas concert for them to perform here with refreshments afterward. And gone are some of the family, with Son #2, D-in-Law and  Grandtoddler in Nevada; Grandchild #1 with family wherever most of the time , Grandchild #2 with one corner of her family and Son#1 plus Grandchild #3 dropping in.

We never have family from out of town anymore, we never have work-college friends of the Kids anymore.

All of the kids here, (both generations), are way past the ‘let’s read the kiddie Christmas stories’, although the second two, when they visit, have been willing to watch Christmas movies they have not seen. Even the the youngest of them just got her driver’s license and a job, plus she is very active in school, and is taking college courses. I will be surprised if I even see her on Christmas, (she was here for Thanksgiving at least).

The others? I can bribe them with their favorite foods!

I will be decorating this week, maybe  starting today. I will be baking and cooking, I am already planning the baked goods and meal, as I have had received family requests,

but not yet, as with our Thanksgiving having been late, I we still eating food from that feast!

We’ve  given up exchanging gifts among the adults . I get the idea of what the older kids want because it is impossible to guess and I hate for them to be disappointed when they wanted something else, especially with everything costing so much anymore, I can’t afford to be wrong.

I used to love the hustle and bustle of going to major centers and small shops to get just the right presents to suit each member of the family and friends. I don’t understand how people hate that. Even in the real cold and snow, I loved it.

That and everyone joining together is what I miss of our traditions, but I will enjoy making fancy Christmas-only goodies and foods, having my familiar Christmas decorations and my now 39 ear-old little tree around me with all of the soft lights,

and watching our many traditional Christmas movies and shows. It will be quiet, (I HOPE  that it will be quiet. The wrong kind of excitement is not welcome!)

In fact, I’m smiling just thinking about it right now.

I hope this season has you at peace and quietly smiling, as well.


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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7 Responses to Christmas, Once Again

  1. Sounds like food was the glue for your holidays. I don’t remember much cooking and baking going on in my family. Maybe I just wasn’t interested. My mom and grandma shared the cooking duties when I grew up, and my husband did most of the cooking after I got married. I did some baking, but only what was necessary. Hope your holiday is as peaceful as the one in your imagination!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Salter says:

    You appear to have many warm memories of your own past holidays… and are likely helping form similar memories in the generations that follow you.


  3. How sweet of your dad to make sure that your mom got the perfect tree that she wanted. Your holiday memories sound wonderful. I can just picture family gathered around, the house smelling wonderful from all the baked goods.
    Your quiet Christmas this year sounds enjoyable. Picturing it made me feel cozy. I wish you have a very merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Angie, and to y ou.”Sweet”, not the word I’d ever use when referring to my father, but he was good for the holidays, and whatever crazy relatives of my mother’s happen to be around.


  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’m sure everyone will have a great Christmas! The menus you come up with are amazing, and seeing those who can attend just makes Christmas.


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