Since November is in full swing and it is the month for being thankful for all that we have…I decided to reflect on childhood memories.
I have so many wonderful memories of childhood celebrations. My Mom is the one to thank for that. This time of year brings back memories galore. The holidays were made magical for me and my siblings. My Mom could make something out of virtually nothing, and I am very Grateful to her for that.
Where she would decorate the house inside and out…we would get to carve pumpkins…make goodies (we could make treats to give out to those trick-or treating, at that time) and we sometimes had Halloween parties with the entire family…but we would all dress up…even if you were too old to go trick-or-treating…just dressing up to hand out candy or going to school was fun.
Then on to Thanksgiving… I remember the house filled with all kinds of yummy smells…it was nice to come home from school or just playing and smell baked bread, cookies, pies, etc.. Sometimes she would be making things to give to others…teaching us that even when you don’t have much, giving was a great blessing.
I remember Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Cousins…all getting together to have a special Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone would bring something to contribute and because the family was (and is) so big…we usually had to have it at a larger place than a house…church halls, Someones clubhouse, or just in a relatives house…even if it means more than one room. I’m always thankful for being together with family!
After Thanksgiving comes Christmas… Yes it was and is a special time for our family to celebrate the Birth of Jesus…but it was also made Magical because of all the other things that Christmas brings…My Mom would bring all the things from the Cedar Chest she had…and when we would come home…before even seeing the things she had put up…we could smell the cedar and know that it was Christmas time…There were many things she would set up…The tree of course, but much more…elves in the tree…a Winter village on top of the cedar chest…figurines around…the Nativity all lit up…and the smells…oh the wonderful smell of Christmas time. Mom made candy…big event at our house. This was not for us to eat…though we did get a nibble or two…but to give to others as gifts…along with cookies…breads…etc., and of course Santa…always remembering that the gifts he brought represented those given to the Christ Child so long ago.
After that…New Years… What a day that was…We actually got to stay up past midnight…WOW!!!! Sometimes we made it and other times some of us did not…it was always fun though…we would play games, listen to music (some of which Dad did not relish), and sometimes we would get together with family and friends and it was a big party!! Like almost everyone in the country on New Years Eve…we would watch the Ball Drop on T.V., With Dick Clark! Then on New Years Day…we would eat leftovers from the night before…along with others freshly made and watch the football games together…so much fun to be had!
Now that is not the end of our holiday season…no…February came with cupid, hearts, flowers, etc….. and in our home Valentines was not just for Lovers…but a time to celebrate all those you loved. We would make Cookies…oh those yummy cookies with icing and your name in the middle of the heart. Mom would also make those cookies…tons of them…because we had a huge family. She made them so we could give them for our valentines at school (again…when we could do things like that in school) So we had a list of all the classmates…their names spelled correctly…and we would ice the cookies…Mom would write their names…we placed it on a paper Heart doily with a bit of icing…and then on cookie sheets…We could not wait to get to school to give out our valentines.
Then on Valentines evening…we would take the cookies we made for family and friends on special plates…drive to their houses…and leave the cookies on their doors…Knock or ring the bell…and run like the wind…so they could not see who brought them (like the did not know). That was so much fun…the anticipation of going to the door and not getting caught…fun!!!
Now comes March…St. Patrick’s Day!!! Mom would make sure that we all had something green on BEFORE, we went to bed the night before…so our siblings would not get to pinch us if they found us without green on (I have green eyes,I was always safe). In the morning, the smell memories again. This time coconut…yes you heard…coconut. But what does coconut have to do with St. Patrick’s Day, you ask? Let me explain…Mom would make green pancakes shaped like shamrocks, and green syrup…since maple syrup did not look good in green, she made coconut syrup and it was yummy!!!! What a fun thing to look forward to each year. Then we would have a traditional St. Patrick’s dinner later that day…something to look forward to.
Now you would think that was the end…but no…another month to celebrate came next. Easter… And though this was the end of our Holiday Season…It was…as it should be…a New Beginning. We would always go to church to celebrate the risen Christ. The family would celebrate Easter with a Large Family Party (still going on to this day)..we would go…then to Grandmas house…everyone would bring something to eat…we would have an easter egg hunt…Egg shaped cookies were made with our names on them (like the valentine ones) we had nests made of puffed wheat cereal and they were filled with treats…but more than anything else…we were with Family.
Now of course there were other holidays…The 4th of July, Memorial day, Veterans day, etc…throughout the other times of year…Any excuse to get together for a BBQ!
But whenever I think of the Holiday Season…I think of seven months of Magic…Thanks Mom!!!!
I always wanted to be like our Mom…Sadly, she is one of a kind. Though I do follow through with many of the traditions (as do my siblings) I have not been able to duplicate for my children, the Magic I had.
Part of the reason is, that I made a choice in a partner I thought was the man I had been waiting for my entire life…one I could carry out traditions with for my own young family. But he was not what he seemed to be…so instead, I gave my children a life of abusive memories…ones I thought I had shielded them from, only to find out they suffered it as well. But that is all I will say on that subject for now.
I was able to give my children some of my Moms wonderful traditions…and they do remember them and look forward to them each year.
I’m Grateful to have these Memories and Traditions. They meant so much to me then…and even more to me now!
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving season!
Thanks again for Hearing!