It’s a very chilly day in December here in the North Carolina Piedmont. Behind me I can hear the noise of our sweet neighbor blowing the leaves from his yard. I can feel the chill through these old windows, but ahead of me is the warmth of the fire which is burning brightly in the fireplace.
Late at the switch as usual, I’ve been wrapping gifts that need to get to different places around the USA. And, wondering why I bought breakable things that had to go through the numerous hands at the postal service!
In this busy month of the year, I hope you’re finding a little “me” time. That might mean listening to your favorite Christmas carols and signing cards, or just enjoying a cup of coffee with a close friend. Maybe it means having a chat on the phone with family and friends who will be far away for the holidays. I had a long conversation with my favorite college friend, and it’s always so good to hear her voice.
I was thinking about my parents, both long gone now,while wrapping those presents. Mom always loved this time of the year. I am so grateful to have the sweet ceramic ornaments that she made so many years ago. And they always hang front and center on our tree. She would be so thrilled that one of her granddaughters is busy “potting” several times a week. My Dad would be in the kitchen making his Christmas bread and and taking a little nip from the bourbon which gives his bread a real southern flavor. I’ll be making that same bread this week. His bread is so addictive! Slice it thin and spread on some real butter and it’s breakfast and dessert all in one! And he’d be sure to have a pot of “Hot O’mighty” simmering on the stove. For the first time that I can remember, I’ve gotten out my Aunt Ruth’s handmade eggnog cups to use. They are the perfect size, hand thrown and then painted with the words Merry Christmas in several languages. She made them for my mother, her sister, in the early 1950’s, and I remember Mother and Dad making wonderful eggnog and using them every year. And Dad giving me a sip with plenty of whipped cream on the top!
Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Happy Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten, Bon Natale, and Subh Natal. This Christmas Eve we’ll be saying Buon Natale at our daughter’s house. She’s having siblings, children, cousins, nieces and nephews, parents over for supper. She’s started a new tradition – we’re not having our usual fare but all things Italian! I can’t wait to sample her divine pasta! We’ll be bringing veal piccata and there’ll be tiramisu for dessert! Oh my! We’ll roll home across the river stuffed, just to be up early Christmas morning feeding the family our traditional brunch of cheese grits, sausage and egg casserole, hot sherried fruit, and cinnamon rolls. No one is counting carbs!
Am I ready for the train party that is occurring in 2 days? No! The tree has lights and 3 ornaments now. Still need to finish decorating, but some gifts are wrapped and ready to be shipped. Whether they get there on time is now in the hands of the postal service.
It’s always fun to make tags to use on our gifts. I’ve made some using my favorite software – Artisan 5, that I have printed at home. And just in case you haven’t finished wrapping your gifts, I’ve included some tags that you can print at your house. You don’t have to color or paint – just print and cut! They can be printed on 8.5 x 11 card stock. There is also a page with slightly larger tags that can be printed on pressure sensitive paper for homemade gifts.
And finally dear friends, my Christmas wish for you is to be surrounded with the warmth and love of family, during this holiday time. And if you’re not able to be together, then I hope that you’ll still feel the good wishes from family and those that you love.
Happy memory making,