Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Traditions - Etsy Bloggers Team Blog Carnival December 22, 2008

Outside the snow fell in great clumps of flakes as big as your hand. The wind screamed around windows and doors. Icy fingers of sleet pried away at every crack and cranny trying to force their way in to the warmth.

Inside, in what was once the summer kitchen, Mom and her sisters fussed over every detail of the great Christmas feast. The turkey was checked and basted with good, pure 100% butter. Potatoes were peeled and put on to boil. Vegetables of every kind were boiled, roasted and steamed.

The cranberry sauce was scooped out into serving dishes. Pickles, sweet and sour, were plated along with cubes of cheese. Jellied salads were unmolded and placed on platters of lettuce. Tomato juice was poured into delicate little glasses and placed one for each setting.

The pudding was popped on to steam. The fruitcake sliced. The sauce for the pudding was stirred. Who remembered the ice cream?

The men conferred over the wine and reminisced about wines served at past gatherings of the clan. The wine was passed round, uncorked and decanted into paper thin wine glasses.

These were Mom's good glasses. The ones to this day I hold my breath lest they shatter by being held too tightly or pressed too firmly against the lips. The juice and water glasses were edged with gold and had frosted grapevines etched around their sides. The wine glasses were small by today's standards but they too had grapevines frosted around their bowls.

Each sister was married and brought along their spouses and children. Aunty May and Uncle Fran came the farthest distance. When the weather was bad they would camp out at one of our houses.

It was a time to meet and gather, to exchange news, to give and receive gifts, to sing, and to feast. It was a time of laughter and noise and yes, sometimes tears.

The house would be bursting at the seams, so full of people and pets not a corner was left empty. Christmas lights glowed on the tree and around all the rooms. Foil decorations festooned ceilings and doorways. It was a time of auld lang syne.

I remember the light and the noise. I remember endless tray after tray of food passed around the table not once, not twice but several times. No one was rich, money was tight. Yet we were all rich as kings in love, light and laughter.

Scoff if you must but it was true. I close my eyes and I can see the dining room as clear and bright as it was then. I can hear the singing and the laughter. And if I could I'd go back there again and again.

So I'll wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Youvegotmaille said...

What a great, well written post. You make me feel as if I was there too... and in a way I was because I have memories as vivid of bright, early Christmases.