Ho, Ho, Ho…
I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t with my family for the holiday, unless you count the time years back when my parents had traveled to Bali and M dragged me to the Midnight Mass from hell. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say the mass was less about fa-la-la Christmas and Carols and more about the homophobic beliefs of Father T. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough, and after a 20 year hiatus from the Catholic Church, I vowed that I would never go back. Suffice it to say, Christmas for me is about family and friends and sharing thanks for having such wonderful people in my life.
I have fond memories of the holidays growing up. In our house, it meant making about 15 different types of Christmas cookies. Let me see, there were the Yummy Caramel Bars and Seven Layer Bars, (my faves) the Dream Bars, the Mexican Wedding Cakes, the Buckeyes, the cookies with the chocolate in the middle, the basic sugar cookie with green and red sugar…I cant forget the FUDGE…oh man. My mind blanks, but there had to have been more. When we made cookies, we would store them in tins in the freezer and for months following, we would dive into the freezer at odd times throughout the day for a sweet treat. At night after a grueling swim practice, I would cozy up next to the lit Christmas tree with the fire cracklin’ in the fire place and my Yummy Caramel Bar in hand. I remember thinking; life doesn’t get much better than this. There was something about it all. The lights, the scent of the Christmas tree, (in the years between the plastic models) the fireplace, family, and my own Yummy Caramel Bar, plucked from the tin in the freezer.
This year, while our family is gathering to celebrate after the New Year, I am a little nostalgic being away from them on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We have so many traditions that have emerged over the years. From our eve of movie going and Indian food, to opening one gift, to the Christmas morning of taking 5 hours to cycle through the gifts under the tree..everyone opening just one per round. I need a little bit of the family Christmas here this year. I failed to put up lights or even get a tree and I am fighting a cold and feeling crappy.. but I can still make the house smell of sugar and maybe even have that cracklin’ fire in the fireplace.