I'm the tiny baby... my first Christmas - and that's my brother, looking adorable.
Well, I know it's not Christmas yet, but if all goes well I should be headed home tomorrow evening and be gone for a little while. I was thinking of Christmas traditions, because there's a running list on Feeling Stitchy right now (feel free to take part!) Christmas and Thanksgiving always were (and continue to be) my 2 favorite holidays. I love the shorter days and darker nights, the extra twinkle the stars get when it's chilly, and just that feeling of happy expectation. When I was a kid, these were the times when my whole family got together - my oldest brother would come in from the navy, his dark peacoat full of mystery and unfamiliar smells. I would ask for him all year, and be ecstatic when he walked through the door.
I remember being so small I needed a boost to reach my chin to the table, and for many years sitting at the "kids table" in the kitchen with all the plastic-ware. I remember feeling so grown up, when I, the last of the kids, finally graduated to the family table, with the china we pulled out twice a year and heavy glassware. My sister and I would always consult the World Book Dictionary to remind us of the proper way to set the table....
We would eat turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and rolls. My job for many years was to put the ice in the glasses and serve the iced tea - I loved the clinky sound the ice cubes made as they hit the glass and the tinkling sound they made as I poured the tea over them. I loved bugging my mom as she basted and re-basted the turkey hour upon hour (but I'd mysteriously disappear whenever dishes had to be done.) There was always a long family prayer before we ate during which I'd fidget and peek hungrily at my plate.
As I got older the Christmas turkey tradition was left behind and replaced with a huge tamale feast - heaping platters full of all kinds of tamales: pork, beans, chicken with chile verde and beans with jalapeno. I loved the steam rising from the hot corn shucks, and of course, eating the tamales. I'll never stop loving the holidays because no matter where they are, or how you spend them, they always remind me how beautiful it is to have a family you can feast with. And sometimes the families you make are not necessarily the ones you were born with. But even change is beautiful.
I hope you and everyone you hold special is blessed and happy this holiday! See you next year!
P.S. Spam Alert - I'm sad to add this on a holiday post but my blog has been found by a human spammer. I assume they are human because they enter in the "captcha" phrase and have set up a Google/blogger account and blog. Their "blog" is just a collection of links that hawk car insurance. (Susan) FYI to keep an eye out for them. These human spammers go out of their way to say something that seems related to your post, then throw in an unrelated link to a site. So I've turned on comment moderation for all my blogs - please bear with me if it takes time for your comments to appear, especially now that I'll be out of town. I really appreciate your holiday wishes and will read and enjoy them all!