I love Christmas. I always have. There is the sense of anticipation, the arrival of family, feasting on good food, and, of course, Santa! This weekend I started decorating for the season and making lists. List, plural, there as in a gift list, a stocking list, a card list, a grocery list for the makings of cookies and cheese straws. LOL standing for lots of lists is how I make it through the season. If it is not on a list, it’s not bought or done. I confess, I don’t know how my Mom ever did it.
There are traditions that I love to repeat every year and one of them is sugar cake. This is a delicacy from Old Salem or Dewey’s Bakery that is a bread only made with mashed potatoes, sugar and spices that was always part of Christmas morning. Christmas morning was always delayed first until it reached 6 am and was appropriate to wake everyone in the house, then for the fire to be started in the fireplace, and, finally, for my Dad to make eggnog and coffee for the adults to enjoy while we opened presents and Santa. This was a compromise for my Dad’s side of the family as Mom’s side celebrated Christmas (or the opening of presents) following midnight mass on Christmas Eve with wine, cheese and sausage balls. My mother beautifully melded the two customs with the sausage balls and cheese straws following Christmas Eve services and the opening of presents with sugar cake and eggnog on Christmas morning. Mom was excellent at melding the favorite things of both sides of the family so everyone had what they wanted. She would have been a wonderful diplomat!
The Christmas stocking is another list venture. Each member of the household has their own sock to be hung by the fire. This includes the quadrupeds. If you saw my sock list you would laugh, sudoku and puzzle books, candy and fruit, dog treats and toys, gadgets to amuse, batteries for those receiving presents requiring batteries and anything amusing I might discover along the way. I confess, socks are often my favorite part of Christmas. One of my favorite childhood memories is my Grandfather pulling out the longest stocking I’d ever seen for “Santa” to fill.
So many wonderful memories and so many lists.