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Random 5 Friday ~ Christmas treats, traditions and “41”

It’s Friday and you know what that means ~ it’s time for my Random 5 Friday!  Ready?  Let’s go!

1 )  Christmas Treats: Made my first round of Christmas treats last weekend.  Background:  I bake & make Christmas treats in “rounds” to give Hubbs his “due” ~ it’s a strategy that seems to work because he gets his fill and if I make enough “rounds,” I end up with some treats left to share with others.  Case in point:  just the other night, he exclaimed, “No more fudge till Christmas!” (( Like I’m-a-gonna do this all again on Christmas Eve?  … um No!))   But I ran into a quandary I hadn’t foreseen.  See, we gave away our larger freezer a few years back so I don’t have an easy storage spot.   I put on my thinking cap and …. Bingo! Problem solved:

Chocolate covered peanuts hidden in the crisper ~ He’ll never look there!  (( Shhh don’t tell ))

2 )  Holiday traditions:  When we moved to Hubb’s home state of Michigan 18 years ago it was his idea to throw a Christmas party and bring the extended family together.  His eyes would mist over recalling the big family gatherings of his childhood.  So, we started a small family party in our home that soon grew to a hall; we continued to host it annually for a dozen years or so; others in the family took it on for a few years and now, younger cousins have the lead.   Regardless who hosts or plans, the workload to do it, during the busiest time of the year, is never  insignificant.  There are menus to plan, details to organize, a hall to book, decorations to buy or recycle, addresses to update, invitations to share and more.  Just like in life, there’s always someone quick to point out what was missed or what wasn’t done. (Those same ones typically contribute nothing).  Regardless of the snark, the tradition continues and the family comes together.  Dishes are made involving 4 important Holiday food groups:  cheese, chocolate, BBQ sauce and cool-whip.  Little kid cousins get re-acquainted and run around together, red-faced and sweaty in their Christmas outfits,  elders tell stories and for a while everyone slows down and lingers in the moment.   And that’s what it’s all about, Charlie Brown!

Christmas time is here! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 ) Community: Stopped at my local (tiny) grocery store last night and, in the baking aisle, shared a conversation with Ray, the older stock boy man.  Maybe it’s because I’m not from here and still long for a sense of community, I always make time to chat with him.  I know he walks his dog in the mornings, before work, that he lost his wife years ago and alternates between tears and smiles when he speaks of her, and that his daughter makes him cookies all year-long.   This is my small neighborhood store, not a big box chain.  They don’t stock everything and yes, you pay a little more sometimes.  But I like that bath soap isn’t 2 miles from the butter.  And I love that the checkout clerks know me and I know them.  In line to pay, I let a lady with a just a few items go ahead of me. She thanked me then  commented, “I really like this store, it’s so calm here.”  I smiled and I got it.     And it hit me right then that perhaps my little community has manifested itself right before my very eyes.

“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

4 )  Family Photos:   When our boys were little, it was easy to seat one on our laps and stand the other next to us for a family portrait.   But now that everyone is older and there’s far more of us, family pictures are harder to come by.  I enjoy the perfectly posed portraits on friends’ Facebook pages — the coordinating plaid, hair bows and Holly,  littlest ones in Santa hats, bow ties, Christmas dresses, black patent leather shoes and white stockings.  Somehow I know if we tried this today, we’d end up with something like this:

Truth!

5) Passing of a Giant – Like many of you, I watched the coverage of President George H.W. Bush’s funeral with rapt and tearful attention. It was stately. Poignant. Emotional.  Respectful. Moving.  Epic.  So many moments, such long, long days for the family.  So many tributes to his character, life and legacy.  This picture though …

Together again

Your turn:

  • Do you also hide holiday treats?
  • Are there any Christmas traditions you’d like to share with us?
  • Where do you get a sense of community from?
  • Does your family take annual holiday photos?
  • And .. did you watch?
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Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Snarky, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Random 5 Friday ~ Christmas treats, traditions and “41”

  1. Merry Christmas, Emjay.

  2. My husband doesn’t eat sweets so the debate is always whether I should bother or not. I start on the “no” side but always end up doing it anyhow and giving them away. Family is spread all over and we won’t be seeing anyone but the closer ones on my side. I’m having them over for dinner next weekend. We’ll keep it easy peasy and there are only 10 of us. Have a great holiday season!

    • That’s funny that you make the treats anyway – good for you. If I didn’t have Hubbs to make them for I’d still make some and give them away.
      We will be having our kids and grands over the weekend heading into Christmas ~ they have several Christmases to go to and moving the date makes it a lot easier on all of us. I hope you have a wonderful dinner with your family! Enjoy 🙂 MJ

  3. I can tell you are definitely “in the spirit” Emjay. My wish for your Merry Xmas is already coming true.

  4. yep, wife has to hide the treats (from me) Traditions…still gather w/ my siblings and their clans @ Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. One Christmas tradition is the annual mystery gift/ grab bag.. everyone draws a number…get to pick the mystery gift according to your #..2 steals allowed..then you get to keep it. 90% of the gifts are really worth keeping…lots of lottery tickets, $ etc. I have bought 3 or 4 pounds of peanut m and m’s the past couple of years..I love them, and sometimes am able to go home with them…community…it’s easier now that we live back where I grew up.. when we lived 1000 miles away in New Jersey, the little church we were plugged into did an awesome job cultivating community…formal pictures…nada..and wife watched much of the funeral proceedings this week. She kept me up to date. I did see the very last event, including the 21 plane fly over. Civility is still alive in our culture…made me realize just how much the tone has changed in the past 10 years. Merry Christmas MJ! DM

    • I love that you answered all of my questions 🙂
      We do the mystery “white elephant” gift thing, too, at the family Christmas party and 3 steals are allowed. Many of the gifts are stolen and yes lots of candy, lotto tickets, sometimes a bottle of spirits, etc. All fun. I ended up with a holiday gift bag of cute Santa plates, dish towels and coasters that I gifted to my daughter-in-law. They don’t have a lot of Christmas decor and I do; she was pleased as punch to take that home, too.

      Merry Christmas and thank you for your comments and friendship, DM!

      MJ

      • You are welcome 🙂 I just saw your reply. Merry Christmas to you MJ. Really random question…any plans to head back to where you grew up any time soon? Didn’t know if there was anyone there any more that you would go to see. Does it still feel like “home” to you, even though you moved away so many moons ago? (we lived 1000 miles from where I grew up for 5 years…I can’t tell you the number of times the longing surfaced to just go back for a visit. I think maybe around the holidays the draw was stronger. I was just curious. Merry Christmas to you and yours too. DM

      • Thank you! Great questions – I was just there in October ~ I spent a fun-filled week at my sisters and saw all siblings, some cousins and an Auntie. It feels less like “home” now that Mom is gone. A lot has changed but then nothing has changed, if that makes sense. Thanks for asking and Merry Christmas! MJ

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Connie Rosser Riddle

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Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with people in my path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

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