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:
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!
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.”
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:
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 …
- 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?