Monday, December 12, 2011

My Mom (a.k.a. Mrs. Claus) ~ Christmas Memories Continued...

Mom and Me ~ Christmas Morning

These posts are pretty boring reading to anyone outside my immediate family, I know. I'm writing them mainly as a record for my children. I wish my grandparents and parents had written down their memories for us. “Why now?” you may ask... welllllll, I think there is something wrong with my body... the uncontrollable blood pressure, etc., and I have been thinking a lot about my mortality lately.

Mrs. Claus’s Workshop

I can’t forget to mention my mom’s love of Christmas. She did every bit as much Christmassing as my dad. My mom would usually have her Christmas shopping done sometime in October… yep, OCTOBER. That way, she could spend the holiday season in the kitchen. During the month preceding Christmas, our kitchen and dining room were transformed into Mrs. Claus’s workshop.

Mom would bake her pecan pies and sour cream cake, make caramel popcorn balls, peanut brittle, divinity, fudge, Chex mix, and this heavenly honeyish mix of cereals and grated coconut. And who could forget the date balls? I can just taste them now! We kids would all “help” her make sugar cookies, standing on chairs and kneeling on barstools encircling the kitchen island counter where mom would roll out the dough. We would each get to cut out cookies and place them on the cookie sheet, usually sneaking a few chunks of the surrounding dough into our little mouths while mom wasn’t looking. Although my parents gave plates of these goodies to the neighbors, there was never a shortage of sweets in our house during the holidays.

The dining room was Gift Wrap Central. Rolls upon rolls of Christmas wrapping paper stuck out of boxes on the floor. Several boxes full of pre-made bows and bow-making supplies. And enough name tags to last through Christmas 2050! It was here that my mother taught me everything I know about wrapping gifts. She showed me how to use a yardstick to rip paper in a perfect straight line, how to quickly measure the paper for a gift so as not to cut the paper too small or too large, how to fold the paper around difficult shapes, how to make bows and curl ribbon.

Mom was also our family’s chief correspondent. She had a big red address book that she kept updated with the addresses and phone numbers of our relatives and friends near and far. Many years she would type up a Christmas Letter to send out with our Christmas cards. This letter would give updates on each of us. She would let me draw holly berries and leaves on the corners of the pages with green and red markers. She would then address the envelopes by hand and send the cards to every friend and relative our family had.

Brandon, Joel and Me ~ Christmastime

My mom didn’t have many good childhood memories, and I know that she did all these things so that her children would have nothing but marvelous memories of Christmas. You succeeded, Mom!

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