Friday, November 14, 2014


Now is the time of year we begin to think of all the traditions our family has kept through the years. It rarely varies. Thanksgiving at Gramma's house - turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with lots of pecans and brown sugar and maybe a few marshmallows for those that like it that way. Of course, hot rolls timed to come out of the oven just as we sit down for the blessing ready to be slathered with butter and honey. A couple of veggies - probably green bean casserole and corn. Then in the center of the table there's always an assortment of olives, stuffed celery, pickled beets and even cheese slices.

Everyone is way too full for dessert, but by the time dishes are done and the kitchen restored to some degree of order, it is time to break out the pies. Pumpkin, of course, mince with added apples and nuts to the mix from the bottle, some kind of chocolate, apple, and ice cream and whipped cream for garnish.

Talk of all the blessings that have been accumulated during the year accompanies this feast, and as we live in California, everyone usually congregates outside in the sunshine for BB gun practice, archery - if they remembered to bring their bows - and whatever new game is popular at the time. Sometimes it is marshmallows shot out of PVC pipes - hopefully they don't go in the pool!

When it cools down and everyone returns to the house, someone wanders to the kitchen and grabs a leftover yeast roll, spreads on some cranberry sauce, adds a hunk of turkey, and the next round of eating begins. My husband agrees with a son-in-law that the sandwich at the end of the day is almost as good as the turkey in the middle of the day!

I think it's funny that Thanksgiving revolves around food and family, while Christmas revolves around service and surprising people with presents they didn't expect but needed, and our Savior's birth. It's all about beautiful music and lights and sights and sounds we only see and hear once a year.

In our family, we didn't read the Christmas story from the scriptures. We listened to it on a big 33 1/3 inch record - "Journey to Bethany" - the dramatized life of Christ. I can still hear the soldiers feet tramping down the street as they posted the notice that all Jews had to return to their family village to be counted or taxed. We heard the donkey's bray and Joseph's tender concern for Mary, and the innkeeper's gentle compassionate wife who led them to the stable. And we heard the shepherds in the field, amazed and awed at the angel declaring glad tidings. The little shepherd boy who gave his shepherd's staff to the tiny baby was a tender moment.

I wondered how my children with their families could enjoy that same tradition but I found that it had been converted to CD - by Covenant, I think! I bought copies for all my children and they are continuing that tradition today.

I love our Christmas traditions! I love choosing special presents for my kids and grandkids and siblings. I love making mountains of caramel corn to deliver to the neighbors. I love all the wonderful traditions we have established to celebrate special times, but especially the ones when we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

1 comment:

Cheri J. Crane said...

Traditions are important, and a great way to draw close as a family. Awesome post. Thanks for sharing. =)