This Christmas has one of the best family holidays we have had since moving to Florida. Why, you ask? It was one of the best because we were able to connect with all three of our girls, the grandchildren and many of our friends.
But also because as I have mentioned before, I am very much a traditionalist and I realized, more so this holiday, that many of the things I watched my mom do during the holidays that I continued, my daughters and grandchildren are now doing. That knowledge makes my heart sing!!!
As a young girl I remember my mom working late into the night making wonderful yeast coffee cakes, cookies and yummy pistachio divinity to give as gifts to friends and neighbors. When I became a young woman with a growing family I would do the same.
And now, my girls have all become really good cooks and have carried on the tradition of making homemade goodies and handicrafts to give as gifts during the holiday season to their family and friends.
Each year just before Christmas the girls would ask me, “What would you and Randy like for Christmas?” I would reply, “Nothing really, just a card or if we see you a big hug”. This year as we traveled from home to home, we were pleasantly surprised with gifts of love, food, and other surprises.
Kristine prepared wonderful foods for our visit including a wonderully moist walnut
streusel bread and gave Randy bag of delicious, homemade gift of chocolate chips cookies which, by the way, did not make it back to Florida.
Jennifer too prepared a wonderful Christmasmeal of baked ham, light scalloped potatoes, asparagus, Shoepeg corn and pie for dessert. Nestled under the tree for Randy was a Christmas tin filled with peanut butter cookies. She used a recipe that was handed from her grandmother, Myrtle.
For me, Jennifer decided to surprise me with a gift celebrating my love of blogging on the Delicious Divas website that I share with Kristine. This wonderful hand-decorated bag was filled with a note pad and pens and other surprises. As I looked into this wonderful bag, Jennifer said from across the room, “Of course, you have to have snacks when writing so I put in some goodies too”. Indeed she did. There was a mini package of Walker’s shortbread cookies, shelled pistachio nuts, and, of course, chocolate bars. I loved it.
Derek and Maddy decorated coffee cups for both me and Randy. Mine read, “#1 Grandma” on the front and, “Sparkle and Shine Bright,” on the back. This will definitely be my morning coffee cup from now on. Derek was watching as Randy opened his present and said, “I didn’t spell it right”. The cup read, “#1 Grampaw”. Randy looked at the cup and said, “It’s okay, I love it,” which put a smile on Derek’s face.
Kara loves to bake always with an eye to creating her own recipes. Kara made wonderful peppermintscones and wonderful orange bread topped with chocolate chips and pistachios for us to take home.
She also gave Randy a fun gift but I must set the stage for that. Every holiday during the year I buy Randy a box of Little Debbie cakes in holiday various shapes and decorations. This time of the year I always give him a box of Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes. These are little cakes cut into the shapes of Christmas tree filled with a white, creaming filling, iced with white, green and red decorations. I had already given Randy a box for Christmas while at Jennifer’s house.
Randy laughed and laughed when he opened his present from Kara and realized it was another box of Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes. Believe me when I tell you he was a happy camper.
My gift was a bag that contained a white dish towel, oven mitt and potholder all decorated with the word, “Joy” written in red and green letters. Digging a little deeper I found some of my very favorite treats, Mary Jane and Bit-O-Honey penny candies. (Of course, they cost way more than a penny today.)
The next day Lauren presented us with delicate chocolate candies filled with a lemon cream that was just wonderful. Fiona had made soaps, one with a vanilla scent and one with a lemon scent. Both were in the shape of old-fashioned crosses. Everything was just lovely.
I have always felt, and continue to feel that homemade gifts, gifts from the heart, are the best. The entire family made our Christmas a truly memorable holiday . And, of course, we can’t wait until we get home to enjoy all our treats.
Randy and I certainly did have a ‘Sparkle and Shine Bright’ Christmas and hope each and every one of you had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a very Happy New Year!!!!!