Then come the mantels. We have three. One in the Living room,
One in the Playroom. And one in the Library. And, I guess a mini
mantel in the Kitchen which would make four.
Of course, that Kitchen mantel was jury rigged by simply taking the doors
off the cabinets above the stove and grill, tiling the area below in
charcoal tiles, and having a carpenter add a shelf. This is how I
updated my old kitchen without major renovation. The library
mantel was designed by my mother-in-law and the painting in the fireplace is
by a Panama City artist I would love to identify. The playroom mantel
was originally 1950s khaki blocks that I covered with delft tiles and added
the mantel. The mantel is an homage to
"Alliwishus" the story my
mother told me and I eventually imagined into a short story.
I have discovered the wonder of Mardi Gras beads on my Christmas tree. I had lots of them from
parades past and added them to colored lights and glass ornaments.
Special Day, is a book I try to read to my children (grandchildren) every
year. I recommend it highly.
The stockings hanging on the mantle and draped across the fire screen
always contain at least one orange. That is a memory back to the times
of my father's Christmases when their stockings contained oranges, nuts and
candy and they considered that their very special Christmas treat
(Depression years when his father, also a physician, took payment in land
and produce, not currency, if he was paid at all). His favorite
Christmas gift was a goat cart that Aunt Elizabeth smiled about even on her
death bed. She remembered Daddy, then just a little boy, winding that
goat's tail around and around to make him run.
In the past, our immediate family gathered on Christmas morning for breakfast and to
open presents before we progress onto my parents home for more food and
2008 brought Brittany, Drew's fiance, to our breakfast table.
littlest one, Lily, was not happy with this time management theory.
Presents should be opened immediately and breakfast should wait!!!!
But, we finally got around to the big event making her extremely happy.
We once spent Christmas lunch with my parents. My
brother, Elkanah, his wife, Debbie, and their girls (Hannah, Rebecca,
Mallory, and Ellie) came from Madison, Mississippi to join us. Now,
sister Sylvia and her husband and our family are together since we both
live in Dothan. My children and grandchildren now join us.
Our traditional menu is:
Apricot Delight Salad
Ambrosia (orange, grapefruit, cherries, and coconut (optional)
I buy the Butt portion of a ham, pour a can of Coca cola over it and bake it for
about 2 hours at 375. This was my Aunt Eliece's recipe and I do not
think it can be improved upon.
Chicken and Dumplings
Rice (Uncle Ben's)
Giblet Gravy (Add water to turkey drippings with chicken boullion and
flour stirred in and boiled eggs chipped up and added.) This is also
called Nanny and Paw Paw Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet potato stuffed orange halves with miniature marshmallow topping
I do try to get all of the family involved in baking
SOMETHING. This was Christmas cookie year (about 1983). This year
(2014) it will be Buche Noel with Cecily, Lily (12), Molly (1)
and Megan (4). We'll see how that turns out!
The only thing that really matters is the family around the table with
- The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a
happy family all wrapped up in each other. - Burton Hillis
- Christmas - that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that
something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a
spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer,
but always it will be a day of remembrance--a day in which we think of
everything we have ever loved. - Augusta E. Rundel