I was blessed to grow up in a home that celebrated Christmas with lots of traditions. Some of those I carried on with our own family — buying and decorating our tree on Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas Eve Candlelight church services and tamales for dinner, opening one present the night before Christmas (my favorite when I was a kid). We started new ones as well — one of our favorites is our scavenger hunt (with rhyming clues) for our kids to find their new set of Christmas PJ’s every Christmas Eve.
However, the thing I remember most about Christmas was the tastes and smells of my mom’s baking. She was called “Cookie Mama” by my nephews and ultimately our own children. She had a gift and would bake delicious stacks of pies, cookies and breads for friends and family that my dad would deliver.
After she passed, I came across her handwritten pie crust recipe in an old book of my grandmother’s. It warms my heart to see her writing in it and brings me back to the good times we shared as a family.
I spoke earlier in a previous blog post about the birch logs inside the 1450 fireplace. They belonged to my father who passed over sixteen years ago. Just like seeing my mom’s writing , these logs we take in and out on occasion as well as his wooden skis by our front door, brings me back to my heritage and the loving memories I cherish.
Lastly, are the ornaments my mom had made for Smoot and I the year we were married. Bringing them out each year takes me back not only to the Christmas we received this cherished gift, but also to the day I married the love of my life.
Our goal for our own family has been to create traditions and memories that hopefully they will share and pass on themselves. It really is the little things that can bring so much joy!