I love, love, love this time of year. The spirits of the holidays are thick in the air and you can feel it the people, the places, and especially the food. Nothing can compare to the holiday treats and all of the baking wonders that have come out of family kitchens for generations. I know in our family I grew up enveloped with Christmas baking traditions.
My dear grandmother from West Virginia would send a much-anticipated frozen chocolate pecan pie up to our family every year, and my sweet mother would make various pies, cheesecake, cookies, stained glass hard candy, fudge and caramels for family and friends to enjoy. I remember my mother would always let me and my brothers and twin sister help make the holiday treats, and for me, this was utopia. My memories of this time are lovely, but are probably a bit embellished by age.
Most definitely, Christmas cookie decorating was our family’s favorite baking tradition. Back in the late sixties and early seventies at Christmas time, I remember our family happily listening to Nat and Bing while snow gently drifted out our tiny, turquoise kitchen window. I remember my dear mommy somewhat patiently leading us through another treasured holiday tradition while my daddy read the newspaper in the living room oblivious to the commotion.
The kitchen was chaotic and crowded with all five of us kids crammed in, anxious to keep the Christmas cookie decorating tradition alive and well. Every year it was exactly the same, siblings fighting over cookies cutters, cookies decorated quaintly and imperfectly and kids sneaking cookie dough from our big brown, chipped mixing bowl with joyous giggles echoing throughout our brick home. Despite the cramped space, spats, and mess, the time together as a family was perfect. Not perfect in the real sense of the word, but perfect because we were together and it was our McComb family tradition.
I implore all of us to continue your own family traditions or start new ones, for it is paramount that our time-honored traditions continue for our children and our children’s children. For there is nothing better than having the magic in our hearts at Christmastime as we recall warm, sweet memories of delicious holiday treats, loving family traditions and Santa Claus!
Eat pie, and treasure holiday traditions... xoxoxo Linda