Brrr Baby it’s cold outside!

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
Edith Sitwell

          Not too long ago someone asked on facebook, “What is your favorite childhood memory concerning the holidays.” It was not really the holidays, but more of a winter holiday.  This year’s cold weather started with a bang.  We’ve already seen more snowflakes this year than we have the last three years combined.

Winter was always the time of year when we seemed to be more of a “family” doing “family” activities.  My most favorite memory was playing cards with my sister, mom, dad, and myself.  My parents taught us Pinochle. It was sort of a family rite of passage to learn.  For the longest time my sister and I were partners and my parents were partners.  We got to beating them so bad we had to change it up.

There were always laughs and jokes.  My mom always had this bad poker face.  You just knew when to bid against her and when not to bid.  The wood stove was always warm and there was a nice supply of goodies and nuts to snack on as well as, hot drinks. There was always soft music playing in the background. It drove my mom nuts when it was classical music, so during the holidays it was nice to just hear Christmas tunes.

Every year one of the local radio stations would play 96 hours of Christmas music.  One year my dad used is cassette recorder to record a good majority of those songs.  My favorite tape he would play was the Music Box Christmas.  I have always had a thing for classical Christmas tunes.

For many years my sister and I would come up with an idea of how to “present” the Christmas story.  One year I did it on my own.  I used construction paper to make all the characters in 3-D.  That Christmas was special because our adopted grandma Clare came for Christmas Eve dinner.  I read and acted the Christmas story.  Even had my dad use a flash light to light a golden star that was hanging on the tree.  This was also the Christmas my dad realized “breaking” in mom’s dining room chairs wasn’t a good idea.  Gramma Clare got his chair and leaned back…. She did not fall over but poor old lady thought she was going to go over backwards.

The last memory is a tradition we carry on with our kids.  I always looked forward to the stockings.  It was not so much the toys in them but three other things: ribbon candy (old fashioned kind), an orange, and a bag of nuts.  Ok honestly, I never cared for the nuts.  As an adult I realized I missed out.  I loved the shape and look of the ribbon candy!  The orange…. What can I really say except “YUM!”