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This Day in My History


Christmas carols, the smell of pine and the sight of snowflakes falling gently to the ground all remind me of when Christmas was a time of wonder. As I look back, I'm saddened to see that it has lost its magic....Except for a few fleeting moments of nostalgia, I just don't feel it anymore.
-- Amidst a Tangled Web

Yesterday's Entries

2000:  Visions of Sugarplums
2001:  ...And so it's over
2002:  All I Want for Christmas


Breakfast:  Cheerios and banana

Lunch:  picked at leftovers

Dinner:  Off to Grandma's for lunch at the retirement home dining room


What else?  the Spranos


Tom gave me a great book on PhotoShop, which is fascinating and has already taught me some useful stuff.

Walt gave me an out-of-print book about the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, and specifically about the Palace of Fine Arts.  Cool book!


Chilly, sunny again.



26 December 2003

A list I’m on recently sent out one of those questionnaires that you get periodically. This one had to do with senses. The statements to be completed were:

It's not the holidays until I...

It’s not the holidays until I hear...

It's not the holidays until I see...

It's not the holidays until I smell...

It's not the holidays until I taste...

It's not the holidays until I feel...

Normally I love filling out stuff like this. It’s fun to check my answers against everyone else’s. It’s fun to explore how I feel about things. It’s fun to check my own memories of things.

But this one had me stumped. It is all based on senses surrounding Christmas and I discovered that the more I thought about it, the more difficult it became for me to define what makes it "Christmas" for me.

When the kids were little it would be easy. The sound of the kids, the sight of their projects, the smell of our cookies baking, getting up on Christmas morning and all gathering to open presents and then have a special breakfast, etc. etc.. I probably could have come up with a fairly decent answer to this 10 years ago

But at this stage of my life, this one had me stumped. I don’t make cookies any more because I’d only eat them all. There was no air of excitement as the kids shook packages or tried to guess what Santa might be bringing. I rarely "decorate" for Christmas. There were few pre-Christmas traditions, especially this year where I spent so much time cleaning, and I knew the holiday would come, but there was never a time when I suddenly got hit with this great ball of **HOLIDAY** with all the warm glow that is supposed to settle somewhere north of the cockles of your heart.

Somehow it all changed Christmas morning. And it was a simple thing that suddenly made it all "Christmas" for me and made me think of the new "traditions" that we’d already gone through.

Our new bean burrito for Christmas Eve with Marta’s family.

Our new "drink at the cemetery" tradition. Would it ever be "Christmas" again without it?

But it was an old tradition.

Bing Crosby was singing in the background. My mother was chopping celery and onions and mixing her special stuffing, which I’ve never been able to duplicate.

The stuffing got made and I snatched pieces of it, just like I used to do when I was a kid. I took pictures of her with her hand up the bird, filling its cavity with mounds of wet bread.

Together we took soft butter and rubbed it over the flesh of the bird and then covered it lovingly with foil and popped it into the oven.

How many times in my life have I watched my mother stuff a turkey, have I snatched bits of her stuffing, have we worked together while Bing sang in the background.

All of a sudden, I realized that it was the holiday for me.

It’s not the holidays until I hear Bing Crosby crooning Christmas carols.

It's not the holidays until I see my mother chopping an onion to put into the stuffing.

It's not the holidays until I smell poultry seasoning.

It's not the holidays until I taste my mother’s stuffing.

It's not the holidays until I feel like a little kid again, if only for a moment.

I don’t know what makes it "the holiday" for our kids (probably their midnight poker game after gift opening Christmas night!), but for me it’s those warm memories of Mom and Apple Pie...or turkey or whatever. It was working together to make the day special.

Thanks, Momma...I love you.



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Weight Lost to date:  48.6 lbs

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Created 12/21/03