Saturday, December 17, 2005

Happy American Holidays!!

What delightful memories I have of our family’s celebrations at this special time of year! As we gathered around the holiday tree, sipping a viscous beverage, my parents, my sisters and I would fill the house with music-- the sometimes holy, sometimes boisterous sounds of cherished seasonal tunes. Songs about sleighing. And winter. And snow. Or sleighing in the winter snow. Several of them involve coming inside to warm up from the cold wintry snow.

And oh, the food! Mother and/or Father would outdo themselves, with a large hot dense main course, cooked just right, and seasoned to perfection. The squash and potatoes were hearty. The dessert, moist and sweet, announced to our insides that it was that time of year. The Special Time.

Dad, in particular, always enjoyed lighting a fire. And yup, you guessed it—that would kick off a whole new round of season songs, specifically about warming up near a fire after coming in from wintry snow. We’d gaze into the flames, focusing on our own private meditations.

After a reasonable time for contemplation, it would be time to visit the neighbors!

From house to house we’d go, sharing appetizing foods from many lands, comparing holiday trees, and talking about property values, food preparation and traffic. My hair would be tousled by older people. I’d be bounced on knees. And everyone smoked.

But Mom and Dad and Allison and I saved our best visit for last, our next door neighbors, the Blanks.

Mrs. Blank always prepared the unique delicacies of her native Asia. Mr. Blank told fascinating stories of his childhood in Africa. And their boarder, Shawn, would have special treats shipped in from his homeplace of Europe, just for the season.

I suppose I’m biased, but I would swear that our American Holiday Celebrations were just about the best anywhere. But, you know kids; it wasn’t long after—maybe a week or so—that we children had moved on, and a new theme filled our hearts: it’ll only be a few months before our visit from the Festival Rabbit!


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