The holiday season has arrived. Along with it comes all the wonderful memories we have shared with our friends and family as we sit around the table and talk, as we eat all the special foods prepared for the event.
It is a time to reunite and appreciate that we have family and food to enjoy. It is sort of a “ketchup” time when we share the happy times and events that have taken place during the years.
I can recall the years my Grandma Hanson would fix the entire holiday meal for the family. Though she seemed to enjoy it, it must have been a real energy breaker as that was before the birth of all the modern conveniences we have today. Now we are more than likely to share the fun and bring food for a potluck. Many of us look forward to the opportunity to enjoy those favorite dishes that are made and shared by guests.
What is your best Christmas ever that you can remember? I will never forget one holiday when the “coffee server” started to talk. In reality it was cousin Bruce who was making the lid on the coffee pot flip up and down as he talked as if he was the coffee pot. It may not sound funny to you or even me until my mind’s eye sees the picture. It was typical of Bruce to think spontaneously of something that turned into laughter.
During the war years, after the holiday meal was over my grandmother would bring out a group of ball point pens and people would write a note or sign their name to the paper tablecloth that had graced the dinner table. Then she would fold it up and send it to whichever family member was away serving our country and wasn’t able to be with us to celebrate. It was her way of letting them know that though they couldn’t be there, we were thinking about them.
Other times there would be a scurry to clear the table so others who were so inclined could play a game of spoons, rummy, old maid or “I doubt it.” Others played hangman on the blackboard. And while the games were being played there was healthy food for thought that lasted many years after the original dinner.
If there was snow on the ground with texture for snowball fights, a battle could occur. If not, the game was fox and geese. We also built our fair share of snowmen over the years, complete with twigs for arms, carrots for noses, and Grandpa’s hat on top.
Often times if there was a vacation day from school, the next day the kids would have a sleepover that included any kid who could squeeze into Grandma’s bed, and that was many. We all remember that.
The next morning we would be treated to a bowl of oatmeal that had been cooked in a double boiler on the stove, grapefruit, along with cocoa and toast that Grandma had cut in lengths and then formed the slices to look like a choo-choo train. It was always fun to see who could get to the caboose first.
Speaking of Grandma, she had a knack for dreaming up the impossible and making it into a treat. I remember when Bruce was in Vietnam. She and my mother were packing a box of goodies to send to him. There was an empty space and don’t ask me why, but my mother had a rubber chicken. It looked like a chicken dressed for the roasting pan. My grandmother grabbed that rubber chicken and filled the empty space in the box and sent it off to Bruce.
Bruce got a kick out of it and the best laugh was when the Vietnamese maid saw it and came out with the chicken in hand, laughing until tears rolled down her cheeks. Another memory we will never forget.
I hope that sharing some of my holiday memories will stir up some for you to remember about some of the ones you liked best.
How often do we let each other know that we appreciate one another and that we’re glad and proud to have each other as part of our family? Yes, many of us don’t appreciate how fortunate we are to have family and friends.
If you haven’t told them, then make a special effort to tell them how good you feel about them and how much you care about them. Don’t wait until you are sitting around the dining room table 25 years from now!
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Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, December 15th: Josh Otto, Jolene Sorenson, Brenda Burshem, Dustin Quimby, Maureen Bailey, Nancy Kelly, Travis Reichl
• Friday, December 16th: Abraham Groth, Angie Deml, Karen Zicafoose, David Brandt, Vicky Dobberstein, M. Carol Nelson, Peggy Radjenovich and Paul & Mary Groth
• Saturday, December 17th: Zachary Tracy, Becky Edwards, Gretta Lageson, Tanya Blouin, Cheryl Cooper, Jack DeRaad, Joel Davis, Alex Edward LaFave, Keith & Leigh Ann Wayne, Bruce & Faye Thompson
• Sunday, December 18th: Mary Torgerson, Catherine Suzanne Olson, Scott Lang, Christ O’Byrne, Margaret (Mugsy) Swearingen, Gavyn Tlamka.
• Monday, December 19th: LaJune Hagen, Kathy Peterson, Jerry Thompson, Sheryl Tracy, Loren Haroldson, Cheryl Utpadel, James & Barb Bremmer, Chris & Jennifer Paulson, and Jerry & Bev White
• Tuesday, December 20th: Carolyn Paulsen, Kyle Johnson, Laurie Swift, Deb Whelan, Odean & Andrea Johnson
• Wednesday, December 21st: Audriene Nelson, Nancy Rich, Liz Wangness, Darin Rhodes, Brandon Hagen, Dave & Tammy Peterson, Duane & Cheryl Lembke
• Thursday, December 22nd: Destiny Rita Hill, David Arends, Pam Cook, Gary Dobberstein, Tracy Dulas, Julie Jensen Wichman, Ed Nelson, Nikki Toft Schumaker, Barbara Zamora, Bryce Hanson, Jamie Jensen
• Friday, December 23rd: Vicki Richards, Jonika Otto Wing, Jess Dunlap, Paitin DuBois, Julie Cornelius, Keith Severson, Carol Schultz, Sophia Swift, Burt & Carla Scripture
May your find joy and pleasure all around you on your special day!