I think our Traditional Christmas dinner is a thing of the past here.
We have lived in this house for the past 41 years, and as the only family left after my father died this became the place for everyone else to come for Christmas. My mother was a widower, my brother a bachelor, and my aunt referred to herself as a maiden lady. I was the one with two small children, so this was the logical place to do Christmas.
It used to be that my brother would arrive on Christmas Eve. We would have my special meat pies and scalloped potatoes for supper, and then we would all play board games with the kids. He would sleep over and the next day my Mom and Aunt would arrive. Christmas is more fun when kids are little as the house if full of excitement.
My traditional Christmas dinner consists of turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, corn salad, and a jellied Waldorf. Of course there would also be a pickle dish, cranberries, buns and gravy. The food on the plate was a beautiful blend of colours, and looked as good as it tasted.
Once my brother stopped coming for Christmas Eve and my boys were grown, my hubby and I would go out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve. That way I didn’t have to worry about left overs in an already over crowded fridge. But the meat pies are a family favourite, and deemed to be part of the celebration. I was somehow convinced that they had to be part of the Christmas meal along with the turkey. This caused a bit of jugging for oven use for several years,
Over the years my Mom and Aunt passed away, and my brother decided it was too far to drive, so then we were back to just our own family, which came to include a daughter-in-law and two grandsons, and sometimes one of my sister-in-laws, who had also become widowed. Last year it was just myself, my hubby, my two sons and two grandsons. Since we had the grandsons Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, I decided to feed them their birthday tacos that night, since they didn’t get them the week before when it was actually their birthdays. We never have to worry about leftovers when there are boys and tacos involved. I did miss my Christmas Eve Chinese food, and as the boys will be here again this year, I’ll miss it again. But hey, I made the meat pies so we’ll have those like in the old days.
Nobody but my hubby and myself seem to eat the corn salad anymore. I can make that any time. I hear the odd complaint about there being walnuts in the jelly salad, but hey, that’s what makes it a waldorf, so while I’ve cut back on the nuts, they are still in there. Last year, I decided to make a simple caesar salad instead since the young ones are particularly fond of that. It’s a lot less work and went over well. And while everyone seems to eat the brussels sprouts, there are always a few left over now. That never used to happen! Perhaps I’m just buying too many.
Dessert has always been an apple pie made with apples from my own tree, and a lemon one. And of course there is the big cookie platter so even if you are stuffed you can find some sweet treat on there to finish off with.
Normally I start to bake at the beginning of November, using pumpkin from the Halloween decorations. I add a new batch of baked goods fairly often after that so I always end up with a good variety even after sharing some with friends who drop by through the holiday season. This year I had a surgery that interrupted what would normally be my baking time, and I took a while to get my energy back. The baking didn’t get done. I made birthday cakes for last weekend and attempted to start my Christmas baking this morning. There are certain things I only bake at Christmas time since I like them way too much for my own good. I started with the one I had been looking forward to the most. But I’m tired I guess. I screwed it up. It’s supposed to be a cheesecake square that you can pick up with your fingers to eat, but what I’ve got is a cheesecake with a cookie base as I forgot to divide the cookie dough. It may still taste good but it will now be served like the pie, on a plate with a fork. That’s certainly not what I had in mind.
As I am now the only female in this family, all the work falls on me, and I feel like I’m getting too old for it. I did visit our local cookie walk, so I have an assortment of interesting looking goodies that were meant to just sort of pretty up my cookie tray. I may now just head over to M&M’s to pick up something from there and call an end to this baking chore for this year. I’m sure to hear complaints as everyone, like me, has a favorite they likely look forward to. Maybe next year, if I get to start on time, they will get the cookie that they think of as their Christmas treat. Not this year, I’m afraid. It’s just not going to happen.
So as times change, so must our traditions, even if that isn’t really what we want. Christmas comes, ready or not. I do hope you all have one that is happy, healthy and safe.
Did you enjoy this visit with Karen? To read more of Karen’s adventures hop on over to our blog page right here at Hometown TV12; to read a complete archive of past rambles you’ll have to visit Karen’s blog at www.otherrambles.blogspot.com.