Posted tagged ‘piñatas’

“Fine old Christmas, with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in the noblest fashion, and had set off his rich gifts of warmth and color with all the heightening contrast of frost and snow.”

December 16, 2016

Outside looks lovely from the window. I see sun, a blue sky, and only a slight breeze, but all of those are deceiving. Cold, freezing cold, is today’s weather. Wear layers is what we’re being told. I’m thinking 6 or 7 layers may not be enough. It is 14˚, and today’s high will be 19˚. Tomorrow and Sunday will be warm but rainy. It could reach 60˚ on Sunday. Mother Nature is indecisive.

My house is mostly decorated. The tree could use a few more ornaments so I’ll add that to my to-do list. My fake scrub pine has a dead set of lights so I’ll have to replace it. Friends are coming to dinner. The menu is set but I need to get dessert and some cheese. I have sort of a casual flow chart on cooking the meal. We’re having pork tenderloin, honeyed carrots and baby potatoes with romano cheese.

My family calls it the Christmas bug. It all started with my grandmother, the one who had eight kids. My mother, my Aunt Bunny and my Uncle Jack were bitten. Their houses were filled with Christmas. They baked and they kept baking. They loved to shop for presents. They always chose the best gifts. Many of my cousins were also bitten, as was I and my two sisters. We love all the hoopla of Christmas and traditions teem. The gingerbread house construction started 33 years ago and has now passed to a second generation. Pinatas, too, are on a second generation. I used to fill them for my niece and two nephews, and now,  their kids can’t wait for Christmas Eve and pinata whacking. Five pinatas hang from the high railing on the second floor.

When I was a kid, my mother’s kitchen always had steamed windows when she was cooking. It was a small kitchen, almost a galley kitchen. The table was by the window. It had four chairs, just enough for my parents and my brother and me. My sister was a baby in a highchair. I can still recall images of that house, one side of a duplex. The stairs had a landing where I used to sit and color or read. Upstairs was the bathroom and two bedrooms. This house had gotten too small with the birth of my sister, and we would be moving soon but only down the street. I don’t even remember moving.

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas lights.”

November 25, 2014

I am getting use to these warm days, a mistake. Winter is the slyest of seasons. One warm day can be followed by frost and even snow. Today is dark. Rain is coming and tomorrow will be an ugly day.

For the last few days a box or two has been delivered. Inside is a Christmas present or some stocking stuffers. I have been computer shopping. It is not as much fun as wandering through stores, but it is less expensive. I find all sorts of sales and free shipping. One item was close to $30.00. With free shipping and a coupon I found on-line it was only $19.00. Next I’ll make a list of what I still need and with list in hand do some shopping on small business Saturday. I’ll wander on 6A and see what I can find. One stop will be for me. In Orleans is a henna shop, and I was thinking my hands could use some decorating for the holidays. They’ve been painted twice before with henna: once in Morocco and once at a fair. They looked exotic and I loved the patterns.

Traditions are important to my family especially at the holidays. Certain dishes have to be on the table to make the meal complete. We get to open one door a day on our Advent calendars. My sister gets a Life Safer book just as she did in her stocking every year. I give my niece and nephews small bags with a few gifts including a new ornament, toothbrushes and fun soaps. That started when each of them turned three and I sent a filled piñata for Christmas Eve fun. They are now filling piñatas for their nephews. I love that I started a tradition.

Some of my neighbors have already put up and lit their Christmas lights. I don’t think it’s too soon. Darkness comes early, and the lights makes us almost forget we have a long winter ahead of us.