Originally Published: December 8, 2016
My favorite time of the year is November through December – Thanksgiving and Christmas when I spent some of the happiest moments of my life in the kitchen with Mom while she cooked. I had no talent for cooking and she new it….so I was her official food taster. She didn’t really need an official tester but it was her way of including me in what she was doing without Collateral Damage to the meal (LOL!). Kneeling in the kitchen chair tasting cake batter and watching mom prepare each dish still make me feel love and warmth at holiday time.
“My mother magically transformed our entire house every year and made it look, feel and smell “Christmas”.“
Holiday towels, rugs and curtains were changed to welcome the season. The baking trippled and smells of food, only cooked during this holiday, filled the house. Each of us kids had our own special christmas ornament that we hung on the tree ourselves…which made us feel special… and furniture was rearranged to make room for the center attraction…the Christmas tree!
Build Confidence early
Christmas outfits were bought each year for the holiday events…Sunday Service and The Childrens Christmas Program. We each recited a special scripture or read a poem or participated in the Christmas play for the Childrens Christmas Program and as I got older, I sang in the Christmas Music Concert. These events provided a safe environment to present myself in front of a group…build my confidence. I love colorful lights so the holidays were always exciting for me with the holiday lighting of downtown and the BIG downtown Christmas Tree, being out of school for a few weeks, relatives visiting, sneeking away with one relative to buy gifts for another relative and hiding the gifts so no one would find them until they were wrapped and proudly displayed under the tree. Decorating our tree at home was a big deal and so was Christmas dinner with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and anybody else who was invitied. Our home felt special during those times, warm, cozy and it smelled yummy. As Moms official taste tester and helper I got to spend time watching her create an environment where I felt included and I could participate. It was wonderful and I felt special. A feeling I remember with a smile and sometimes wish for as an adult. As I think back on those special times, it wasn’t just the things we did, but it was the way we felt doing them, together. Yes, we had moments when we didn’t get along…there were four of us so the excitement of all the activity created disagreements but Mom would tell us to “stop it or you won’t see santa” and we’d figure out how to resolve our differences…but even that was part of the seasonal experience, the feeling of “home”.
When I hear Jennifer Hudson sing “Home” from the Wizard of Oz, my mind immediately goes back to my family holiday time together…and I know exactly what the phrase “like Home” means. Wishing you the joy of “Home” this holiday season.
Until next time….