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Christmas Morning 2015   

Posted by helenofjoy - Dec 25, 2015 - 8:15am
It's almost 9 a.m. Christmas morning and I have yet another attempt at the perfect apple pie in the oven to take to my ex-husband's home where we will celebrate Christmas with our daughter Eva and her brand new family!  It's a bittersweet time for any of us who have managed to survive beyond retirement with grown children scattered all over the planet.  The times that I can't be with my family members are certainly the times that I bring out the most wonderful memories from Christmases past.

One indelible memory which has morphed into the most amazingly comforting and joyous time any child or adult could imagine, is of the Christmases combined and spent at the Cullinane household on Beard's Creek in Maryland.  My father was a dramatic person and at Christmas time would belt out Christmas carols with great gusto and verve.  Driving to Aunt Dorothy's house for Christmas was the beginning of the magic.  We honed all the traditional Christmas carols during these road trips and it was one activity that resulted in strong bonds.  We knew joy during these times.

Aunt Dorothy's house was situated on a curvy, wooded country road in tobacco country on the banks of Beard's Creek, surrounded by tall trees, berries and flowers and every kind of natural life.  To me it was Paradise at any time of year.  So much of interest, so much to see and learn.  The creek itself overflowing with life and growth, was a constant source of spirituality for me.  This was my heaven.

My four cousins were like big brothers to me and taught me all that they knew of nature and life that they learned.  Their Boys Life Magazines were a rare gift and when we visited, I would go get whatever issues were available and read through each one, savoring the opportunity and trying to teach my little brother everything I learned. We collected evergreen trimmings and holly sprigs for fresh arrangements.  They always had a large traditionally decorated Christmas tree with many colored lights and garland, hand strung popcorn and cranberries, fragile shiny Christmas balls with a star on top.

Aunt Dorothy's house at Christmas time smelled like warmth and love, yeasty, cinnamon tinged aromas filled the kitchen and wafted out to the large screened in porch when they opened to door to welcome us in.  The adults would catch up with one another and toast the season and their health while my brother and sister and I would try to locate our cousins and renew acquaintanceship with the place.  I remember the built in bookcases filled with beautifully bound and illustrated literature for all ages of reader. Did I mention the fragrance of the place? Cinnamon and leather bound books! Wood smoke and evergreens.  Ah my heart!

And after the roast turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, yeast rolls, gravy, corn, cranberry jelly, waldorf salad, pumpkin and applie pie, the caroling fueled by Tom & Jerries and Hot Toddys  would begin in earnest.  Sometimes actual roving carolers came to the door and sang for us.  Surely I remember that? All of the Cullinanes and the Bucks seemed to be blessed with hearty, solid voices and perfect pitch.  At least that's the way I remember it. 

I'm so grateful for these memories!  I'm always surprised when I'm invited to spend Christmas with a family that celebrates almost just like we did, but without the singing!  Don't see much of that around these days!  Seems like a great custom to bring back - the little ones love it!

Merry Christmas 2015
8 comments on this journal entry.

miamizsun Avatar

Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)

Posted: Dec 30, 2015 - 11:21am

I eat pints
ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell

Posted: Dec 27, 2015 - 7:48am


kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting

Posted: Dec 26, 2015 - 11:17pm

A very Merry Christmas to you.

ab origine
oldviolin Avatar

Location: esse quam videri

Posted: Dec 26, 2015 - 3:11pm


BlueHeronDruid Avatar

Location: planting flowers

Posted: Dec 26, 2015 - 12:52am


Antigone Avatar

Location: A house, in a Virginian Valley

Posted: Dec 25, 2015 - 3:37pm

Merry and Happy to you and yours!

Living with passion
Alexandra Avatar

Location: PNW

Posted: Dec 25, 2015 - 10:11am

What rich, beautiful memories, Helen. Thank you for sharing!
Shine On.
Coaxial Avatar

Location: 543 miles west of Paradis,1491 miles east of Paradise

Posted: Dec 25, 2015 - 9:54am