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Let the Feasting Begin!

We did not have a lot of money when I was a kid

Dec 20-Reality-Feasting-Pauline Baird Jones

We did not have a lot of money when I was a kid, but somehow my parents managed to deliver a holiday feast and some treats for in-between meals. And a great holiday.

Our typical Christmas Eve was to bounce up and down for most of the day begging to open just ONE gift. Just one and we won’t beg anymore.

When mom gave in, it was agonizing to pick! And there were some she ruled off-limits, so we couldn’t open the really enticing ones. 

In fact, now that I think about it, my mom was very good at steering us toward our homemade pajamas so we’d look decent in the photos in the morning. 

But in between the begging, we would run and around, try not to fight because Santa would KNOW, and sometimes we’d get roped into helping with some of the baking.

I know the house seemed to smell heavenly from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. 

But on Christmas Eve, the smell of the turkey cooking was almost as hard to wait for as Christmas morning. 

I honestly don’t know how my mom did what she did. She was so great at putting on a holiday with not much money. 

So anyway, food. We’d pile in the car to visit our country grandma who lived in a log cabin. Seriously. I do not jest about that. 

Other close family came too, and that cabin would be bursting at the edges. We’d deliver our gift, she’d open it and exclaim with delight no matter what it was, then we’d drive home through the moonlight peering out the car windows in hopes of spotting Sants flying overhead. 

We’d hit the door and were surrounded by the smell of the turkey. Unlike Thanksgiving, mom didn’t so much put on a feast as she let us fall on the turkey and gobble it up. 

We’d have hot, open-face sandwiches and I know there were other things, but I just remember the turkey.

And the pies. Don’t get me started on the pies. 

And the hot rolls.

Clearly, I’m a fan of carbs. Lol

When we moved to the South, it just wasn’t the same doing the traditional fare when it was only us, so we tried out some different traditions. We had some wonderful food. One of our kids’ favorite was when the hubs cooked the turkey by smearing it with butter and when he put it in the oven, it would catch on fire. 

I guess you had to be there. Lol

But a lot of my love of family is connected to food because we’d gather in love around the table and I remember how safe I felt there. 

My parents are gone but I am glad I still have the memories. And my sister has a lot of the recipes, so when she prepares them and we eat—it all comes flooding back. 

What family traditions sweep you back into the past? Have you made new ones for your families?

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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