Monday, November 16, 2015

Holidays by Roseanne Dowell

The holiday season is almost upon us. My favorite time of year and it begins with Thanksgiving. Actually in my house, it begins a week or so before.
Since we no longer host Christmas with my children – too many of them for our small house – the kids have taken over. However, we do still have Thanksgiving dinner here with a couple of the kids, and everyone comes later for dessert, so I put up our tree and Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving.
When the kids were small, we used to put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. Neighbors all told me we were nuts. Funny, how many trees and decorations I see on Thanksgiving and even before now days. It warms my heart.
Anyway, as I said the holidays start with Thanksgiving. Of course we have the traditional turkey and dressing after the blessing – oh wait that’s a Christmas song-  and then the other kids come over  as well as grandkids  and we have dessert. Usually more than we can possibly eat.
It’s been my tradition ever since my kids got married to give them something on Thanksgiving, usually a Christmas decoration that I made. I was into ceramics for a while, so naturally they got ceramics, a Santa Claus ornament or statue. Then I was into woodworking and made them Santas.
Eventually I was into redwork embroidery and made them wall hangings of – who else – Santa Claus. Then I started quilting. I made them table runners – no not of Santa Claus – and wall hangings  – just Christmas related fabric. Sometimes I bought them ornaments.
My son and daughter in law begged me not to get them anything this year. They’re out of wall space and their tree is full of ornaments. I’ll have to see what I can come up with, because no way am I breaking that tradition. That’s part of the fun of the holiday season. Maybe I’ll be nice this year and look for Santa Claus candy, something consumable.
When I was younger, my mom started baking the day after Thanksgiving, making huge cans (potato chip cans and not the small ones) full of cookies. Back then everyone entertained and visited a lot during the holidays. Sadly that practice seems to have stopped.  There wasn’t a weekend that went by without some aunt or uncle coming to visit. I loved those days. I don’t bake as much as I used to and certainly not the day after Thanksgiving.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, my daughters and I spent the days shopping. They used to help me pick out gifts for their children, but since they’re all grown up now, (well most of them are, I still have a couple young ones) I don’t need to shop for them anymore. I’ve taken the lazy, safe route and give them cash. I’m sure they like it better. Once they’ve moved out or married, they join the ranks of the adult joint couples gifts, usually something homemade now since we’ve retired and money is tight.
We also celebrate our wedding anniversary in November - the 24th to be exact. Sometimes it lands on Thanksgiving which makes it extra special. Fifty-three years this year. Seems like only yesterday I walked down the aisle. Time sure flies.
Christmas Eve is spent with my siblings – two brothers and a sister. We’ve
lost a sister and brother some years back and it’s not quite the same. Nieces and nephews used to join us, but that was back before most of them married. Now they have other families to share the day with and we’ve dwindled from a group of 37 down to 8 plus a couple nieces and nephews whose families are out of town.
I still love the holidays and look forward to them as much or more than any child. The hustle and bustle of getting ready, the family gatherings, and spending time with loved ones. I’m very blessed and thankful to have all my children and most of my grandchildren within twenty minutes of me. We miss the ones who can’t join us, but it’s still a lively group and growing by leaps and bounds. Not only are most of the grandchildren married or dating, they’re having children of their own. I dread the day when their parents decide it’s too much and want their own families around them for the holiday. I know that day will come, maybe sooner than I think, and it’ll sadden me, but  I do understand. We had to do it also as our kids grew and had families of their own. But for now I’ll enjoy what God has so richly blessed me with. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

My latest book, All's Well That Ends Well can be found at Books We Love

Aunt Beatrice Lulu is back and creating more havoc than ever. When a body falls out of a chimney in their newly purchased cabin, she takes it upon herself to investigate. Just because her niece is Chief of Police doesn’t mean she should mind her own business. Even her husband can’t control his busy body wife. It doesn’t end there, too many things happening for Beatrice Lulu to overlook. She’s bound and determined to figure things out on her own.