Mom and Crackerjacks

Christmas Wrapped in Love

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal Leave a Comment

Christmas ornamentDo you remember when it took what felt like two months for the week of Christmas to pass? The hours on Christmas Eve surely had 120 minutes each. The anticipation of Christmas was something so real you could taste it as easily as you could taste that piece of chocolate fudge you sneaked from your mother’s stash of Christmas candy.

And now Christmas comes in a flash. Has to be coming every three months instead of a year apart. I hardly get the Christmas wrapping paper put away until it’s time to drag it all out again. I now understand why people leave their Christmas lights up all year!

Anticipation to have a fun family gathering with all the kids at home is still alive in my heart, but I keep an eye on the calendar and the clock with my “to do” list flashing in red inside my head.

Christmas Memories are Wrapped in our Parents’ Love

But it’s also a great time to remember Christmas times with those who are no longer here to celebrate with us. I miss Mom at Christmas time. I’m sure those of you whose parents have moved on to their heavenly homes feel the same. Christmas memories are wrapped in our parents’ love. Mom gave me this Hallmark ornament after my first grandson was born. It was doubly perfect for me since the figure included a dog. I know Mom thought of that when she was picking it out fifteen years ago. And now I think of her, and my grandson too, when I hang it on the tree.

For fun, I do a Heart of Hollyhill blog with Jocie, the young heroine of my Hollyhill stories, “writing” the posts. Monday she interviewed her dad about his Christmas memories. That post made me wish I had asked my father and my grandparents more about their Christmases. I do know a little about how Mom’s family celebrated because Mom liked telling about her childhood days. (Lucky for me or Angel Sister would have never been written.) And so I’ll step back in time and share a few of Mom’s Christmas memories.

Mom’s Christmas Memories

Mom’s mother never really got the Christmas spirit. My grandmother didn’t like to shop. In fact, she rarely went to the store at all. My grandfather did most of the shopping, even for groceries, and when Mom and her sisters got old enough, they walked to the neighborhood store and got whatever their mother needed. At Christmas time, they didn’t get many toys or put up a tree, but instead hung their stockings on a rocking chair. When Mom’s youngest sister got old enough, she talked her mother into letting her cut a cedar tree to bring in the house to decorate. That was probably after Mom was married.

Mom said they would get candy and an orange in their stocking. She savored the orange by only eating one or two sections each day to make it last. They had Christmas programs at church and received a treat there too from someone dressed as Santa Claus. Maybe a piece of fruit and a candy cane. She did remember once getting a baby doll. She knew her father had bought it for her. Her younger sister loved playing paper dolls so I’m guessing that she may have gotten a few paper dolls or perhaps a book or puzzle since both her mother and father loved to read and work puzzles. But I don’t really know that. I should have asked more questions!

Mom and CrackerjacksMy Memories of Christmas with Mom

After I came along, I remember Mom making loads of candy every year. Chocolate, peanut butter, potato candy (although she didn’t put a potato in it), caramels, divinity with black walnuts (yum), and more. She made a fruit cake she steamed in a lard can on top of the stove. Not my favorite then, but I’m guessing I’d like it lots more now. She always made crackerjacks. Always loved them. She kept that tradition going almost until she died. Here’s a picture of her helping me spread them out after we were staying with her around the clock. She remembered the crackerjacks!

And I remember her. Miss you, Mom!

Take Time for Memories

Did you ask your parents or grandparents about their Christmas celebrations? If they are still with you this Christmas, getting them to tell you about how Christmas was for them when they were kids might start a fun conversation.

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