“Tilly, the oldest girl, a red-cheeked, black-eyed lass of fourteen, was grinding briskly at the mortar, for spices were costly, and not a grain must be wasted. Prue kept time with the chopper, and the twins sliced away at the apples till their little brown arms ached, for all knew how to work, and did so now with a will.”
An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, Louisa May Alcott
What traditions do you associate with the upcoming holidays? Traditions stand stark and vivid to me this year as I begin to celebrate festivities not only with my family but now my sister-in-law, and my husband's family. Growing up I think we assume certain personal traditions are observed by everyone, but this is not the case!
Thanksgiving and Christmas were always the two most special holidays of our year. The former ushering in the latter, they almost are really one melded celebration. For us, Thanksgiving always starts the day before with chopping parsley and sage and boiling the neck for the stuffing. We've always used Grandma's old wooden bowls and chopping utensils, and each of us had a turn at our eyes watering over the pungent onions. Somewhere in the bustle we find time to watch A Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving. Mom also will read An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving to us, my personal favorite part is when the vicious bear ends up being good ol' Gad Hopkins in a big furry coat, laden with oranges for all the children.
We listen to our first Christmas records the day of Thanksgiving, and normally feast early in the afternoon on turkey and homemade cranberry sauce, candied yams, stuffing and later – four or five apple and pumpkin pies. The next morning we have my husband's family come up for breakfast and hunt for the Christmas tree.
I'm learning to enjoy melding traditions from my husbands family and my own. Some I will always keep, no matter how old. Like having a live tree for Christmas, stockings, and gingerbread cookies. My mom always made each of our stockings by hand, and I will be doing the same, next year, for Baby Kolb who will be 7 months by next Christmas!
But I also enjoy adopting my husband's special Christmas music and the anise cookies, and “the Christmas morning song”. In Jonah's home the children weren't allowed to get up until their parents began to play the song, You Got to Get Up, then they would all scamper out of bed and come to their assigned places on the couch to begin opening gifts! While I still have fond memories of waking up first and going downstairs to start the coffee to seduce my parents from their sleepiness, I love the idea of waking up my own children someday with that same special song that is only played once a year. Even as adults, my brothers and sisters-in-law are quite sentimentally attached to You Got to Get Up, and Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without it. I would like to take the time to add that I will never be able to like their traditional movie, The Polar Express. Sorry, it's weird.... But it's okay, Jonah sits through Meet Me in Saint Louis to humor me. So it's all fair.
I hope you have some traditions you revel in each year, but if not it's never too late to start some! Traditions make the holidays that much more special. Stay tuned as we continue to update the Projects page with new photos of our progress at Hill Top House & The Rustic Cabin! The adventures never cease.
From all of us at Fidelity Home Solutions, we wish you a very happy holiday season!
Blessings, Toni & Rosanne