Our Family's Christmases, Part 2
Remembrances of my childhood...
I mentioned in Part 1 the enthusiasm of a young boy at Christmas time and I believe a book could be written, if not two just to cover the life of young boy under ten years of age, throughout the month of December and during the early 1950’s. Especially if that boy lived in upper east Tennessee had at least two older brothers, a sister along with their parents, all working to put on a much better family Christmas each year than last. I’m sure mom was the driving force as each family member tried to outdo last year’s individuals’ efforts. From the decorations to the foods, the Christmas cards to the gifts. It was against our mom’s character to ever receive some sort of gift and not immediately be able to give something back in return.
As a child did you have out of town family visit during Christmas?
mom was in total control...
“And the house, we must do something about the house,” she would always say. “Now you boys quit tracking in and out, you know we are having company any time now…” It was as if she was directing a Broadway musical or a four act high school play or something with the clear cut objective of a four star general the way she would move from one project to another offering her familiar expertise and encouragement to each and every assignment throughout each room of our home. Remember I was the fourth child so she had overcome obstacles far greater than what an eight or nine year old boy could ever conjure up. My mom was in total control around our house during Christmas time.
Doris would come up each year with a new concoction
It seemed like my cousin Doris would come up each year with a new concoction she had heard of that she thought we must try for the Christmas dinner. I remember the time she recommended ambrosia and I didn’t like it from the start because I couldn’t even pronounce the word, but that didn’t stop the ladies from making up a bowl for the holiday meals. My dad told me that the shredded coconut looked like little white worms crawling around the bowl and mixed in with the fruit juices and fruit pulp and nuts so that really turned me off. Now the cranberry salad was a good substitute to just plain cranberry sauce I remember, and we always had the golden yams basted with the tasty juices from the heavenly ham that mom said she always baked just for me.
pumpkin and mincemeat pies
We would always have to put the extra leaf in the table to make it larger to accommodate the additional family members during the holidays and yet we still had to eat in shifts. I didn’t care much for that because I found that meant the kids always ate second shift or last after the parents and our aunts and uncles had all gotten their fill. Besides the baked ham and whole boiled potatoes with green beans and cornbread with so much butter on it that it would melt and run down your arm and drip into your plate, the hot rolls and cranberries, golden yams with pecans on top. That would have been plenty enough for any family to eat but the Christmas dinner was never complete until we had the pumpkin and mincemeat pies and the coconut or applesauce cake. Mom made sure that no one walked away from her table without having enough to eat.
© 2010 SamSonS