DECEMBER

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12-09 - M.L. Buchman

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Season of Sharing Stories and Recipes

        In the first decade of my life, December 25th always went the same way—A morning scramble after mass to open presents. Rush to dress in our new Christmas clothes. Drive to my grandparents’ house in the next county (and mind the dog, so the pies aren’t ruined). Eat our weight in ham, mashed potatoes, 7-layer salad, pies and fudge. Open presents, one at a time, taking turns (because we aren’t barbarians). Play games. Drink eggnog. Endure sloppy kisses before we leave. Drive to my other grandparents’. Crowd into the small Mid-western clapboard house amidst the boisterous rumble of conversation and laughter. Then, gather around the harvest table for countless stories of the mischief that my father and his nine siblings managed to survive during their adolescences.  

The last part of the day was my favorite. Time slowed down. Night fell heavy outside, the air cool and crisp. The dark street was lit by Christmas trees posing in front room windows. Inside, the air was warm with the comfort of family fogging up the glass.

 At my paternal grandparents’, we were allowed to be barbarians if we wanted to. With dozens of aunts, uncles and cousins packed inside the house it was nothing less than a Christmas hoard. The living room floor resembled the battle for Middle-Earth. And, during those early years when there were presents to be had, each one of us kids acted like hunched-over little Gollums, sheltering our treasures from potential marauders.

One special year, my precious was my first tea set—a tiny porcelain service for four with pink and yellow flowers painted on each piece. The cup handles were so small I could only hold it pinched between my thumb and two fingers, which practically demanded (quietly, of course) a raised pinky.

I was in girly heaven. This priceless, fragile gift was for me? The girl who couldn’t breathe without annoying her sisters? The girl who spent ninety percent of her waking hours lost in a daydream? The girl who stood with her nose pressed against the wall for most of her recesses because she wasn’t paying attention in class? That girl?

I was in awe. Obviously, I’d somehow slipped through the cracks and ended up on Grandma’s “nice” list. And right then and there, huddled over the winter coat I’d spread out like a picnic blanket, I had my first tea party.

To this day, I still have most of the set. A few pieces were broken and mended over the years, mostly because I’d preferred to drink imaginary tea outside on the patio, (the fresh air adds a little something, I think).

Now, I have a cup whenever I can, along with a scone if the mood takes me. My favorite kind is a cinnamon scone, and my gift to each of you is this recipe:

 

             Have a very, merry Christmas, a prosperous New Year, and may your holidays be filled with the warmth and comfort of family and friends.

 

~I’m so grateful to Christy Carlyle for giving me the opportunity to step in for her while she was on a brief hiatus. Now, that she’s going to return, I’m even more pleased to say that Judith and Sarah have graciously invited me to continue my journey here! Thank you so much for this lovely welcome and all the wonderful support you’ve given. My Christmas cup runneth over. J
 
~Also, for a last minute stocking-stuffer idea, load a friend's e-reader with  Five Golden Rings: A Christmas Collection, available now during Avon Romance's holiday sale. Then, look for more from me in 2014 with The Wallflower Wedding Series. www.vivlorret.net

2 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Viv, Wherever do you get cinnamon chips?

Love reading about your memories of Christmas past because many of them resemble mine.

We're very glad you are able to remain with us!

Vivienne Lorret said...

Hi, Judith!

Cinnamon chips are easier to come by during this time of year. I can get mine at the grocery store between the Nestlé's and Ghirardelli's. The brand accessible to me is Hershey's, and the packaging looks similar to their chocolate chips.

I hope you're able to find some at your local store, too.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas!