If you haven’t gotten tired of reading blogs and articles about Christmas, I beg a few minutes of your time for one more.
Our little dead-end street skirts the bayou and is made up of families from all over the country. I’m a local, but we have families from Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Virginia, the Carolinas and several other states. We try to make everyone feel at home, especially those who are unable to be with their loved ones during the holiday season.
One day one of our neighbors admitted she cried all day the first year she moved here because she had to bake cookies alone. All of her large family still lives in PA and one of their seasonal rituals was getting together to make Christmas cookies and candies. From then on, we’ve gotten together for an afternoon of baking and, well, just being together.
Baking cookies is a simple way of reminding us that Christmas might be celebrated with different traditions throughout the country (and world), but many traditions are the same. It’s nice to have the end results of our time together. Everyone takes home several tins of cookies, but that’s not the best part. Sharing time together, enjoying stories of by-gone Christmases, remembering those who are no longer with us—these are the things that are important. Before my mother died, she loved being part of our holiday bake day. This year is the second Christmas without her, but even though I thought about her throughout the day, I was thrilled to have the mother of one of my neighbors join us. It made the day complete.
Christmas brings up an array of emotions, but I hope throughout this week, you’ll find the joy of being with those who are important to you—and if it happens to be in the kitchen cooking together—remember that you’re making more than something to fill your holiday dishes. You're making wonderful memories that will be with you forever.