The Ghost of My Christmas Present

In Dickens A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is taken by the second ghost to view things as they are in the present. In this video, we see the Ghost of Christmas present taking Scrooge to the house of Bob Cratchet and his family.

The Ghost of my Christmas present is certainly in the shadow of the fact that we have lost two of our loved ones, one in October and one in November. Also the fact that my sister is currently in the hospital fighting cancer weighs heavy on my heart this holiday season. I feel a sudden urgency to complete writing my father’s poem book and memories of his life. I have gone through his poem book and typed out all of the poems and I have added important information such as his birth, marriage, the names and birth dates of his children, and other life milestones. I am however still looking for the stories that family and friends have to tell what they remember about that time of their life. I really need to ask my sister what she remembers about Dad. I remember things from my standpoint. What does she remember from his?

In addition to all of this, my trucker husband Jeff is stuck on the road this Christmas because the load he was supposed to pick up was canceled at the last minute. He spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday sitting in California waiting to get a load back. He finally has one today. He should be home Thursday, so we’ll have our holiday together then.

Boni and her grandmother going to see The Nutcracker and making Christmas memories.

Boni and her grandmother going to see The Nutcracker and making Christmas memories.

As with the Cratchet family, there have been some good times this season, however, and we have been making the best of it. For one thing, my Mother-in-law took my daughter to the Nut Cracker Suite Ballet. It was the first time for both of them and they both loved it.

In addition, we invited a couple of children over to help decorate Christmas cookies.

decorated cookiesThen we brought a number of gifts to that same family.

I made caramels and peanut brittle because caramel is Boni’s favorite candy and peanut butter is Jeff’s favorite. I also made fudge which is my favorite.

For the recipes, click on the links

Homemade Soft Caramels

Microwave Peanut Brittle

IMG_20131224_092328_435My Daughter and I plan to see the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at the theater on Christmas Day. She will open her gifts from her grandmother Christmas Day, but we will save the rest of the gift unwrapping until her Daddy is home.

We are choosing to remain positive despite the sadness and disappointments. We believe that we embrace need to the idea of sharing, giving and being grateful for all that we have and are able to give. It is certainly the time of year to reflect on all that is good in the world and we will do our best to carry it with us throughout the coming year.

Finally brothers and sisters, Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report. If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

Memory of a Christmas Present and a Christmas Past

Boni and her grandmother going to see The Nutcracker and making Christmas memories.

Boni and her grandmother going to see The Nutcracker and making Christmas memories.

Last Sunday my twelve-year-old daughter and her grandmother went to see The Nutcracker Suite. I am certain that this holiday adventure will be one of those memories of the Christmas holiday that my daughter will always remember cherish. First she loves her grandmother, second she loves Christmas, and third, she loves the ballet.

The first memory I have of Christmases past was the year that my brother Tom was born. I remember coming down stairs and being surprised by the fact that my mommy was not there, but my Aunt Mary was washing windows. (We had moved from Snider Circle the previous spring, so this was the house where I grew up .) She told us that we now had another baby brother and that when my daddy got off work that he would be taking us somewhere else to stay for a few days.

 I remember that my brother Allen stayed at my Aunt Myrna and Uncle Carl’s house. Carol and I stayed at Aunt Mabel’s house. When we arrived at Aunt Mabel’s house, I remember two of my older cousins were there as well. Jane and Ardie, Aunt Pauline’s, (Dad’s sister)daughters, were staying at Aunt Mabel’s  , I now assume, to help care for my sister and I. (I was three and a half years old and she was about 14 months old by this time). I remember sensing that Aunt Mabel seemed to favor Ardie over Jane. I remember that Jane left early, I think before Christmas. The details there are a little hazy.

I remember Christmas morning. I remember getting up early in the morning and seeing Aunt Mabel’s shiny aluminum Christmas tree, but it looked different because under the tree were presents and some were for me! I only remember one special present that year. I remember looking in the box and seeing a pretty little doll dressed in a little blue dress (or was it pink?).

I remember that I named the doll Susanna. I remember why I named her Susanna. I remember that I was watching Shirley Temple movies at the time and one of my favorites was Susanna of the Mounties. The doll had curly blonde hair and Shirley Temple had curly blonde hair. It seemed a logical name for my pretty doll.

Since then, I have shared my delight in Shirley Temple movies with my daughter as well.  Though I no longer have my Susanna, at this very moment, sitting on our DVD shelf is a copy of Susanna of the Mounties. My mother-in-law may have shared The Nutcracker Suite with her, but I have also been able to share the first Christmas I remember with my daughter through this old, delightful movie.