We all have them.
What we eat. Where we go. Who we see. When we open gifts. How we celebrate.
Growing up, if we were given presents by friends at school, or presents arrived in the mail, we didn’t have to wait until Christmas morning to open them. I think for a couple years Dad insisted we wait to open the ones that came in the mail, but before long, we were allowed to open mailed gifts early. I believe that had to do with my mother being just as anxious to open her gifts, as we kids were.
When Pie was young, we cut our own Christmas trees. Living close to DC, we also made trips to the Mall, (not to be confused with the shopping mall) to look at all the decorated state trees.
In Florida, traditions changed, and we resorted to an artificial tree. Pie took over the task of putting on the lights. In the evening, we turned off all lights, except for the tree, listened to Christmas music, and sipped hot chocolate even if it wasn’t cold outside.
Here in Texas, we gained another new tradition. We line our sidewalk and driveway with candle-lit luminaries on Christmas Eve. Pilot and I get the luminaries ready, and Pie and Explorer set them out for us.
I still put up the Advent Calendar that has been displayed since Pie was a toddler. Although new Velcro strips have been glued onto some of the ornaments, and there are much prettier and more ornate Advent Calendars available, this is Pie’s calendar. It’s a tradition.
One more tradition for the holidays is Magic Cookie Bars. Yum!
The recipe calls for a graham cracker crust. After I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant, and could no longer eat wheat, I crushed up some Corn Chex for the crust. They worked just fine. That was before I found gluten free grahams, S’moreables, at the grocery store. (The g-f graham crackers work great for S’mores, too.)
- 1/2 C butter
- 1 1/2 C gluten free graham cracker crumbs (I use S’moreables, but if you can’t find any g-f grahams, you can crush up either Corn, or Rice Chex instead.)
- 14 oz condensed milk
- 6 oz chocolate chips
- 3 1/2 oz flaked coconut
- 1 C chopped nuts (I use pecans, but you can use whatever you like best)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 13X9 inch pan, melt butter. Sprinkle crumbs over the melted butter. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the crumbs. Top with the chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts, in that order. Press down gently. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting.
So, how do you celebrate Christmas? I’d love to hear what your traditions are.
Here is the link to a YouTube video of another of my favorite Christmas songs, Breath of Heaven, sung by Amy Grant. I especially love the way this song personalizes what may have gone through Mary’s mind, as she awaited the birth of her son.
Help me be strong…Help me be…Help me…
I wish you well,
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Curious to know how Pilot and I met? Find out in my story, The Friday Night Dateless Club, now available in OakTara’s anthology, Falling in Love With You