On Your Mark...

So this weekend I dragged out all of the Christmas stuff and now it looks like an elf threw up in my house.  Whatever.  It's festive, right?  It is going to help get me into the spirit of the holidays, yes?  I don't know why I am such a Scrooge this weekend, but I suspect it has something to do with an unrealistic hope that the holiday will be more what I want it to be and less...what it inevitably is every year. 

What it is:
Three weeks of a mad dash to buy, buy, buy and wrap, wrap, wrap, and hello/goodbye gotta go.  It is relatives that are forcing niceness because none of them really want to be there, they really want to be at home in bed/front of the TV/in their yards, whatever, just not there.  We will all cook and bitch about cooking and then shovel it in, pack it up, clean it up and smile/hug/so good to see you again and then go home and talk about everyone else. 

Friends that I really want to see and spend time with will be otherwise engaged with family/work things that none of them want to attend and will be utterly exhausted form the pace alone (not to mention the guilt of not being able to be everything to everyone) and we will all vow to at least have drinks at some point during the season and it will be here and gone and time will march on to "The Big Day" on Dec. 25 when the fruits of our consumer time have come to bear more electronics/clothing/stuff.  

A pace that negates any quiet time or reflection.  Exhaustion of every kind; physical, spiritual, emotional, financial. 

What I want it to be:
Three weeks of nesting and baking and really thinking about what I want all of those people I am buying gifts for to feel when they open those beautifully wrapped packages and what gifts they really want.  A season of entertaining that is simple and elegant and gives me a chance to tell and show those people that I hold dear how special they are with good food and wine and conversation.  

Cold walks in the woods with the dog to remember why it is that I have the faith that I do and to pay honor and respect to my God for a season of remembering.

Christmas with my immediate family where everyone is not too tired to sit and laugh.  To sit with my mom and sister and drink mimosas and visit while the guys shoot a game of pool and the kids play with new fun stuff without having to get up and end it early to get to the next family function. 

I am aware that I am being a spoiled rotten girl here and need to be more grateful that I at least have a family to go see on the holidays.  I think my spirit is rejecting the pace early this year.  I will hopefully get it figured out early enough that I can get my "Bah Humbug" self together before I really piss folks off.  We'll see.

While it has been more than a decade since I have lost both my grandfathers, I am fortunate enough that I still have both of my grandmother's alive.  This was the first Thanksgiving that my paternal grandmother (above) was not in attendance, though.  She is now in a nursing home and was not able to be there.  Her mind has been going for awhile now (At her last birthday she told all of us ~her immediate family~ that "I had no idea I knew so many wonderful people" and that it was nice to meet my sister.  Bless her heart), but it was still a sad thing that she was not able to attend.  A new chapter begins.  It's a work in progress.

In honor of my Mamaw Brian(Jones), I am listing her Persimmon Pudding recipe below.  It is a traditional holiday dish for my family and one that I love to make.  My daddy especially loves it and it always reminds me of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is a regional dish, so look for some good local persimmon pulp.  The flavor will remind you of a really dense, moist ginger bread. 

Persimmon Pudding

3/4 Cup Oil
2 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs

Mix together.  In separate bowl mix together

2 Cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 teaspoon Allspice

In separate bowl, again, mix together

2 Cups Milk
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Baking Soda

3 or 4 Cups Persimmon Pulp

Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to egg mixture.  Then fold in Persimmon Pulp.  Bake in 2 greased 9 x 13 pans at 300 degrees for 1 hour.  Serve with homemade whipped cream. 

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  1. Girl - I hear you! Every year, I vow it will be different from the last and every year, it is not. I will say this is the first time in about 3 or so years that I'm actually looking forward to the holiday season. It is going to be crazy and chaotic and I most likely won't be spending it with my parents or sister due to circumstances beyond all of our control, but I am determined to NOT be a Scrooge. Oh, and I miss Persimmon Pudding! It is a Thanksgiving tradition in my family and you can't find pulp down here to save your life!

  2. Someday it will be what we want it to be, right? I have had more people tell me the same thing about how they hate the pace, but we are stuck here for some reason. I don't know how to fix that. I am so sorry you are not going to see your mom and sis for the holiday. That has got to be heartbreaking. I know they miss you. we will keep on keepin on and try to stay more "Ghost of Christmas Present" instead of Scrooge.