True Life’s Blessings
How lucky am I, to be married, through my child, into a family that, more than anything, knows how to celebrate. Every holiday, no matter how small, is cause for parties and gifts, which is exactly the way life should be.
To give one small example, at Christmas in one house, all the wrapping paper gets piled onto the kitchen floor, and the family crawls in and gets their pictures taken, covered in gift debris.
Family homes are decorated for every holiday. One has about five trees, four of them artificial, whose decorations change with each holiday. These remain up most of the year. The “real” tree, towering over a working antique train, is kept on an enclosed porch right off of the dining room, so it stays green for almost ever. This tree comes down in February, long after most of us have forgotten what our trees even looked like.
There are special foods, too, and interesting ones at that. For Christmas, there is turducken. For those uninitiated, turducken is a de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which is stuffed with a de-boned chicken, which may even be stuffed with crab stuffing. It’s an amazing creation, quite tasty, and must be ordered from a southern state, as this is a southern tradition. Along with turducken, gumbo is always featured.
On this special day, gifts come first, followed by dinner, and, after that, a fine parade, usually led by a small child, who guides the adults as they snake their way through the house with all participants playing some sort of musical instrument.
If it’s snowy, a trip to the hot tub, a very special treat when snow lands on your tongue, may make it onto the agenda.
At my house, we add a few renditions of favorite Christmas carols, as stars in our own homegrown Kazoo band.
Dinners may include cheese grits, Del Monte cut green beans with bacon, sometimes macaroni and cheese for kids, mashed potatoes, and, always, wonderful hot rolls. At Easter, there is fresh duck, served on a camouflage tablecloth with camouflage cloth napkins. Sometimes people get a little shot of whiskey out of a glass that looks just like a shotgun shell. The accoutrements are elegant always, of course.
On the Saturday before Easter, there is the traditional egg decorating contest. The winner gets a photo of last year’s winner with the Easter Bunny. Every winner layers on a new photo of himself with the Bunny, to pass on next year.
This year’s winner was an egg colored to look just like an alien, complete with green “skin” and huge, almond-shaped eyes. It was a brilliant choice, and perfectly executed, if you ask me.
Second and third places went to a camouflage egg in pink, gray and black, and a lovely yellow egg with a picture of Snoopy dancing. There is real talent in this family, along with their joie de vi·vre. Thank goodness for them!
After the contest and a big dinner, exquisite roast beef from Hemps, along with ham, scalloped potatoes, asparagus and homemade rolls (Yum! Bring it on! Forgot to mention the great cooks in this family.), came the first Easter egg hunt of the weekend. I found nine eggs, one of which came with a dollar in it, and was thrilled with my booty, winner or not!
On Easter there was another Easter egg hunt, with eggs holding everything from lottery tickets to money to candy. This year featured a new event, a “beverage” hunt for the young adults, the winner the first to fill a six-pack with his favorite brew. This definitely turned out to be an age appropriate hunt, very challenging for the participants, undoubtedly because one of my favorite young people hid the beer exceptionally well. More talent….
After dinner, there were games and charades for those who had the stamina, after all that beer hunting.
It’s exhausting to even describe the wonders of a year of true celebration.
Now there are babies again, always an enhancement to special events. Can I just tell you about the look on a tiny girl’s little face when the plastic duck on the dinner table began to sing?
I may be resting up now, and finishing up a few chocolate eggs, but will soon be ready to go again. Making fun with family is truly one of life’s great blessings!