For some reason this year I am quite nostalgic. I am remembering Christmases from my childhood and those more recent. In my last post I talked about my mother trimming the tree. You can read about it here. My sister is the one with Madame Alexander bride doll. To this day I covet that doll. I could never bond with the one I am holding and I think the expression on my face clearly reflects that feeling!
Christmas cards were important and a record of who cards were sent to and received from filled a little red Christmas Card Record Book. As the cards came in they were recorded and then placed in the brass bowl. I use the brass bowl for the same purpose. I do not keep records though.
Traditions were important to my mother. Christmas Eve was a set meal. Shrimp cocktails were served in special dishes (I have those and will use them this year), oyster stew (as a child I gagged over the oysters – now of course I love them) and meringues topped with strawberries (frozen from the summer garden) and real whipped cream. The cocktail sauce was my father’s job. A combination of Heinz’s chili sauce, fresh lemon juice, and horseradish was carefully adjusted and sampled
he ate lots of the shrimp.
My mother made the meringues and carefully packed them in a metal box. We shifted from oyster stew to clam chowder and many discussions took place about Manhattan style vs. New England style. New England won!
Christmas dinner was always turkey when we were growing up. We eventually decided that turkey at Thanksgiving was too close to Christmas turkey. I think eventually we settled on steak cooked on the grill. We always used the good dishes. The pattern is Reynolds by Spode.
I will be using them this year as well. I gifted the set to my niece. My sister is keeping them for her but generously agreed 4 place settings could come and live with me for a while. Thank you, Jean!
I hope to get the table done this weekend.
Have a wonderful weekend!