The Barn Door: Holiday Hiatus

On Dec. 28, I posted a bit about holiday traditions I grew up with.  What are some traditions you try to carry on with your families?

Here are some of the things I hope they adopt from a typical Donahue holiday. And a few I hope maybe they tweak just a bit.

  • When my dad was alive, he loved to buy presents. Heck, he loved to buy presents all year long. But at Christmas he always had certain “traditional” gifts we could be sure to find under the tree. Like a package of underpants with the days of the week on them. (Remember those? I wonder if they still make them?)
  • One of my sisters doesn’t like ham while the rest of are sick of turkey because of the enormous amounts of leftovers just behind us from Thanksgiving. So Mom always makes both a turkey and a ham, to keep everyone happy.
  • When we decorate the tree, I have a few really old ornaments from my maternal grandmother that I always hang on the tree. They are the fragile kind, with lots of glitter that falls off a little bit each year. Frankly, they are looking a little worse for wear. But I always feel like a child again when I hang them on the tree, and feel extremely said should one of them happen to fall and beak.

via The Barn Door: Holiday Hiatus.


Don’t Excite Your Domestics

The holiday season is usually one where family traditions bring cheer and comfort.  In looking through an old “receipt-book” of recipes first published in 1859 by Mrs. M. H. Cornelius, I am reminded that traditions do evolve over the years, thank goodness, which is seldom a bad thing.  At least, I’m glad I do not ascribe to this counsel found in the forward of the book:

“The less alteration made in family arrangements on account of visitors, the happier for them as well as for you.  Never treat the subject of having company as if it were a great affair.  Your doing this will excite your domestics, and lead them to imagine the addition to their usual work is much greater than it is; your own cares, too, will be greatly magnified.”

Thankfully I have no domestics under me that I need to worry about exciting too much.  I am free to treat the holiday visits of friends and family as a grand affair and enjoy the excitement that then ensues.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your holiday traditions don’t overly excite your domestics, but do bring smiles to everyone’s faces.