Sunday, December 09, 2007

Handcrafters' Holidays: Traditions

Here is the rest of my response to the Sew, Mama, Sew! Handcrafters' Holidays Meme:

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

~Growing up, my favorite tradition was baking. My mom always baked candy cane cookies, Russian tea cookies, fudge, and Clifford tea cakes. Christmas was typically the only time of year that she made those particular treats. We always got to help. The candy cane cookies were the most fun - rolling and twisting the dough into perfect (or not-so-perfect) candy cane shapes. Another sweet Christmas tradition in my home was the filling of the candy dish. We only kept the candy dish full at Christmas. Every year my parents would fill my grandmother's pink Depression glass candy dish full of old fashioned hard candies, which we counted as a great treat.

Have you started any new traditions with your family that you didn't practice growing up?

~We give our daughter a special dated ornament each year. (Of course, this is only her third Christmas, so this tradition has not yet stood the test of time!) I don't have any of the ornaments from my childhood, even the one or two that were "mine", and I wish I did. With that in mind, we plan to give our children each an ornament every year, so they'll have a starter set when they have their own homes and trees.

What do you love most about the holiday season?

~I love the spirit of Christmas. I love that people tend to be kinder and more generous during the holidays. I love the coziness, the music, the gatherings of friends, the wonder, and the memories. I love searching for and finding the perfect gift. I love having cards and letters and packages from distant loved ones delivered to my door. I love that people are willing to include generosity to strangers in their busy holiday schedules, like the girls who just came to my door collecting canned goods for a food bank, the cheerful bell ringers who greet me outside every major store, and the people who arrived at church this morning carrying wrapped gifts for families they do not know.

What do you like least about the holiday season?

~I dislike holiday advertisements that would lead us to believe that we need more stuff. Big screen TVs will bring your family together? A new minivan will make your kids get along with each other? Come on.

Anyone close to your heart that you'll be missing this year?

~My big brother. I actually never get to see him and his family at Christmas, so that aspect is not unusual. This year, however, he is serving in Iraq. This leaves me feeling both sad and proud, and my heart is with him as well as with his beautiful wife and children in Colorado.

What is your favorite holiday food?

~Just one?! Sorry, can't do it. My favorite holiday foods include lefse - a Scandinavian dessert to which I was introduced upon marrying into a Norwegian family; Christmas cookies in general; peppermint lattes; and this year I've really been enjoying gingerbread (of the cake variety, not the cookie variety).

Do you have a great recipe to share?

~Indeed I do. This is my great-(great?)-grandmother's Clifford Tea Cake recipe:

1 c butter
2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c nuts (walnuts or pecans)
3 1/2 c flour
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Stir together dry ingredients and mix w/butter mixture. Add nuts. Mold dough into a log and chill at least two hours or up to overnight. Slice and bake for 9 minutes in a 300 degree oven.

I just copied this recipe straight from the recipe card, no adaptations. 300 degrees sounds a little low to me. You might want to play around with that a bit.
Thanks to Sew, Mama, Sew! for a fun meme!

1 comment:

Lil D said...

You have a lucky friend getting that advent garland.

I hope your brother returns safe and sound - I know how it feels.