thoughts and ideas playing tag and leapfrog through my mind, creating a dizzying and endless meandering path that weighs heavily on my waking hours. This is always a stressful time of year, made more so by worries of the times and memories of the past.–not to even mention the desire to make the holidays special, at least to me.
Special, in my mind, means decorating with the colors of the season (whatever I deem those colors to be at the given time) and making my world temporarily more happy by invoking my concept of what Christmas is to me. One aspect of Christmas that I find important is baking the kinds of cookies my mother always made: sand tarts, Christmas cut-outs, sometimes lace cookies and spritz as well. In remembrance of my grandmother, I make springerles (using hartshorn, the modern version termed ammonium carbonate, or baker’s ammonia) and Aunt Esther’s fruitcake which incorporates unseasoned ground pork sausage in its ingredients. Surprisingly, it tastes quite good and is moist and rich, unlike most of the dry fruitcake I’ve tasted in the past. Do I need to do these things to keep their memories alive? No, but it allows me to share them with others who may never have known them.
A task I willingly undertake most years now is making a Christmas ornament each year for my children and their partners. When they were young, other people started the tradition of an ornament each year, and I have continued with that custom. Some years they were solely purchased ornaments, other years they were commercial designs I tweaked to make them mine, and some were completely designed and handcrafted by me. Three children, who are now off on their own, has resulted in more ornaments that our tree can accommodate. Perhaps, it is time to make a gift of them from Santa on Christmas this year.
None of this even begins to touch on the handmade gifts I always plan and seldom accomplish. So many desires, so little time left to manage all I want to do, let alone complete the chores that are always part of life and unending. So, off I go, on this third day of December, 2021, contemplating my next move(s).