Old-Fashioned Christmas Traditions

Don’t you just love old-fashioned Christmas traditions? When I was growing up, we had a plethora of traditions in our family. Many of them were based on our Eastern European heritage, including our rich religious practices. Others were based on Santa Claus, decorations, cookies, presents, and Christmas trees. And of course, there was always an endless parade of company coming over to visit. The visits were always planned, and my mother would prepare well in advance. She would set out extravagant trays of her home-baked cookies (which were legendary) along with appetizers, finger food, coffee and adult beverages. Visitors never popped over unexpectedly. Well almost never. Until one Christmas Eve. My mother had already had me and my 2 older sisters bathed and ready for bed, which included...

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Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!

Merry Christmas! No, I am not daft and I haven’t lost my mind, even though I know that’s what some of you are thinking. As some of you already might know, I grew up in a small steel town in Western Pennsylvania. My father was from Czechoslovakia and immigrated to the good old USA in 1939 at the age of 12. It was actually the second time he came through Ellis Island, but I’ll save that story for another day. Although my mother was born in the States, her parents were from Yugoslavia. Needless to say, I grew up with an interesting heritage and cultural background. Which included celebrating Orthodox Christmas with my mother’s side of the family every year. Woo-hoo! A bonus Christmas. What kid wouldn’t absolutely love that? So, every January 7th, we packed in the...

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Wishes Are Like Snowflakes

Wishes are like snowflakes. Every one is different, and every one is special. Wishes are dreams that we hope will come true, especially during this special time of year. I love the holidays. There is a magic in the air that seems like anything is possible, and that dreams really can come true. At least, it seems that way as long as you’re not fighting traffic or the crowds at the mall. Or after you discover that some Grinch stole a package from your front porch. Grrrrrrrr. Maybe that’s why it’s harder to believe in the magic as an adult. We didn’t have to concern ourselves with such mundane issues when we were children. Our job was simply to live in the moment, and let our imagination run wild. Especially around the holidays. If we were lucky enough, we would even have some snow to enjoy as...

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A different kind of family Christmas….

Everyone has their Christmas traditions and time they spend with friends and family. Our Christmas tradition is simple; my husband and I spend a quiet Christmas together. But when my mother-in-law took a turn for the worst and my husband left town on the 23rd, my plans for Christmas suddenly and dramatically changed. No quiet Christmas Eve dinner at home. No Christmas Day champagne brunch at the Brown Palace. My Christmas just got thrown a curve ball. I knew I would be bombarded with invitations if my friends knew I would be alone on Christmas. However, I really didn’t want to be pulled into someone else’s dysfunctional family Christmas. Nor did I want to go to a movie and go out for Chinese food. I figured sitting at home watching old movies sounded like my best choice. Then I...

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