Monday, December 12, 2011

Creature Comforts of Christmas

What are the creature comforts that you can not live without?  It has to be something or someone that makes you squeal (on the inside) and curl your toes in delight.  For me, it has always been Christmas in North Carolina.  From the time I was 6 weeks old, my Mom and Dad would load up the car, packed full of presents, suitcases, and a cooler full of soggy sandwiches to eat at a rest stop (we were nothing if not thrifty).  I could skip the soggy sandwiches, but I loved knowing that we were on our way to my Grandma's neck of the woods.  I even enjoyed the car ride.  By the time I was thirteen, I spent at least 50 percent of the time daydreaming about my potential suitors (HUGE selection!).  As a small child, I would unload my suitcase of Barbies and quietly act out dramas concerning  weddings, funerals, and my limited knowledge of romance as we sped down the highway.  
Once we arrived, my brother, cousins, and I would be released into the wild to play in the woods.  When that got old, I could always count on my cousin Jamie to hole up with me in a back bedroom for a Barbie marathon.  What could be better?  
I'll tell you what!! The food!  Oh, the food.  We could always count on a smorgasbord of southern comfort food; chicken and dumplings, casseroles galore, homemade biscuits and jams, collard greens, hand rolled sausage, chocolate cream pie, endless cakes and cookies, and last but not least, Mema's chex mix!  Is your mouth watering yet?  
 Besides the dinner table, my favorite place to be was visiting my aunts, uncles, and cousins for good food, great stories, and a present opening extravaganzaBoth sides of my mother's family were living in this tiny, country town.  I mean one gas station, one stoplight tiny!  We never veered from tradition; always spending Christmas Eve with the Greenes and Christmas morning with the Harris family.  If you could walk out of Aunt Judy's house without emphysema, it was worth it.  Because these genteel, tough, southern ladies that were my great aunts were expert story tellers, incredible cooks, and spoiled me rotten!  Great combination. The matriarch of the family was my great grandmother, Mama Harris, a gentle soul who lived to the ripe old age of 101.  
Today, the old traditions are gone, but not forgotten.  The location is different.  The food has a little less lard and sugar in it.  Most of the beloved great-aunts have gone on to glory.  But, the thrill is the same.  And you know what the best part is?  My children dream about their Christmas in North Carolina all year, just like I did.  They think they have it better than anyone else!  They think their Mema and Granddaddy's house is the most magical place on earth.  And so should every child at Christmas.  May there be magic in your Christmas, wherever you are!  

Savannah baking Christmas cookies with Aunt Delma and her Mema


  1. You hit the nail on the head! What Christmases we experienced in Spring Hope! We still have our traditions, but yes they get tweaked as we lose those precious matriarchs and families expand and dwindle in size. Love you!

  2. Love you too, girl! Hope one day our kids play barbies together. : )

  3. IT was great having you up here Kate! I love your writing and hope you keep at this.

    Christmas is going to be amazing this year.

  4. Loved this post!! Love all those family members too. And you got my mouth watering about that food. Yum!!