“Welcome to Mountain Brook Ink’s 2018 Holiday Blog Tour! We’re excited you’ve decided to join us on this journey of family, friends, traditions and memories over the next month. You as our reader have done so much to pour into our lives, and this season we want t give back to you with insights into our lives AND some giveaways. The more days you follow, share, comment, and engage with us, the more entries you’ll have toward a Kindle Fire Grand Prize or one of three Amazon Gift Cards.”
My parents were married on Christmas Eve 1943. Dad was in uniform, mom in a white gown. There are no pictures, the photographer had the flu. After the war, when they were again together, they celebrated their anniversary with an early evening church service and a wander to friend’s homes to carol and share a homemade gift. It was a simple ritual of sharing their joy. It is one of my fondest childhood memories, the scent of fir boughs in peoples’ homes, the expectation on their faces as they opened the door to our songs.
Opening an anniversary gift when we returned home from our wanderings was part of the family tradition. For my father, usually a book, for mom a single rose in a beautiful bud vase. One year, dad ordered twelve rose bushes to be delivered in the spring. In the summer months Dad would slip out before mom rose and have a rose bud in a vase at mom’s place at the table.
This is what love looked like for me. Friends, sacrifice, sharing, giving, and beauty.
Forbidden, with laughter, to have the 24th as our anniversary date, my husband and I wed on December 23rd. Like my parents it was between events. For them, Dad had a brief leave and mom had a week off from teaching. We married in the middle of Rod’s freshman year of medical school and my sophomore year of college. Through the years it has been difficult to escape the press of the Holy Season to enjoy one another’s company. The sweetness of being together has been enough to satisfy our souls.
We caroled with my brother on the Christmas Eve when our parents were off celebrating their 25th anniversary. Then, for a few years we continued to sing door to door as Rod moved from the Air Force to residency to practice, but the caroling fell by the wayside. Perhaps due to Michigan snow drifts. Our daughter, however incorporates caroling in their family Christmas celebrations. During the advent season they gather friends and sing through their Kentucky neighborhood, presenting homemade cookies and joy.
Gathering people into our home for a light supper after the Christmas Eve service seemed to be more in tune with our lives. In Thailand in 1972 a fellow doctor was without family to share the holiday. I ran from apartment to apartment preparing a meal. My two-burner hot plate was not going to cook a chicken. Everyone around us got in on the fun of the crazy American running with hot pads from door to door.
Crab Bisque soup, fresh bread, cheese and a Buche de Noel is the usual fare when friends gather in our home. A treasured Christmas gift is the faces of friends and family around the table.
There is another tradition our family has adopted. Our son-in-law proposed to our daughter on a snowy Michigan December 23rd. Later, both our sons proposed to their future wives on the 23rd. It was an honor to us as well as to my parents. When our son, Rob, recently married, they also shared a Christmastime wedding date.
Last Christmas we gathered as a family to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary–this time in Kenya, where we have worked and the children have memories imbedded with grace. Seeing our grandchildren light up with joy as they sang carols through the pediatrics ward remains a sweet memory.
Stop in November 10 to visit Anna Zogg Blog for stop #14 on the Tour
Here is the full tour schedule: Stop #1: October 28 – Kimberly Rose Johnson
Stop #2: October 29 – Christina Coryell
Stop #3: October 30 – Mary Davis
Stop #4: October 31 – Angela Ruth Strong
Stop #5: November 1 – Susan Paige Davis
Stop #6: November 2 – Amy K. Rognlie
Stop #7: November 3 – Gayla K. Hiss
Stop #8: November 4 – Christa MacDonald
Stop #9: November 5 – Linda Hanna & Deborah Dulworth
Stop #10: November 6 – Richard Spillman
Stop #11: November 7 – Annette M. Irby
Stop #12: November 8 – Miralee Ferrell
Stop #13: November 9 – Jeanette-Marie Mirich
Stop #14: November 10 – Anna Zogg
Stop #15: November 11 – Teresa H. Morgan
Stop #16: November 12 – Kelsey Norman
Stop #17: November 13 – Barbara J. Scott
Stop #18: November 14 – Patricia Lee
Stop #19: November 15 – Linda Thompson
Stop #20: November 16 – Janalyn Voigt
Stop #21: November 17 – Cynthia Herron
Stop #22: November 18 – Trish Perry
Stop #23: November 19 – Heather L.L. Fitzgerald
Stop #24: November 20 – Sara Davison
Stop #25: November 21 – Taylor Bennett