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Old 12-23-2006, 11:25 PM   #15
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This is a great thread Kistler, wonderful idea. All the stories and memories here are very touching. I remember the year we went silver. My, we thought we were all the rage, replacing the real green tree and miscellaneous ornaments with the newest silver branched beauty, all matching glass ball ornaments in various sizes and the color wheel. I think I can still hear it turn.

OK you made me think of a story...My mother was very crafty and was a ribbon demonstrator and worked her creativeness into a business and opened two stores. She got several accounts through the years to decorate trees for display, once for Lawrence Wood Shopping Center, "trees from around the world" and for a display on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. All the ornaments were labor intensive and handmade exclusively by my mother,---- well, until the deadline would come, then we would go pick up my aunts and they would work furiously in the car, finishing some minor detail on the ornaments that they could do, as we drove along the way. Eventually it was just my father and I, delivering the last boxes, trip after trip with the decorators putting them up as fast as we were dropping them off and waiting for more. My mother stayed at home, literally working her fingers to blisters tying hundreds of ribbon ornaments. The trees turned out to be very tall and she needed more and fast. After we had delivered the last box and gotten home, pretty much round the clock by then, we opened the door and awakened my mother who had fallen asleep. We burst out laughing. Still groggy she barely got her eyes open and head lifted up, "What are you two laughing about?" she said. We couldn't stop laughing long enough to even tell her. There on her forehead was her tea cup! She had fallen asleep at the work table over the cup and she had been there so long it stuck for a while. (I think that's one of those, you had to be there things.)
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Old 12-24-2006, 12:52 AM   #16
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My mother was very crafty too & a sucker for those bright Good Housekeeping ideas about how to make something out of something ELSE. Like, perfectly good oak & cedar furniture got painted to look pickled (?). We had "beams" glued to the trailer ceiling that were actually Styrofoam.

One Christmas we had 4 fake pies:

Pumpkin, except it was squash
French silk that used carob powder (this was particularly awful)
Mincemeat that was a waste of perfectly good green tomatoes
And the kicker:
PECAN PIE THAT WAS MADE OF WHEATNUTS!

Maybe that's just what you do when, like safari57, you have a houseful of kids, adopted, foster & otherwise. Maybe she secretly hated us & never wanted us to have a pie that actually tasted good! It's definitely a fact that she despised Christmas, with all its extra work, needless frivolity, waste & obligations. She thought wrapping paper was an invention of the devil & just raised expectations that made the actual gift an inevitable disappointment. Mom would snag my classroom tree as soon as school let out for the holidays (this was one of my many extreme childhood embarrassments) rather than buy one. Then she would throw my brothers' & sisters' gifts under there unwrapped on Christmas Eve. So I would sneak up at midnight, wrap every single gift, and write a Father Christmas letter to each kid like J.R.R. Tolkien did to his son Christopher, complete with the color drawings & spidery handwriting. I'd be up all night.

She thought I was a really strange child. But you know, Christmas memories are Christmas memories, and I'm quite fond of mine. And I'd give anything to have Mom still with us, hating Christmas!
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Old 12-24-2006, 08:41 AM   #17
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Merry Christmas

When the kids were younger, my favorite part of Christmas was writing them a letter from Santa. ( red print, pink paper). The letters were always funny, inspirational, and a reminder about what was really important.
Every year we came up with new ways to TRY to catch Santa. One year
we rigged the milk and cookies. We looped a fishline attached to bells to
Santas glass of milk. The bells would fall into a pot when Santa picked up the glass of milk. When we woke up Christmas morning, we found that Santa had used a straw to drink his milk! Dave
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Old 12-24-2006, 01:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summerkid
. . . One Christmas we had 4 fake pies:

Pumpkin, except it was squash
French silk that used carob powder (this was particularly awful)
Mincemeat that was a waste of perfectly good green tomatoes
And the kicker:
PECAN PIE THAT WAS MADE OF WHEATNUTS! . . .
WHEATNUTS! How funny. Anyone remember the "mock apple pie" made with Ritz crackers? We tried it . . . ONCE! Never could sell the family on the notion that it was like the real thing.
And you've got to love a sister that write's Father Christmas letters for siblings and keeps the spirit alive.
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Old 12-24-2006, 02:24 PM   #19
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Mincemeat Pie
As a child I remember my mother making this pie. Since there are very few Minces left in the world today, it is most likely a thing of the past. Minces have been over hunted and most of the Mince habitat has been destroyed as cities expand out into the country side. The mince was recently added to the endangered species list, but is it too late. How many of you have ever seen a Mince in it's natural enviornment? Save a Mince! Say NO to Mincemeat Pie!
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Old 12-24-2006, 02:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by azflycaster
Mincemeat Pie
As a child I remember my mother making this pie. Since there are very few Minces left in the world today, it is most likely a thing of the past. Minces have been over hunted and most of the Mince habitat has been destroyed as cities expand out into the country side. The mince was recently added to the endangered species list, but is it too late. How many of you have ever seen a Mince in it's natural enviornment? Save a Mince! Say NO to Mincemeat Pie!


Come to think of it,I haven't seen a Mince for years
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Old 12-24-2006, 02:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Mincemeat Pie
As a child I remember my mother making this pie. Since there are very few Minces left in the world today, it is most likely a thing of the past. Minces have been over hunted and most of the Mince habitat has been destroyed as cities expand out into the country side. The mince was recently added to the endangered species list, but is it too late. How many of you have ever seen a Mince in it's natural enviornment? Save a Mince! Say NO to Mincemeat Pie!
Richard,
I've noticed the same thing with Nogs. Over hunted and the days of little packs of Nogs is virtually gone what with over collecting of their eggs at this time of year. How sad that we lose both Mince's and Nog's for the same reason .

Barry
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Old 12-24-2006, 02:59 PM   #22
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:39 PM   #23
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That is a great picture!!!!
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:44 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Mincemeat Pie
As a child I remember my mother making this pie. Since there are very few Minces left in the world today, it is most likely a thing of the past. Minces have been over hunted and most of the Mince habitat has been destroyed as cities expand out into the country side. The mince was recently added to the endangered species list, but is it too late. How many of you have ever seen a Mince in it's natural enviornment? Save a Mince! Say NO to Mincemeat Pie!
We apparently are still overrun with them around here...my mom still makes Mincemeat pie...I still won't eat it Pumpkin, Pecan (utterly deadly is the name of the recipe we use ) and a perennial favorite Grasshopper Pie, and the last time I checked she wasn't using real grasshoppers

Aaron
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:51 PM   #25
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I agree, mincemeat pies were a family tradition, luckily died out when my grandmother passed away, along with brussel sprouts . We now have pumpkin and pecan pies, along with scones for breakfast on holidays.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:55 PM   #26
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Taking the train to childhood past.


Growing up in the north suburbs of Atlanta (49 to 67)our neighborhood was blessed with many families that stayed long enough to have kids attend all 12 grades together. We were one of those families and I had many childhood friends from diapers to High School graduation.
There were many neighborhood traditions and on Christmas eve and Christmas day parents and kids would visit from house to house; seeing what Santa had delivered and enjoying food from each home.
A favorite adult tradition was stopping by for some of Dads eggnog. He would make it from scratch (the only cooking he did all year) and spike it liberally with whiskey.
The year I remember most was the year of the great train. There were always bicycles but one year Santa brought a real Lionel train. Maybe it was the eggnog but Dad could not get the train to run. As always he went up the street and got Mr. Eason. Claude Eason could build or repair anything. Sometime during the late hours, after I had been put to bed and had no idea any of this was going on, Mr. Eason & Dad got the train going and became quite good with running the train, coupling the cars, switching tracks, and all the little motorized things that trains do.
Christmas morning I go downstairs for the big surprise and find Dad, Uncles and several of my friend's dads all playing with "my" train. I think it was sometime after lunch that day when my mother finally intervened and made them let me have some time with the now well broken-in Lionel.
I still have that train, all its original boxes and it still runs & the whistle blows.
It always helps me see that mental picture of those grown men lying in the floor having a kids good time.

A continued Merry Christmas,

em.
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