Christmas is now in our past, and we are ready to take on 2016, filled with adventure, new challenges, some trying times and some happy times. My blog this time is from Christmases past for me. I will try to be brief, but you may know how good that works.
When our family was on the farm, my father’s favorite Christmas treat was halva, a Ukrainian treat made with Sunflower Seeds. I must admit that it wasn’t a favorite treat for me. It stuck to the roof of my mouth. It always was packed in a tin box, and our storekeeper would make sure that there was a box put aside for my dad. I wish I could find such a tin box now for my collection. I need to start checking on Ebay again.
Holly brings back memories of the Christmas family vacations we had in southern California. My husband was a Realtor, and business dramatically slowed in December, so it was an ideal time to take a family vacation. Our children traveled with us until they graduated from high school, so we would arranged to leave the day after their final exam before Christmas break. It was a different Christmas experience… no extended family, no snow, and no Santa Claus. Our children knew that all the things we did in California (visits to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Magic Mountain) were their Christmas presents. When they were teenagers, they could invite a friend to come with us because we travelled in a van that had lots of room for growing teens and extra luggage. We didn’t have a Christmas tree (a silver tinsel or white plastic tree just didn’t cut it for us), but we could decorate with real holly that grew in the backyard of our friends in Palm Spring. We picked oranges and lemons from the trees, and fresh dates were a special treat.
Hazelnuts reminds me of the ever-available bowl of a variety of nuts, all in the shell. Hazelnuts were my favorite, but there were also walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, peanuts, and Brazil nuts. There were nutcrackers in the bowl with the nuts, and the broken shells were usually left in the bowl too, eventually making it necessary to sift through everything to find a nut that still have the seed in it. I’ve heard people say that they much prefer a container of mixed nuts that are shelled, roasted, and even caramelized, because the shells are so messy. For me, much of the fun has been thrown away with the shells.
Happy, happy 2016 to each of you!
Tags: Christmas Past Treats Customs