Once upon a time but not that long ago, when my daughter was a child we enjoyed Christmas Day dinners with my mother. The table would be set with her rose-patterned Royal Albert bone china, cornflower crystal glasses and Rogers Brothers silverware. The meal was almost always roast 'beast' (eye of round) with mashed potatoes, mom's famous gravy, another vegetable or two or three, a salad that was mostly iceberg lettuce and strawberries with heavy cream to finish the feast. Of course cookies and chocolates and nuts were consumed, before and after the main event. We ate dinner sometime between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and then the gifts were opened.
Because my mom's Christmas tree was small, artificial, and sat atop her cedar chest, she usually stashed any presents that wouldn't fit under the tree on the floor in a white laundry basket. Each year, there would be a quilt for me, one for my brother, and in later years, quilts for my daughter too. I miss my mother, always, but her quilts still comfort me. They represent the spirit of the holidays - loving care.
Our holiday traditions have changed over the years, but we still enjoy the simple pleasures of sharing food, time together small gifts and loving care for one another.
May your holidays be joyful and your new year be happy and healthful.