Tag Archives: Tammy Lewis

Sugar Cookies, Our Christmas Tradition ©

How sugar cookies became a Christmas tradition for Tammy Lewis

sugar cookiesAs Christmas quickly draws near, I am inundated by a myriad of memories from my childhood.  In particular, I remember that every year, a few days prior to Christmas Eve, my dad would come home with last-minute presents to be wrapped, assorted sparkling colors of wrapping paper, and various foods for Christmas dinner.  He would park it all on the dining room table for my mother to unpack and put away.

I was 10 years old when a few days before Christmas Eve, I helped my mom unpack Dad’s latest last-minute purchases.  It was then that I noticed and realized that every year without fail, my dad would bring home bags of oranges and tangerines, bags of nuts in their shells, a tin of old fashioned hard candy, and last but not least, a box of powdered sugar cookies.  I thought nothing of my discovery and mentally filed it away.

When I turned 17, my grandmother (Dad’s mother) came to visit.  One day I overheard her discussing with my mom about hard times that she had endured in her past.  She said that one Christmas was especially poor, and she and my grandfather had no money to spend on Christmas presents.  To her surprise, a few days before Christmas Eve, neighbors stopped in for a visit.

sugar cookiesWith them, they brought gifts of oranges and tangerines, assorted nuts for shelling, a canister of hard candy, and powdered sugar cookies.  She was so humbled and overcome with gratitude.  Because of the neighbors’ kindness, she was able to provide treats for my dad and uncle.

As I overheard the conversation, I immediately knew that was the reason behind my dad’s last-minute purchases of the same food items.  A thoughtful visit and gift from neighbors turned to a long-lasting memory for my dad, and in turn, he made it a tradition to provide the same treats for his children.

While I may not have children of my own, my nephews and nieces are near and dear to me.  Just a few years ago, I relayed to them the story I overheard my grandmother tell about the oranges and nuts.  Now every year as Christmas approaches, they gently remind me to make sure I remember the most important purchases of the season: bags of oranges and tangerines, nuts for shelling, old fashioned hard candy, and finally, yet importantly, powdered sugar cookies.

For my grandparents, my father and uncle, I have made sure their Christmas tradition remains alive and will be passed onto future generations.

 photos by buchesandbits and sutherlandviolin

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FOLLOWER Friday: The Christmas Tree

Family Christmas tree memories with  Tammy Lewis 
My mom always used to say that she enjoyed the Christmas tree best after Christmas was over.  Every year, for a few weeks after Christmas ended, my mom would come home from the store with a new batch of ornaments.  Rather than put them aside for the following season, she would unpack them and hang them immediately on our tree.
christmas tree
I remember watching her rearrange Christmas ornaments, balancing the lot just right until she was satisfied.  Her trees were artwork, and she was at her happiest crafting and dressing her trees.  She always smiled and whistled Christmas carols as she went about her work.  I asked her why she enjoyed the Christmas tree better after the holidays were over.  She observed that after the rush of the season, after all the presents were unwrapped, after all the guests left and all the cooking and cleaning were over, she could finally manage the time to just sit and admire the tree.
In many ways, I have followed in my mother’s footsteps.  Not surprisingly, I share her love for Christmas, and find myself sitting quietly and admiring the tree long after Christmas is over.  I realize I may be alone in my post-holiday appreciation of a decorated tree, but ultimately, I must permit myself to do it. 
There is often no rhyme or reason why we do or enjoy things just a little differently than other people.  Happiness is not one event but countless and otherwise ordinary moments in our life – each one unique among a sea of individuals.  I am unabashed in my love of wintry and rainy weather, and do not await the return of the sun as I feel content at the sight of raindrops on the window.  Listening to music is an activity I enjoy as much as any other, but I enjoy it solely while driving my car.
Other people may enjoy their cache of music while exercising or working at their computers, activities that I prefer to do in silence.  And further, reading – a verifiable passion rather than just a hobby for me – I take pleasure only while it is late at night, curled up in my bed, and with my dog snoring contentedly at my feet.  I never feel inclined to read during the day, on the porch, on the couch, at a café or anywhere else.  
Sometimes, I am unsure if to admit my very slight eccentricities as I want to “blend” in with a crowd, but each of us has something subtly unique that brings us small pleasures for each person is patterned as distinctively as a snowflake in a sky of flurries.  Therefore, we should embrace ourselves and carry on, even if it is just adding decorations to the Christmas tree after the start of a new year.

photo by tammy lewis

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