I love this time of year when neighbors share plates of homemade goodies with each other. It’s fun to see the traditional cookies and fudges and well, yummies from other families. Some are the same traditions with slightly different recipes, like fudge and some are completely different but every bit as delicious! On my list of what I look forward to: dark chocolate covered peanut butter balls with tiny red and green balls on top, peanut brittle, almond brittle, Mexican skillet fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, caramel corn and chocolate caramel corn, Julie’s monster cookies, Mike’s gluten-free chocolate truffle cookies, snowballs (sorry Susan), thumbprints, Sibyl’s sweet stolen bread, homemade salsa, cherry jelly, dark chocolate salted caramel, chocolate dipped anything, and all of the countless other goodies!
It’s the happy good cheer that abounds in this kind of neighboring/sharing. It’s the Christmas card greetings from near and far. It’s all manner of every kind of family getting together. It’s learning to play poker Texas style (I won all the blue chips!). It’s watching old slides and arguing over which house all those people are in and which people they are! It’s high emotion overwhelming and small quiet moments of awe. It’s spontaneous singalongs and trips down the road to find treasures from magazines in old churches and barns and log cabins where others celebrated the birth of Christ in another time. It’s non-stop coffee all day long and into the night. It’s watching movies or going for a walk in the cold snow and coming together for a deep-fried turkey or rosemary brined turkey breast with glazed carrots and white bean sausage gratin.
It’s coming together, then feeling crowded and then not wanting to part. It’s laughing at ourselves and our opposing politics and knowing that in the end, it doesn’t matter because we call this wild untamed thing, family.