Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cookies and Memories.......

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

Christmas reminds me of sugar cookies and candy. Actually granddaughter reminded me. We were texting and she told me her friends were coming over to help make cookies. I told her that reminded me of when her mother would invite friends over and we made the biggest mess making and decorating sugar cookies.

Son of course not wanting to act as though he enjoyed the process was the teacher. Maybe this was the groundwork for his future.

Husband walked in to be greeted by floury hands and doughy hugs. He ate oddly shaped angels, bells and Santa’s as though they were the prettiest any bakery could deliver.

Cheery Cheerleader lived 70 miles away and many years had daughter for the weekend for annual Christmas candy making. I tried candy but since I could induce “Never Fail Fudge” to fail, I opted for messy cookie queen.

One year we picked her up during an open house Cheery’s family was having. Daughter whisked me to a table of yummy appetizers.

She pointed to a snake-like pecan covered thing that looked dead. I was speechless which isn't the norm for me. I just didn’t have the words.

She excitedly pointed to fudge that had a little finger poke and then a stack of wildly decorated sugar cookies.

I finally uttered a profound “wow” about the time Cheery came up and daughter skipped off to greet guests.

Offhand I can’t remember what my sister said to me; all I know is that she made a little girl feel like a princess baker and hostess that year and it’s lasted many years after.

My friends this is Christmas.

Cheery served choked-to-death pecan rolls, smashed fudge and animated sugar cookies at a party for neighbors and friends.

It still makes me tear up when I think of it. I may have even told daughter she might grow up and win the Betty Crocker award. Just kidding, but I couldn’t leave other sister out. She did let Cheery and I wear her pin after all.

It gives my heart a tug to know that same little girl has grown up into a mom that has her kids friends over to make a big mess (or not, maybe she is more like her aunties) and allows them the real spirit of sharing not money, not gifts, but memories full of aroma and laughter and joy.

Merry Christmas!

Willie, Bob and Christmas........My Way (that's Elvis too) :-)

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

I love Christmas music. I have an eclectic taste in music and love wordsmiths who sing those words. Some may think them great writers, but can’t sing worth a flip. I consider the source and move right along.

Christmas music is a bit different in that it is more traditional and many musicians try their vocal chords expressing the Christmas season.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Bing Crosby. How could one not go through the holiday without hearing at least once, White Christmas crooned over the radio or directly in the ear from an IPod? He and Nat King Cole and others have the smooth and ethereal mix of hot chocolate, eggnog-less (that’s how I drink it), chestnuts roasting on an open fire - - oops, I’m getting carried away!

Children’s Christmas voices are light and happy and energizing.

I personally have everything Elvis did in records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and now an MP3. I hope a new mechanism doesn’t come out, I can’t discard any in the various and sundry ways I’ve collected music. Husband can’t say a word as he has his own passionate display of collections. His is more subdued though. I mean Western Swing and Big Band and anything before 1960---and he’s stuck there!

I tend to grow with the times.

That’s why I’ve added two new CDs to my Christmas repertoire.

One is by Willie Nelson and the other Bob Dylan. I know, I know. It’s hard to fancy either of them singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” or “Noel” and such.

However, since I am a great fan of both, when I saw the CDs I couldn’t help myself. I may well be the only person who’s bought them, but who cares? I love them!

Last year, I’d bought Willie’s and had the boom box turned high singing along with him while I cleaned. Husband walked by and then backed up and listened a second.

“Is that Willie Nelson singing Christmas music?”

“Yes! Isn’t it great?”

“That’s not exactly what I’d say it is.” He replied walking on by and adding, “Could you turn it down?”

I bought Bob this year. I stick my earphones in my ear so I can listen.

To me their voices are always poetic, but to sing out-of-their-norm is truly music to my ears.

Needless to say, I’ve learned to keep my ears to myself!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Remembering mother and daddy and sibling....nostalgia!

A Dollar’s Worth
By Alisa Dollar

The older I become, I’m more nostalgic. With parents gone, I often have fleeting thoughts of times gone by when something in particular comes into my fleeting thought mind.

Most are good. A few are bad. Some are sad. Comparing to some seen on television, we didn’t have a dysfunctional family, though at times it seemed so. We were a normal churchgoing and productive to the community family.  

Christmastime brings out my sappiness. I tear up at the drop of a hat and in the same breath laugh at some memory from earlier times when my family and sibling and families trek to visit the parents.

Yesterday in my neighborhood drugstore, I saw a box of chocolate covered cherries. Daddy used to bring mother those at the start of December. It was her favorite candy and though it seemed a simple gesture, I realize now it was a grand gesture.

She hoarded it too. Not that I wanted any but I always thought she could’ve offered. It took all these years to realize she shared everything else with us kids and that was her one pleasure that was hers alone.

One Christmas season, husband noticed I had a box of chocolate covered cherries in my lap and a sick look on my face. For once, he approached the subject in a manner not accusatory knowing I have a chocolate fetish.

“I thought you didn’t like that candy?”

“I don’t.”

I could see he was trying his best to not say then why have you eaten half a box? It was either the teary eyes or the fact I was about to throw up that stopped him from saying another word.

“They were mother’s favorite.” I said. He looked puzzled but still didn’t say anything.

“I was thinking about her today.” I stated as though that would clear any and all questions concerning me and that half box of chocolate covered cherries.

I threw the rest away after they set on my kitchen cabinet for a week. I couldn’t have eaten another one if someone had offered money.

They made me feel good though. They reminded me of a time gone by when things were simple and I didn’t have to be the grownup.

I hope we’ve given our children lasting memories to suddenly appear out of nowhere.

We hoard good memories while the worst fade.

Memories are gifts. Share them.