My mother loved Christmas…. She made it magical. Growing up, we always had 2 trees in the house during the Christmas season. We had a kid’s tree and a mom tree. At the end of November my mom would start planning out how she was going to decorate the house. As a grown-up now, I can remember every tradition so clearly… the advent calendars… the lights… the Christmas baking. When my kids were born, she added even more traditions. All of the kids got a new Christmas outfit and new PJ’s to wear at the Christmas eve service at church and on Christmas day. Typically, it was some sort of plaid for the boys and velvet or tulle for the little girls. My mom made Christmas special for everyone.
When she got sick, she still worked so hard to keep up with the traditions. She would even go shopping once she was in a wheelchair. We were able to keep Christmas the same for the kids for the first 2 years.
The year she passed away, we knew by late October that she only had weeks to live. Christmas was so important to her that she insisted on having a last Christmas with the kids. My sister and I gathered all of the kids together on November 18th, 2017 for one last Christmas with Nana. We had brunch like every year before, and then the kids opened up her carefully (with Jody and my help) curated stockings she had for each of them. My mom loved watching them open their stockings and see the excitement on their face when they discovered the treasures inside. We took some pictures and then they each kissed her goodbye as we took her that same day to the hospice care unit of the hospital. This was one of the hardest days of my life. When you know with certainty it’s a last of something… it is brutal. Jody and I went and bought her a Christmas tree for her room with little white lights that we could keep on with the lights dim. We would all sit with that tiny Christmas tree on, with soft Christmas carols playing in the background, for hours. As heartbreaking as it was, there was something soothing about knowing she got to experience a little Christmas… her favourite season. Our mom passed away this week two years ago (December 7th, 2017) and we are still not the same… we probably will never be.
Having someone dying… or die in the weeks leading up to Christmas or any holiday is tough. The way you view the holiday changes forever… well for me it did. Last year I barely made it through Christmas. I usually do some baking and didn’t feel like doing any… I had a hard time doing anything Christmassy. Every Christmas activity painfully reminded me of those weeks leading up to my mom’s death. I was sad for the whole season. This year is still tough and as I have said, grief is messy and unpredictable. My husband encouraged me this week by saying that I needed to show my children the legacy my mother had handed down. So, this year we put up the tree a little early… we decorated… set up the nativity scene AND I have been baking up a storm. This year I am excited for my kids to taste the treats that we came to love over Christmas. This year I am choosing joy… in spite of my sadness. I am choosing to celebrate the season of Christ’s birth and all that it means to our family. I’m choosing to honour my mother and all the wonderful traditions she passed down. Thank you, mom.
Here is a recipe of one of my mom’s favourite Christmas treats that I made this week.
1 cup hot sour cream
1/4 cup melted butter
3 Tbs sugar
1/8tsp baking soda
1 pkg dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
3 cups of flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375
- Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixing bowl
- Add hot sour cream, melted butter, sugar, egg and soda to the mixing bowl with the yeast and blend until smooth
- Gradually mix in the flour 1 cup at a time until well mixed
- Turn out on to a floured surface and lightly kneed, form into ball and let stand 5 minutes
- roll out in to a 1/4inch thick rectangle
- Spread half with butter, sugar, cinnamon spread
- Fold over and press to seal
- Cut in to 1 inch strips and twist each strip
- Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes
- Glaze with icing
We have also have made a ‘pretty’ copy of the recipe and put it in our resource library. If you have not signed up yet for access to our free resource library, you can do that right HERE
We also wrote a post last year on 5 things you need to know about losing a parent, if you missed it, you can read it HERE
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Merry Christmas Sisters,