Holiday Traditions

The Thanksgiving and Christmas season is the time of year most-packed with holiday traditions. I so love this time of year and I love a good family tradition, and our family has lots of them that we enjoy every year. I love the consistency and stability that tradition brings. It’s always a subtle reminder of the consistency and stability that comes from a lifetime of walking with God. I pray that my girls will one day make that same connection in their own minds and hearts.

Our Thanksgiving tradition, of course, revolves around being with our extended family and eating a feast. It is one of the few days of the year that we throw calorie caution to the wind and stuff ourselves sick on the richest, most fat-laden food we can find. We usually gather with my family at the beach or at Jonathan’s parents’ house in Meridian. Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving unless we eat turkey, Grandmaw Hill’s or CC’s dressing, cranberry sauce (hold the berries, please), spinach madeleine, corn and peas from Papaw Hill’s garden, sweet potato casserole, pineapple casserole, and a sampler platter of desserts. And Sister Shubert usually makes an appearance, as well. Yes, most of our Thanksgiving centers around food. That’s because…well, we like to eat.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the way we decorate our Christmas tree. We decorate early because we love Christmas so much. We either choose a tree from the local tree lot or use our huge fake tree that we used in Fishes & Loaves. We put on the Christmas music, pull out the Oreo delight, and get busy. The little girls put ornaments on the lower branches, Jonathan puts the ones on the high branches, and I am chief hole-filler and general overseer. Our ornaments are an eclectic mixture of new and old, small and large, nativity and Santa Claus, colorful and plain. We use colored light and white ones. For many years our tree topper was the bow from our ribbon-cutting at Fishes & Loaves. When Patterson was born, we retired that one and used the big pink bow that was on the door of my hospital room when she was born. This year, we will decide on a new topper.

Our family is sentimental around that holidays, perhaps that’s why we love these long-held traditions so much. What traditions do your family enjoy?

Oreo Delight

1 lb, Oreo cookies, crushed
2 small boxes instant French vanilla pudding
2 3/4 cups milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

Crush Oreos and spread over bottom of 9″X12″ Pyrex dish. (I always put it in my Vicki Carroll Christmas dish. Those dishes were one of the best decisions I made when registering for wedding gifts. We ADORE using them!) Reserve a few Oreos to sprinkle on top. Mix milk and pudding mix. Mix margarine and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar to cream cheese mixture. Add pudding to cream cheese mixture, a little at a time. When mixed well, spread over Oreo crumbs. Top with Cool Whip and sprinkle crumbs over top. Keep refrigerated.

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