I baked my father a sweet potato pie for Christmas. Something I haven’t done in years. When I was in high school, my dad – who was missing his mother’s cooking – had me call her in Texas to get instructions on how to make his two favorite dishes: smothered pork chops and sweet potato pie. I remember listening to her directions in between that deep, throaty laugh of hers.
This was not a recipe to recite from; just her memories and experience.
“How much cinnamon?” I asked her.
“Just enough,” she answered. And then that laugh.
Making that pie yesterday brought back memories of her and the other women in my family who have passed on; strong, smart and loving women who worked harder and longer than I know I ever will.
This morning, I stood behind my daughter as she made her first baked macaroni and cheese casserole. She was glad that I was “finally” teaching her how to make it.
“I want to learn how to make your peach cobbler too,” she said while I cautioned her to keep stirring the boiling macaroni.
Through all of this, I realized what this thing we call the Holiday Season is all about. It’s the time when we make time to do those things we don’t normally do; a time when we reminisce with family about those who have gone before us; a time when we look at those that are still here, and silently thank God for their presence in our lives.
So, whether you say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or Happy Chanukah, may the Spirit of the Season be in your hearts, and carry you through the rest of the year.