Tally’s poignant blog about oranges made me think of things that were/are special in my life at Christmastime.  I imagine all of you have such memories and would love to see them if you hit the comment button on the blog and can send them to us.  This would be a lovely sharing.  Look under the title of the entry – you will see the date, and at the right, “leave a comment”.

My Mother came from Scotland, and baking shortbread was as much a part of preparing for Christmas as was “first footing”  to New Year’s.  As a child, the tree didn’t go up until Christmas Eve, I thought Santa did it.  After I learned the truth about Santa, we put the tree up the week before Christmas, and that was when Mother started her baking.  She had these lovely tins she would put the yummy treasure in and that was the gift she gave to friends and neighbors.  We lived in the country, so neighbors where not that near (I remember how hard it was to have a paper route, and how much walking we had to do at Halloween in order to get a bit of candy).  Most neighbors were well situated, but a few were very poor, and when Mother knocked on their doors, gave them her shortbread, they always had something home-baked for her.  The neighbors who were not poor, though good folks, didn’t give her anything.  This reminds me of Africa where people fed Tally and I at the expense of themselves or their children.  Perhaps it is being so close to the experience of “want” that sensitizes the soul.  The people I know here are sensitive and step in when someone they know is in trouble, and many look beyond their circle of friends to extend a hand.  And, I bake shortbread, but am not as good as my Mother was about giving it to neighbors I know, perhaps I had better start baking another round.

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