Friday, December 26, 2008

Remembering Christmas Past

This was our first Christmas without my mom.

Over the last few days, I've found myself thinking a lot about Christmases in the past...and mom. Mentally reliving different Christmas memories over and over again and wondering...if only we had known then what we know now.

I remember the Christmas that my dad presented my mom with a really large box. We all wondered what could possibly be in such a large box and thought it was very exciting that the large box contained another box...and another box....and another box....I do not remember how many boxes (to a kid, it seemed like a lot) there were, but I remember the new ring my mom found in the smallest box and was very excited about.

I remember the Christmas when I found out who Santa Clause really was. Santa had brought Lego to my siblings and I...regular Lego for the older kids...and big Lego for my younger sister. My sister had no interest in the big Lego...but wanted to play with the regular Lego. I over heard my mom telling my dad in the kitchen that they should have gotten my sister the regular Lego. Aha! Now I knew who Santa really was.

I remember Christmas mornings when my siblings and I would race back and forth between the living room and my parents connecting bedroom to tell them what Santa had brought us...squealing with excitement. We did this even in the years after we knew who Santa was.

I remember Christmas mornings when after all the presents were unwrapped, dad would bring out his presents for mom. Showering her with perfume, clothing, and jewellery. She would be excited about each one...just as my siblings and I were excited to see what gifts dad had hidden from her.

I remember the last Christmas before mom got sick. My sister and I (with families) stayed over night on Christmas Eve. After all the kids went to bed, my sister and I started to fill stockings. Mom got out her bag of toys and stocking stuffers...excited to be able to play Santa with her grandchildren.

These memories may not be that interesting, but they allow me to visual and remember my mom as if she was still with us today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gingerbread Village

Last week, C and I made a gingerbread village. I’m not sure what I was thinking when we chose the village kit over the single house kit. I certainly wasn’t thinking that 5 tiny houses would be a lot harder than one large house. The packaging was deceiving. The picture on the outside of the box made the house look larger than the tiny pieces of gingerbread that were included in the box.

Assembling the ginger bread house didn’t start out on the right foot…I broke part of the church roof. I didn't realize the gingerbread pieces would snap apart easily and I had tried to use a knife to split them apart.

After assembling the houses it was time for C to go to bed...we would have to wait a few days before we would have time to decorate them. I followed the instructions and covered the unused icing with a damp cloth. Over the next few days I would dampen the cloth whenever I noticed it was bone dry not realizing that all the moisture in the damp cloth was seeping into the icing. By the time we were ready to decorate, the icing was quite runny. I had to add lots of icing sugar to try to get it back to the proper consistency. Now we were ready to decorate.

We had only been decorating for a few minutes when...the icing bag blew the tip out...I must have cut the hole too big. The kit did not come with extra icing bags...just a bag for each of the 3 colours. So...I tried to improvise with a dollar store zip lock bag by cutting a hole in the corner, inserting tip and then filling the bag with icing. All that work for nothing, the bag blew a hole on the first squeeze. With no other options left, I had to use the icing bag reserved for another colour. This time, I made sure to cut the hole smaller.

This is the third year that C and I have made a gingerbread house, and we have never had issues with the icing bags. So, I was quite shocked when after only a few minutes of decorating...the 2nd icing bag blew a hole in it. GRRRR. Now what? I didn't want to use my last bag for the white icing. So...I resorted to duct tape. Hubby was skeptical but humoured me anyway and retrieved the duct tape for me. I taped around the bag where the hole was....and away I went. The tape held for the entire time I needed to use the white icing. It also held the green icing bag together when it too blew a hole. I now have a whole new appreciate for duct tape.