Welcome to MyNeChimKi’s Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories! Thanks to Geneabloggers for developing these fantastic prompts for some holiday spirited blogging. Over the next month we’ll be blogging about some of our fondest Christmas memories.
Today’s topic: Grab Bag #1: Pears, Pecans, and Pine Needles
Plentiful Christmas Tradition
Our family isn’t terribly different than many others. We love food just as much as the next family, and many of our Christmas traditions center around “holiday” food. However, I suspect that our holiday food might be a bit different than others. Like, how many families do you know that bond, tell stories, and share quality time around a trash can? Yes, that’s right, I said trash can.
I’m not talking about scraping plates after the Christmas feast. Actually, it just so happens that Schley Pecan season just happens to coincide with the Christmas Holiday season. Every year a big box of Schleys appears on the door step and we tear into that box! Somewhere in the kitchen is flat dish of sorts that proudly displays some gorgeously, smooth in-shell pecans. Various cracking instruments lay strewn around and you can always find one family member or another cracking away. Sometimes we don’t even talk… just stand around and crack open shells. But Scheleys are always part of the festivities.
Oh, and being from the South, it’s pronounced: Pee-Kahn…
As far back as I can remember a box of Christmas Pears would arrive on our doorstep right before Christmas. I’d be lying if I said that it was exciting to me as a kid. I was quite a picky child and refused to try anything that didn’t pass the “squeeze” test (the “squeeze” test was cultivated when I was just a mere babe cultivating my very first tastes of food, but the results persisted for quite some time). Pears, unfortunately, did not pass. But I clearly remember these Christmas Pears being an integral part of the Christmas Holiday.
First, the box was perfect for storing ornaments. I was just the perfect size and it came with two green foam pieces that cushioned the top and bottom of the box, excellent protection for some of the more delicate pieces. I remember the foam had a very distinct smell to it. But the best part was that the pears were wrapped in beautiful tissue paper. And at least one was wrapped on the outside of the tissue with a glimmering gold foil.
As an adult I have come quite a ways from my “squeeze test” days and I was happy to receive my very own box of Christmas Pears last year in the mail from my grandfather. I felt so adult and included when it arrived, and I enjoyed unwrapping the glimmering gold foiled pear all for myself!
I should have been more specific and said Douglas Fir needles, but that would have ruined my alliterative post title. Our family has been long steeped in the tradition of real Christmas trees. It really wasn’t Christmas until you got that first whiff of Evergreen. Every year that my uncle Phillip came home to Arkansas, my grandparents erected a real tree. There is a story that circulates the family that Phillip was so enamored of Christmas Trees that he went all around the neighborhood after Christmas was over and collected up all the cast out rejects at the end of people’s streets. He brought them all home and built a little Christmas Tree forest on my grandparents’ porch.
Our family still puts up live trees when we’re staying home for Christmas. Despite the pain and torture of endless vacuuming of fallen needles, the hazards of kitties climbing, swinging, and sleeping amongst the limbs, and the fact that more often than not our tree is swathed in an old blanket rather than a glamorous Christmas Tree skirt, we still love the traditional real fir.