So during our years up North, our family had plenty of opportunities to skate and play ice hockey. This was made possible due to the awesome ice skating rink our Grandpa Joe built us back in the day. How do you replicate that fun when you move to sunny Florida? It’s simple: You switch to field hockey (also known as street hockey).
I’ll never forget the Christmas that “Santa” brought us field hockey goals, sticks, and balls. Santa always brought us a family gift, and when we saw the field hockey set up, we couldn’t wait to get outside, divided into teams, and enjoy some heavy competition. We always loved to play as a group, but we even had fun playing one-on-one or just practicing our shots. This was a family favorite gift for many years.
How about you? What gifts from your childhood do you remember well? Maybe Santa will bring you one tonight…
(Copyright 2019 Susie Krivacic All Rights Reserved)
Most families have traditional meals they enjoy over Christmas. One of my favorites growing up was fondue (beef and chicken).
Every Christmas Eve for years, we gathered around the table with two fondue pots full of oil. The Sterno was lit, and it gradually heated the oil to the required temperature. We speared a piece of chicken or beef with our fondue fork and placed it in the oil to the sound of a loud SIZZLE. We had several dipping sauces from which to choose. There was always a squeal at some point from someone whose meat fell off the fondue fork and was drying up in the bottom on the pot. The conversation was always loud and lively, and there was nothing yummier for the night before Christmas.
How about you? What are your favorite holiday meals?
(Copyright 2019 Susie Krivacic All Rights Reserved)
So one of my students told me this morning that it snowed in China today. He was very excited and talked about the fun he had playing in the snow. He has plans to build a snowman tomorrow.
This made me recall an idiosyncrasy my baby brother, Todd, displayed as a little guy (yes, a “toddler”). Todd was petrified of snow. Not a single flake could touch his skin. When we walked through the driveway to get to the car, he had to be covered from head to toe on a snowy day. If a single snowflake even touched his nose, he freaked out.
This eccentricity didn’t last for long. This is a good thing, as Atlanta is known to occasionally get a good winter storm. Could you imagine Todd now having a panic attack over snow? But some people, including adults, maintain a strong fear of snow. It’s called chionophobia from the Greek word chion meaning snow and phobos meaning fear, aversion, or dread.
I don’t have chionophobia, but I am definitely not a fan of snow. I only like it if I can go skiing or skating. Other than that, give me warm weather. Maybe that’s why I live in Florida…
Do you remember getting tucked in as a child? There was nothing better than Mom or Dad coming in before bed to make sure you were cuddled in your blankets ready for sleep. I was tucked in, and I tucked my kids in too.
I’m not really sure at what age I stopped tucking in Sammy and Ethan. Ethan recalls it being during middle school because he would stay up later than I did to finish homework. Well, the roles are now reversed…
You see, our running joke is that Ethan now tucks us in. Stef and I are on opposite schedules from the kids, so we are in bed long before they are. Before we drift off to sleep, Ethan always pops in to wish us a good night. And it’s wonderful! I know why kids love being tucked in because I love it too (even at my age)…
So I’m not a fan of cold weather, but I must confess that snow can be a blast when you go sledding. Growing up, all you needed was a snowy day, a hill, and a trash can lid.
I’ll never forget one Christmas when we got a sled. We were so excited as we raced to the nearest hill. We took turns diving onto the sled and zipping to the bottom. It was an activity that brought all of the neighbors out into the freezing yard. And we didn’t want to go inside, not even when hot cocoa and a warm fire beckoned.
When we finally made it into the house, we were chilled, damp, and smiling. We debated who had bragging rights for the best run and challenged each other to a rematch. We couldn’t wait for the next snow storm to make the slope ready for another afternoon of fun.
There’s something I miss from the good old days…Christmas carolers. There was nothing like hearing a knock on the door, and once opened, the beautiful singing of holiday songs.
It’s something that is just not done too much these days. Why? Well possibly because people rarely open the door to people they don’t know, so why bother gathering others for this wonderful tradition.
Well, in 2016, the carolers came a knocking. And I opened the door. And I was greeted by the most beautiful singing voices from Timber Creek High School. The choral group was simply out spreading joy. I called Sammy and Ethan down, and we couldn’t wipe the smiles from our faces.
We haven’t had carolers since, but I keep waiting…and hoping. Maybe I should gather some friends and knock on some doors…
Growing up, it was so exciting to trim the tree for Christmas. With six kids in the family, our tree was covered in handmade ornaments from school and also many ceramic ornaments made by my grandmother. Some years we had a real tree, and some years we used an artificial one. No matter which we had, it was always a beautiful tree.
But with such a large family, disaster occasionally ensues. One afternoon in December while Mom was out, the boys were horsing around. I don’t quite know exactly what happened, but suddenly we heard a CRASH! The tree tumbled to the ground. Tammy immediately got into action trying to get the tree back up and in order as she called out for help. What did Steve do? He dashed to the stereo and began playing “Help” by the Beatles. You remember it: “Help! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody…” This was not amusing at the time, but we all laugh about it now!
So I just put out my Mr. and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers from Publix today. (I have the Pilgrim set as well.) I don’t have my tree up yet, but every year these kitchen accessories are the first Christmas item I put up in the house as I’ve done for over 20 years. Perhaps it’s because they sit right up in my cabinet, so they are easy to get out and place. Perhaps it’s because of nostalgia. Perhaps it’s just because I like them…
So it’s not Thanksgiving without a variety of pies: pumpkin, apple, pecan, etc. The holiday made me think of one of my favorite pies: key lime.
My family moved to Florida in about 1974. Our first house had a key lime tree, and my Mom made the best key lime pie in the world. The secret was, of course, fresh key limes from our tree. Mom would send us kids out to pick the ripe limes as she got started on this amazing dessert.
The aroma of the baking pie filled the house, and it was a happy moment when we got to finally bite into the sweet delicacy. With our big family, we were lucky that Mom made more than one, so there was plenty to go around.
When I think of my Mom’s key lime pie, I am reminded of our early days in Florida. And I appreciate her effort to give us such a memorable treat that no bakery can match.
So who remembers paper dolls? Apparently they have been around since the early days, but didn’t begin to be marketed until about 1810. They are still available, but I don’t see many kids playing with them.
I used to love paper dolls. They had such a wide array of outfits available, and it was fun to make your own clothes for your dolls. All you needed was some paper, crayons, scissors, and a little imagination. They were also so portable. If you were going on a car ride, you just had to slide them into an envelope, and the fun would travel.
I can see how today’s kids might not be as attracted to such a simple play concept. Paper dolls aren’t fancy or on a computer, but I remember playing with them for hours. How about you?