Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Celebration of a Family Holiday

  Holiday’s always remind me of the big family celebrations that my mother gave.  Christmas was the big one. 

Mom loved family celebrations!

 

The Austrian embroidered tablecloth and napkins came out along with the red and white dishes.  The crystal with the gold rims and the silverware were just the start.  I always helped set the table correctly.  At a very young age, I knew the knife and spoon were on the right of the plate and the two different sized forks were on the left.  There was always a flower arrangement or centerpiece and candles.
Austrian tablecloth, red and white dishes, centerpiece and a grandson!
Everyone’s favorite foods were made and there would not have been a celebration without ‘Mom’s Denver Biscuits’.  I can still smell the hot potato based yeast rolls.  Several of us make them now or at least know how.  Somehow they are not quite as good as hers were but they bring her back to us with memories.  They also take a lot of work.  In fact, the Christmas celebration took a lot of work and mom loved it.  All the kids and grandkids brought their news and gifts.  There was laughter and talk and good cheer.

I was going through some old things (besides the handkerchiefs in last week’s blog) and found a booklet a friend sent me years ago.  “The Post-Intelligencer’s Women’s Department presents Table Fashions of 1949” designed by Helen chamberlain.  (I was 2 years old.) 
The pamphlet is not very big but it is full of  rules, suggestions and stories that Mom used in her celebrations!  It has table setting drawings for each meal and combines a little history with advice.  “Catherine the Great ordered one dinner service of 952 pieces, but it could never have given her the thrill that a bride of today feels when she acquires her first place setting of fine china,…” 
The last paragraph says, “Setting a table is like baking a pie… once you acquire the knack, repeat successes are easy.”  Mom certainly got that part right!  She also taught me that if the table was pretty the food would taste better.  She was also right about that!
As the family got smaller and more spread out, the celebrations have changed.  The memories remain.






Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Celebration of a Family Holiday

  Holiday’s always remind me of the big family celebrations that my mother gave.  Christmas was the big one. 

Mom loved family celebrations!

 

The Austrian embroidered tablecloth and napkins came out along with the red and white dishes.  The crystal with the gold rims and the silverware were just the start.  I always helped set the table correctly.  At a very young age, I knew the knife and spoon were on the right of the plate and the two different sized forks were on the left.  There was always a flower arrangement or centerpiece and candles.
Austrian tablecloth, red and white dishes, centerpiece and a grandson!
Everyone’s favorite foods were made and there would not have been a celebration without ‘Mom’s Denver Biscuits’.  I can still smell the hot potato based yeast rolls.  Several of us make them now or at least know how.  Somehow they are not quite as good as hers were but they bring her back to us with memories.  They also take a lot of work.  In fact, the Christmas celebration took a lot of work and mom loved it.  All the kids and grandkids brought their news and gifts.  There was laughter and talk and good cheer.

I was going through some old things (besides the handkerchiefs in last week’s blog) and found a booklet a friend sent me years ago.  “The Post-Intelligencer’s Women’s Department presents Table Fashions of 1949” designed by Helen chamberlain.  (I was 2 years old.) 
The pamphlet is not very big but it is full of  rules, suggestions and stories that Mom used in her celebrations!  It has table setting drawings for each meal and combines a little history with advice.  “Catherine the Great ordered one dinner service of 952 pieces, but it could never have given her the thrill that a bride of today feels when she acquires her first place setting of fine china,…” 
The last paragraph says, “Setting a table is like baking a pie… once you acquire the knack, repeat successes are easy.”  Mom certainly got that part right!  She also taught me that if the table was pretty the food would taste better.  She was also right about that!
As the family got smaller and more spread out, the celebrations have changed.  The memories remain.