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Christmas Magic

It's late but I just popped a huckleberry, coffee cake into the oven along with a fresh pan of chocolate chip cookies.  I am doing this for my hubby and kiddoes.  They have been craving their favorite cookies for over a week.  What with all the busy of teaching, I don't get time to do baking... poor dear ones... I apologize.

SO... what got me going was the aroma of the oven when I opened the door to check on things...  Suddenly, I was transported back to a time I can barely remember... A time of magic and of Christmas and surprises...

My mom made Christmas magic at our house.  She was the one to encourage the gathering of pine and the arranging of the top of the old, upright piano.  A few tapered candles somehow found room to finish off the arrangement, and it seems like we may have strung popcorn over it some years.   We weren't supposed to have a real Christmas tree, but this was a close second and I think it was just as magical and beautiful, especially when all the gifts were wrapped and lain on top.

One year, she made a play kitchen for me and my sisters.  The oven was a work of art.  It had a stove top with magic marker burners and real dials rescued from who knows where. The oven door opened and shut like a real oven.  Inside was a heat lamp that actually baked mini cakes in our little, metal cake pans. The light was cleverly attached through the back, like all oven lights, and it functioned like a real oven.  Of course, you had to pretend you were turning the oven on when you turned the dial and then you also pretended you didn't need to plug it in each and every time.  But pretending was easy at that age and when you opened the oven to check your pretty little cakes, it smelled just like mom's kitchen upstairs.  It felt real when you sat your family of dolls around the table on little wooden chairs and gave them each a slice of cake.  It felt so magical, you forgot you were in a damp, dingy basement with cement walls on every side.

Another year, as the season approached, I would wake up, soon after I had fallen asleep, to hear the sewing machine going lickety-split.  It took a couple years of this for me to realize, that was when she made our rag dolls and sewing boxes or new dresses and nightgowns.  Sometimes, she made our underwear and slips.  Those items, I didn't appreciate so much.  Tricot underwear are not comfy, let me tell you...And that is all I will say about that.

 Christmas was always celebrated in style.  It was special, even when all we had were oranges, peanuts, and Christmas candy in a brown paper bag.  It was the atmosphere of love and warmth from the wood stove that made the season celebratory.  It was the peanut brittle and candy canes, and just now, I am realizing, it was the homemade gifts that made it the most magical.  And just maybe, it had more to do with a mom who knew what Christmas magic was all about.  She must have known, for she surely taught, the atmosphere of love and celebration is what make the homemade gifts special.

What are the homemade gifts you are making this year?


  1. What happened to that kitchen? I think I probably played with it a few times! I always wished I had one like it although I didn't know about the heat lamp in it!:)

  2. I don't know where the homemade kitchen set went. Maybe the dump? Anyhow, it remains in my memory...


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