Christmas Memories

Christmas Snow
Christmas Snow (Photo credit: gw_boyd)

I was reading through my emails and Google Reader feeds today when I came across Jim Casada’s December Newsletter. As I was reading his list of childhood Christmas Memories I found myself nodding on more than one occasion as my own memories mached up with Jim’s.

Here are a few that I particularly liked…

  • The Christmas Day feast at the home of my grandparents. It was a meal rivaled only by the spread at Thanksgiving.
  • Grandpa Joe “sassering” a cup of Russian tea and smacking his lips as he drank liquid hot enough to scorch most lips.
  • The concluding words of every blessing I ever heard Grandpa deliver as we were preparing to eat: “You’uns see what’s before you. Eat hearty.”

via ~ Things I Remember About Past Decembers – Jim Casada

I think it was the”sassering” that really hit a nerve though. I learned to drink coffee with my Grandma and Grandpa Sewell. And it was the saucering and blowing across the almost boiling coffee that still brings them back into the fore of my memories. Instant Folgers stirred into water so hot it foamed as it swirled around the cup…poured from the cup into the saucer before being cooled by blowing across the pool until you could sip it from the side of the saucer. Then repeat… Over and over until the cup was empty.

Twice a day every day. The ritual didn’t change other than the addition of whoever might be around at 10 and 2. Sometimes, the addition of cookies or cake would take the ritual to another level. But most days it was just coffee…”Sassered” and blowed.

Last year we started a new tradition around the Coffee Muses homestead when I had the photo at the top of the page printed and framed to remind us of the Christmas Miracle that happened in 2004 when we had the only Christmas eve and Christmas Snow ever recorded in this area. Now, every December as we decorate for Christmas the picture is moved over the mantle at the fireplace… Both as a reminder and a wish…

4 thoughts on “Christmas Memories”

  1. Love the photo! I just was thinking about that snow the other day. I think I may find a spot to repost about that. A reminder and a wish, indeed.

    Believe it or not, my own grandfather – an Iowa Swede – drank his morning and afternoon coffee the same way. You’ve described it perfectly. The Swedes had a bit of a different routine when it came to meals – there was breakfast, dinner at noon, “a little lunch” around four, and then supper. Those “little lunches” would be quite the thing. They weren’t so much like English teatime – there was more sausage, cheese and such.

    As for those Christmas dinners – they were filled with the traditional foods that I still long for. The only time I’ve found them all in one place was the year I was invited to the Christmas party hosted by Houston’s Swedish Association. I need to do some exploring and see if those folks still are around.

    Thanks for the memories!

    1. Linda, I don’t think anyone who lived through that magical night will ever again approach Christmas without thinking about a White Christmas. I know my cynical nature was proven insufficient when it came to the reality of that night.

      I don’t know how much it matters, but, my own grandparents were born up on the high plains. Grandpa in eastern Kansas and Grandma in central Oklahoma on the border of the Texas panhandle. Though they met in far south Texas where they married, I am sure their habits when it came to coffee drinking were set by their parents habits as they grew up. I know my first coffee experience didn’t go well…At the hands of that same Grandpa. Camp coffee at the deer camp…It stayed with me for days. I swear the grounds were half of the cup…and the spoon could be planted like a stake in the center. But then again, it wasn’t that many years later that coffee with my grandparents became a treasured ritual. One of those sacred memories that are triggered by sounds and smells that aren’t even noticed.

      Thanks for letting me bask in their remembered smiles once more.

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