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It felt like I was sinning.
Instead of serving Christmas dinner on a linen tablecloth and my good china, I set out the paper plates, cups, and even yellow plastic silverware (which prompted me to consider saying 10 Hail Mary's for my transgression, even though I'm not Catholic), because my family and I broke tradition and grilled burgers, asparagus, and potatoes for our Christmas dinner this year. It was a first for me.
After organizing a Thanksgiving reunion at my home, a Lego Logo birthday party on December 22nd for my 6-year-old grandson, volunteering at the assisted living center on Christmas Eve afternoon, and nursing a holiday cold, this grandmother was looking for a way out of cooking, baking, washing dishes and more dishes. So I hesitantly, half-jokingly, suggested to my family, "What do you think about taking advantage of the sun here in Florida, and cooking our holiday dinner on the grill and eating on paper plates?"
Everyone thought it was a fine idea, except me. Desperately holding onto the Christmas memories my own grandmother created for me year-after-year; decorating her house and serving a big holiday meal on her best china--everything homemade, including pies--how could I resort to using paper plates?
"Don't worry about grilling for Christmas," my husband assured me. "It'll be fun and a nice change."
But creating holiday memories for my children and grandchildren is important to me. What happens if a person lets down one year? Will grilling hamburgers become a Christmas tradition? If I let down my holiday guard this year, could we be headed to McDonald's next year?
My grandmother, who worked a full-time job, never-ever would have suggested hamburgers and paper plates. But, then again, if my grandmother would have lived in warm and sunny Florida instead of cold and snowy Wisconsin, I'm certain, knowing my grandmother's sense of adventure, that grilling and paper plates would have been an every third-year holiday tradition. (At least that's the story I'm telling myself--and so far it's working!)
My best wishes to you for a joyful and prosperous New Year!
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
AUTHORBUZZ: CASCADE (Fiction) by Maryanne O'Hara
Did any childhood memory haunt you? For me, it was visiting a reservoir and being told, "towns once existed under those waters." I wrote Cascade, about a 1930s artist who is struggling between duty and desire, bound by promises she's made to a new husband, to her dying father, and to her threatened town.
Go to: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader click on CASCADE to find out more about the book and the author, Maryanne O'Hara. Send her an email, she'd love to hear from you.
*Fun, free books and meet authors. Ask questions, they'll reply and read samples from their books. Visit AuthorBuzz at: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader
SCORCHED by Laura Griffin
WIDOW'S WEB by Jennifer Estep
CHASING AMANDA by Melissa Foster
CASCADE by Maryanne O'Hara
SKELETON LETTERS by Laura Childs