This year, for the first time in over 20 years, I put up a Christmas tree. I always put candles in the windows and a wreath on the door, but in the past, I've been too lazy to put up a tree. Besides, I could always go home and see Mama's beautiful tree, but this year I put up my own, with lights, and ornaments, and my father said it was beautiful.
This year was our first Christmas without Mama. This was her season. She decorated everything. We teased her that if anyone of us stood still long enough that she would wrap us with lights and tinsel. She even decorated the bathroom for Christmas.
Mama was a fabulous cook, and her talents really shined at Christmas. This year, I hosted Christmas dinner for my sister and her husband, and my father. My brother, his wife and son visited us via phone but spent the holiday in their home near Charlotte.
I wanted to make it a special dinner, reflective of all the love and care that my mother always poured into the holiday meal. Every Christmas, Mama made homemade chocolate peanut candy, a pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting, and flavored oyster crackers. I decided that I would recreate each of these dishes for our first Christmas without her.