Monday, December 3, 2012


Christmas is right around the corner. By now, my decorations would be up, the smell of the tree making a sweet fragrance throughout the house. This year none of those things have happened. It’s not because I’m behind schedule, but because we’re spending this year in Florida with my in-laws. My parents live on island, but my husband’s commute between Florida and North Carolina. This means alternating Christmases. One year in Cayman and the other in the US.
I love it, because it gives me a break every other year.  My mother-in-law is highly organized, so everything is usually done by the time we get there. The only thing to do is cook dinner, bake cookies, and make a ginger bread house; my favorite things.
Growing up in Cayman, my Christmas was a lot different than it is now. We put up decorations on our fake tree with horrifying, pain in the butt, tinsel. We didn’t bake cookies, but had what we call heavy cakes (cake made from cassava and yam) or fruit cake. YUCK! Instead of turkey, we had local beef with coleslaw, rice and beans, baked macaroni and cheese and potato salad. For entertainment, we visited family and friends, and went to various houses on island where their Christmas lights was an event. Santa, food, the works. 
When my mom married my step-father we started to make some of our own traditions. In came the turkey, stuffing and steamed veggies. I started to bake cookies, tarts, and sugar balls. (Get your mind out of the gutters ladies. You know who you are.) That was a tradition I picked up from my best friend, Katie.
When my son was old enough we tried a new cookie recipe each year (along with the easy bake ones from the supermarket) specifically ones that were kid friendly and easy to make. After I got married, more traditions came and with the birth of my daughter, I’m sure there will be more again. Some of the original traditions remain, while others fell by the way side for one reason or another.
What about you? What are your Christmas traditions? Have they changed over the years or remained the same.


  1. I married a Jewish man, who loves Christmas, so we never have to worry about whether we're going to spend the holiday with his family or mine. We used to come to my childhood home in Florida to be with my grandmother and father. Now that the kids are older, we've started staying home for Christmas day, then going to visit family on the 26th. What I love about this new tradition is that I get to a) play Santa, b) fill stockings, and c) see my kids' faces as they race down the stairs to the tree, surrounded by presents, and d) cook. I love cooking for large groups, and bought a house with a large enough kitchen to do so, but I rarely get to use it. This is my purpose. :D

    Great post, Elke! Thanks!

  2. Thanks, Noelle.

    That makes it easy. I have two sets of grandparents to keep happy. LOL.

  3. Several traditions here...Lake Chicot (pronounced Chee-co or Shee-co, OR if you're a GPS navigation system, CHICKIT) early in the month for hubby and I, along with all of our children and grandchildren. This year, we did away with the Charlie Brown tree, as my hubby calls it, and I experimented with a brand new collapsible Christmas tree I bought from JCPenney's. Ladies, it's fully lit, fully decorated and puts up in 5 minutes. AWESOME! Like Trish said when it was done..."Oh yeah...That's what I'M talking about!"

    Weather was great this year, warm enough to let the kids run around outside, adults to sit on the wharf during the day, and cool enough to sit around the campfire at night. (With my hubby spouting words of wisdom, like "Be careful! It's all fun and games until someone's weenie falls in the fire!" Of course, my son had to work this year, so we had another Christmas for him, just a big meal and watching football, the next week.

    Christmas Eve, my step-daughter graciously opens her home to both her and her husband's side of the families, and that turns into another night of raucous activity. Mostly due to the fact that our side of the family has all the 'little ones' running around. Anyway, it was fun up until my grandson accidently hit his little sister in the nose and gave her a nose bleed. *Sigh* Gotta have some drama.

    Christmas Day is reserved for my mom's house...the only parent either of us have left. We're too old to have grandparents, of course...WE'RE the grandparents! Anyway, I get to see a few siblings who could make it in along with several neices, nephews...and get to love up on GREAT neices and nephews. Every year, I watch my mom as she gets more and more feeble, and wonder if this year will be her last. All we can do is enjoy the time we have with her.

    So...that was my Christmas...what's the count? Four? Yeah...all FOUR of them! Merry Christmas y'all!


  4. Well I am British and my husband is Irish and now we live in USA. But he still wants me to make Christmas puddings although you can't find a lot of the ingredients here in regular stores. People in USA think a fruitcake is horrid because they are horrid in US with lots of lurid day-glo fruits. I have to source all the dried fruits and places like whole foods for the pudding which makes it very expensive. They you have to add spirits and this time I added my husband's malt whisky don't tell's my secret ingredient.

    Congrats! you have won a copy of To Bliss and Back. I will email you.