Tinsel and Fruitcake

When I was a kid, we hung tinsel on our tree that was made of some form of metal that would crinkle real easily. I love a tree with little strips of silver streaming down. As kids, we threw it in clumps while my mom went behind us spreading it on the tree one piece at a time. I remember having competitions with my brother to see who could throw a clump the highest.

Like so many, this time of year stirs up memories of people we have lost. This season I have thought of my grandparents, dad, brother, and sister with a few tears in my eyes. I have decided to focus on the fun we had instead of my loss.

My dad was busy every year making fruitcakes before Christmas. I can’t tell you how many weeks he spent doing this because I can’t remember…all I remember is that it was a process. He would crack all the nuts he used, bake the fruitcakes, wrap them in cheesecloth and smother the cakes with rum (I think it was rum), and continue to smother them until he believed they were good and ready. Anyway, there was fruitcake for all. A very sarcastic yum.

As kids, Christmas Eve was always spent with my dad’s sister and her family, and Christmas day at my grandma’s house…where we weren’t allowed to touch anything or make much noise. All we wanted to do was get back home and play with the toys Santa brought.

When my sister and I started having kids, we spent Christmas Eve together and still spent Christmas Day at my grandmas (my kid’s great-grandma)…where my kids weren’t allowed to touch anything and had to keep their noise down. All they wanted to do was to get back home and play with the toys Santa brought.

Since we moved to Georgia, it has just been our immediate family and Christmas traditions change when the kids grow into teens and young adults. We miss everyone during the holidays, but we have made new traditions.

This year has tested my resolve to remember the good times. Our daughter, the nurse who lives in Montana, will be working on Christmas and her boyfriend will be spending time in Washington (the state) with his family. Since my mom doesn’t like to drive far from home, she will also be alone this Christmas and my hope is that my niece and nephew will spend some time with her.

Of course, knitting is usually my way to work through my troubles, and I do believe I may have developed a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

These days, the tinsel has been replaced with thin ribbon…which after a scare with one of our cats and a couple of visits to the vet, the ribbon will be a memory next year.






About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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18 Responses to Tinsel and Fruitcake

  1. joey says:

    My mother’s one of those who loves fruitcake. I never have. I’ve also never known anyone who makes it, although I recall some place in Georgia, around Augusta, is most famous for it.
    I hope your Christmas is better than you anticipate.

  2. Wish you a Merry Christmas April ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. reocochran says:

    April, I think your childhood memories are both fun and hold regular annoyances at elderly with serious elements at holidays. I am sorry that your daughter is working. My good friend, her daughter is a nurse and works, so they plan a different part of December to celebrate. Ironically, her future son in law is a teacher so he has plenty of time to visit his parents and friends. They have had most of their Christmas done by now.
    I like going to my Mom’s and maybe my grown kids are happy since they can celebrate and relax, while if I were there grandkids would be asking for crafts or games which they then plead for their parents to join them. I hear none of this goes on while I am away.
    Things would maybe be different had I stayed married since Mom could have stayed in our ranch house without fear of falling, using her walker. I would have had room for her to be a guest. Since 2006, living in an apt, I just head her way. It will be 3 for C. Eve, 3 for Christmas and then Sat. and half of Sunday, my single brother socializes. My brother who “does Thanksgiving” is away in WVA this weekend with his wife visiting grandchildren and over Christmas, he is heading to California with his wife to see son, his son’s wife and grandson. We are almost split up in different directions but have plans to re-group.
    I hope you have some special surprise or fun moment to really give this year a great ending. Sorry to read about carpal tunnel in knitting hands, April. Merry, merry โ™กโ™ก Christmas and Happy knitting.

    • April says:

      I had to hide my knitting project so that I wouldn’t pick it up on impulse. The hand is getting better from the rest it’s getting. Have a Merry Christmas, Robin!

      • reocochran says:

        O did think to ckmr back to mention heat in some form helps my you best daughter’s rheumatoid arthritis, April. She uses an old, clean washcloth and gets it damp then she microwaves to make it hot. If you wrap around your fingers it feels good. I know someone who puts it in a zip lock bag so she doesn’t get skin irritated. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I had a home made fruitcake type cake in Ireland once, I loved it. Though it wasn’t exactly like the version I’ve had here. I can do without this version!

    Merry Christmas April!

  5. Glynis Jolly says:

    Hate to say it but as I get older, the magic of the season has faded and been replaced with obligations and a little loneliness. Scrooge? To a small extent, yes. I’d probably feel different if our children could be with us, but it just isn’t possible.

    Still, I hope your Christmas is full of love and laughter.

  6. mewhoami says:

    I’m glad that fruitcake was never a part of our family traditions. Gag. The holidays unfortunately do have a bad way of stirring up difficult feelings and emotions. But, that is exactly why it is so important to stay focused on all the good around us, by enjoying time with family and by giving to others. I’ve found that Christmas can be totally transformed simply by giving to others; not typical presents to family, but special ones with heartfelt meaning… and also necessities to those less fortunate.

  7. Gallivanta says:

    I didn’t make a fruit cake this year. Silly me because I love fruit cake. Not soaked in rum though!

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