And just like that, it’s December. Twenty-four more sleeps… that’s all. That number makes children giddy and grownups anxious!
I’m not sure when it happens but it does. At some point, we go from looking forward to the most magical day of the year to fearing its arrival. We all go through it. The good news is, at some point, we find our way back to the true meaning of Christmas. Well, most of us do.
I grew up surrounded by tradition. Maybe it’s because we didn’t have a lot. Special cookies that mom baked only at Christmas, treasured ornaments that were carefully packed and unpacked each year, songs that Mémere played on her gramophone, but for a few short weeks, were all part of the magic of Christmas on the farm. When I look back at those wonderful years, I realize the magic was in the love that we had for each other. Let’s be honest, the scratchy music from the gramophone didn’t add to the Christmas magic, but the way Mémere’s eyes lit up when she heard it, certainly did.
Last month your local newspaper included the annual Tidings magazine – subtitled a Guide to all things Holiday.
I was interviewed by Cynthia McMurray for the cover story. She asked me about my holiday traditions. Making fruitcake became one of my new traditions after I left the farm more than 30 years ago. I jumped at the chance to share the recipe. I guess a small part of me hoped it might become a new holiday tradition for someone.
Less than a week later, while scrolling through Facebook messages, I came across a picture that made my day. Wendy Wells posted a photo with this caption: “Lila and Papa chopping dates and cherries so Nanny can bake Cindy’s dark fruitcake.” It took me back to the farm, where something as simple as chopping fruit for a special Christmas treat became a cherished holiday memory. I hope Lila, Papa and Nanny make the fruitcake together for many years to come.
P.S.: In that same column I mentioned that my favourite Christmas album – ask your parents – was, and still is, the Oak Ridge Boys Christmas. Somehow, they got wind of that and they tweeted this: “So nice to know that way up in The Maritimes meteorologist @CindyDayWeather is making fruitcake and listing to us at Christmas time...”
Ah, the magic of Christmas. . . you just never know!