This post is inspired by a prompt from Reflections of a Mother's Heart
The prompt was "Tell about a Christmas tradition"
My life centers around music and baking. These are two of the things that bring joy into my life. Ask anyone and they'll say, you could usually find me in the kitchen baking and singing... even in the college dormitory. And this is what makes Christmas the most joyful time of the year for me.
I shared last week about baking cookies. To me there is nothing better than making cookies. It's just good therapy. It’s something I did every time I got a chance when I was growing up and I don’t recall there being any complaints when I did. I still love to mix up a batch of cookies now and again.
The other divine delectable that I love to create is cinnamon rolls. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Cinnamon. There is nothing better than cinnamon. The smell. The taste. It’s just good .. Oh so good. And this is the Christmas tradition I want to share today. Cinnamon Rolls.
Just a few days before Christmas, we would begin the process of making sweet cinnamon rolls. Pans of them. Dozens of pans of cinnamon rolls iced and topped with green and red candied cherries for that Christmas-y look.
Now...my family could probably finish them all off themselves, BUT these were special. These were not to be eaten. Not by us anyway. These were made for friends and neighbors. These were made to be delivered on Christmas Eve.
And we did this in a very special way. The whole family went caroling. Remember that we lived out in the country, so we all jumped in the station wagon… scrunched into the front and middle seats because the whole back of the car was filled with those delectable sensations topped with a Christmas card. [No...we weren’t buckled in. This was long before the seat belt law. But we were scrunched in pretty well. I don’t think we were going to go anywhere.]
One by one, we stopped at each home. We all fell out of the car, ran up to the porch, and rang the doorbell. There may have been a discussion about who would ring the bell. But mostly, I remember discussing which Christmas song we would sing for that particular family. We stopped at Uncle George's place, the Smith family, then across the street to the elderly Yoder couple. (Good place to stop. Remember that couple that gave us big candy bars at Halloween? Yeah, they gave them at Christmas too!). Then we headed back down the other way on Nickelplate Avenue to the Hostetlers, Adkins, Deckerds, and others in between whose names escape me.
While we ended each visit with the obligatory “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, we chose from a variety of favorites for each family. I don’t recall what songs we sang for whom with the exception of one farmhouse.
It was the home of my very best friend, Shari. But that is not why I remember what we sang. I chose a special song just for her dad, Harold. We came up to the door and pressed the bell, and began to sing. It was normal that it wouldn’t be Mr. Yoder that came to the door, so we would have to ask for him to come and listen to a special song just for him.
When he was in sight, we began to belt it out. You guessed it, “Hark! The HERALD angels sing …”! Every year without fail, I made my siblings sing “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” to the Yoder family. Not sure, maybe they got a little tired of “Hark, the Herald..” or maybe they looked forward to it every year. I don't know. But I look back at that with joy every year.
We went to many homes that night. Some were there to enjoy the music. Some were at church or away at a party or even out of town, but we would leave their treat between the doors for them to find when they came home.
Our family moved away in 1975. It was sad to go but we were expanding the farm so it was on to the Dairy State of Wisconsin. We tried to continue our tradition but it didn’t work out as well since traditions were different there and we, the children, were growing up and had our own plans.
I’ve missed those days of cinnamon rolls and carols. Even tried it again as a parent but it was just not the same. The rolls do get made and delivered, but seldom is a carol sung.
We did hear once in a while back then that our tradition created a tradition for our friends. One that they missed so much when we moved ….
Breakfast Christmas Morning”
…. But there might have been some Christmas Eve traditions made as well!