Kiddo is my niece and we’ve always been close, since the day I caught her when she came into this world. I’ve been her second parent. My sister was a single mother, and so I stepped in ~ when DS worked, kiddo and I were together. Always. This is how are Christmas traditions started.
When Kiddo was 2, we started going to the holiday parade. We started early and went to Stella’s Bakery, which was always opened late for parade patrons. We’d have all you can eat spaghetti or ravioli for dinner and then found a prime spot to stand to see the parade. Sometimes the weather was good, sometimes it was nasty, but we always went. The parade lasted for hours and always ended with Santa riding in on a fire truck. I admit, the parade was more fun when kiddo was younger, because she’s tall and as the years went by the people handing out candy would assume she was older than she really was and would always bypass her when they handed out the treats. After the parade, we always went to JB’s for coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for kiddo) and just talked. We stopped going to the parade when she was 13 because she became a participant in it and still is to this day. But we still go to JB’s when the parade is over.
Another tradition of ours is looking at lights. Kiddo dresses in her warmest pj’s and a fuzzy blanket, we stop by a coffee kiosk for coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for kiddo) and we just drive. For hours, we drive around town and look at the Christmas light displays. Some we revisit every year, some are new displays that we stumble on just by taking a different route. I wish I had photos of the lanes we see. We visit Candy Cane Lane, Christmas Wreath Lane, Misfit Lane, Luminara Lane ~ all neighborhood displays which are breathtaking. Then, there are individual houses we have to see every year. The displays never change, but we look forward to seeing them anyway.
One final tradition I’ll share is the Christmas Tree display at Moss Mansion. Moss Mansion is a historical home that kiddo and I like to tour quite often. However, at Christmas time, it’s a magical place. Every room in the mansion is decorated with a different Christmas tree and a different theme to go with it. At the end of the tour we have hot cider or hot chocolate and cookies ~ it’s a tradition I hope to continue at least for a few more years and then perhaps kiddo and I can introduce her little sister to our Christmas traditions that I hope continue for years to come.
….and a few recipes. Being a Norwegian, a holiday just isn’t a holiday without the following two items. The first is Krumkake, the second is Lefse.
Krumkake is a Scandinavian cookie. It’s a thin, crispy cookie made from an egg-based batter. What I love about them is not only that they are pretty, but when you take a bite into one, they crumble all over. We like to sprinkle powdered sugar on ours, but some families like to fill them with whipped cream, cream cheese, or lingonberry sauce.
3/4 C sugar
*beat for about 5 minutes (until very thick)
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp cardamon
3/4 C heavy cream
Add flour mixture alternately with cream to the sugar mixture. Heat Krumkake iron to moderately hot. Drop about 1 Tbsp of batter on iron, cook about 30 seconds on each side. Peel cookie from the iron and roll with a wooden spoon. Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Lefse is a traditional soft flatbread made out of potato, cream, and flour; then cooked on a grill. My mom has a picture that I really wished right now I had ~~ when we were young, we went to North Dakota for Christmas. Grandma made the best lefse in the world. My sister and I were helping ourselves to pieces and pieces of it, but Grandpa wanted to take a picture. Instead of placing the lefse down, my sis and I hid it behind our backs. As Grandpa was adjusting his camera, my mom took a picture of us from behind standing up all straight and proper, with the lefse behind our back. It’s one of my favorite pictures.
5 cups mashed potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
Stir and mash well. Put through ricer to get rid of lumps. Cool before adding 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix well.
Cut off small amount of dough and roll very thin with lefse rolling pin on your lefse board (use a lefse sock on your rolling pin). Heat lefse grill to 450 to 500 degrees. Use lefse stick for turning and taking off grill.
……and a few songs. What’s Christmas without a few songs? I’ll post a few of my favorites.
Bing Crosby and David Bowie: Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth
Nicholas Jonas: Joy to the World (A Christmas Prayer)
Bob Rivers: The Chimney Song
Gayla Peavey: I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Be sure to visit the other participants in the Advent Tour:
19 December – Callista (S.M.S. Book Reviews)
20 December – Tiny Little Librarian (Tiny Little Librarian)
21 December – Carla (Carla Nayland Historical Fiction)/ Susan (Reading, Raving, and Ranting by a Historical Fiction Writer)
22 December – Carolyn Jean (The Trillionth Page)
23 December – Booklogged (A Reader’s Journal)
24 December – Kailana (The Written World) / Carl V. (Stainless Steel Droppings)