My Cozy Corner

Memories

Hello and welcome. Pull up a chair. Let’s chat a while.

It’s the time of year that seems to be filled with memories. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go down the road of “the good old days”. That’s not my style. I’m not always so sure they were as good, as we tend to romanticize. But I have been thinking about Christmas in the past. I hope you will indulge me for a few minutes while I share a life changing Christmas from the past. Some of you may have already heard this story, but here goes.

Almost every year this story comes up in our home. We call it “Mrs. Sprague’s Christmas”. I was the recently divorced, single mother of three and a full-time student. Needless to say, there was not much money available for Christmas. I found a small tree for $10. I had about $10 each to spend on my kids’ gifts, but we were going to make it work. We had each other.

Mrs. Sprague was the mother of a friend. She lived in Illinois, and we had only met her a few times. She worked at TJ Maxx so I’m sure that helped with her surprise for us. But the bottom line is that one day two huge boxes arrived in the mail. I cannot begin to tell you how excited my kids were. I was completely in shock. No one had ever done anything like that before. Inside the boxes were dozens of individually wrapped packages. It absolutely saved our Christmas.

It’s not that Christmas is about the presents, but this wonderful lady made us feel so loved. We have chosen to pass that on each Christmas. It is almost as much fun as receiving those original packages. Giving anonymously is the most fun!

The holidays for us will be rather bittersweet this year, without Mr. M but last year I was in the hospital over Thanksgiving, and he was in the hospital on Christmas. So, how much worse can it be? We will steep ourselves in the family traditions and maybe add some new adventures.

Rather than a recipe this time, I’m going to share one more tradition that came from our lean times. We had to make a trip to the food bank. I don’t remember anything that was in our bag of food except a box of donuts. The kids were thrilled with the wonderful treat! Now we fill a basket with food for that same food bank every year. One item for every day of Advent. I’ll share the list so you can see if it is something you would like to do. These are just suggestions; you can put in whatever you want.

  1. a box of cereal 2. peanut butter 3. stuffing mix 4. boxed potatoes 5. macaroni and cheese 6. canned fruit 7. canned tomatoes 8. canned tuna 9. dessert mix 10. jar of applesauce 11. canned sweet potatoes 12. cranberry sauce 13. canned beans 14. box of crackers 15. package of rice 16. package of oatmeal 17. package of pasta 18. spaghetti sauce 19. chicken noodle soup 20 canned corn 21. canned mixed veggies 22. tomato soup 23 canned carrots 24. canned green beans. I hope this is helpful.

Until next time, relax and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

Helen