Tag Archives: Christmas eve

Fond Memories of the Spirit of Christmas

Long View: Princess of Christmas Past

As a child, my favorite time of year was Christmastime. It was not just Christmas day, but the whole season surrounding it. The spirit of being joyful, grateful, loving, and caring was something I thought should exist all year long.

The spirit of giving was my favorite of all. Everyone felt like a prince or princess waiting to receive their heart’s desire. It gave me joy to give someone a gift and see the expression on their face when they opened it, especially when it was thoughtful or something they really needed or always wanted.

The season also came with beautiful and vibrant decorations. Some of my favorites were the candy canes and stockings. I remember the candy-filled, clear plastic candy canes with the solid red hook. They could be filled with any kind of candy, from gumballs to M&M’s or even Sweet Tarts or jelly beans.

I also remember the red see-through netted stockings filled with both candy and small toys. I thought to myself, “Why would they make a stocking where I can see the goodies in it but then tell me I can’t open it until Christmas?” It was too tempting to not try and sneak some candy out of it ahead of time. Although I was anxious to open it, the wait built patience. And patience is a virtue.

More of my favorite memories include choosing our real, live Christmas trees. My daddy insisted that we get a real tree and not an artificial one. “Nothing can replace the scent of fresh pine in the house,” he explained. 

Our tree was even more special because it was decorated with not only store-bought decorations of lights, bulbs, and tinsel, but also ornaments I had made at school. And the tree had to be as tall as the ceiling with either a shining start or an angel on top.

My most memorable times at Christmas were when my family came together at my grandma’s and granddaddy’s house on Christmas Eve. I got to see all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles. Of course there was lots of food. My favorites were the turkey, dressing, and peach cobbler.  Everything was homemade, and I could tell it was made with love.

It’s my goal to carry the spirit of being joyful, grateful, loving, and caring into the present and the future. With or without the candy canes, stockings, or decorations, the memories of family and love are most important to me.

The material things pass away. The candy is consumed.  The stockings are thrown away. The light bulbs eventually burn out. The tinsel gets tangled, and the pine needles on the real tree dry out. But memories of family love will continue to live in our hearts.

Everyone here at Health Alliance wishes you and your family a joyous holiday season and a very Merry Christmas. Share your memories with someone you love, especially those older princes or princesses in your family who have years and years of fond memories on their minds this time of year.

Sherry Gordon-Harris is a community liaison at Health Alliance. She is a wife and mother of 2 boys and enjoys traveling, collecting dolls, and hosting princess parties and princess pageants.

Baking Up Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes

Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes

The holidays can be a hard time if you have dietary restrictions, especially if you have Celiac disease. If you or your loved one needs to avoid gluten, bring one of this week’s gluten-free cookie recipes.

Whip up these adorable Vegan Gingerbread Cookies with your kids for Christmas Eve.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Image and Recipe via VegAnnie

 

These Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies are perfect with a mug of hot cocoa.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

 

Whip up these spicy and delicious Chai Spiced Cookies for a warm winter treat.

Chai Spiced Cookies
Image and Recipe via Texanerin

 

These light Lemon and Lavender Meringue Cookies are just right after a big dinner.

Lemon and Lavender Meringue Cookies

 

These Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons are a light take on the classic.

Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons

Image and Recipe via Holy Cow Vegan

 

Gluten-Free Almond Biscotti are perfect to dunk in your coffee Christmas morning.

Gluten-Free Almond Biscotti

 

Bake with your family today with these Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies.

Chewy Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies