(The most touching part of Christmas for me this year was seeing the movie "Joyeux Noel" for the first time. There were no crazy, stupid, or very funny moments, but there was, as always for the last 45 years, Cherry Cheese Pie. Our hostess for this week's post-Christmas Fun Monday is Sayre over at Sayre Smiles . Sayre asks us to share the best part of this year's Christmas and/or the wackiest part of our celebration. Here's my take on her topic.)
First the Cherry Cheese Pie--the pie that you see above has been a traditional part of our family's Christmas celebration for over 40 years. Every year we want it and this year was no exception. I had Christmas dinner with friends, but still made this pie. It wouldn't be Christmas without it. This letter is one I wrote to my sister from college when I was
19 years old. As you can read, I'm worried about whether there will be money enough for the family to buy presents for each other. That was always the case in my family from the time I was a little girl. On Christmas morning would there be a doll and play dishes or the red Banlon sweater like all the other girls were wearing for me under the tree?
So at the mature old age of 19 I'm trying to get my family to not worry about buying gifts, but to just have a good family dinner together. That dinner would include the Cherry Cheese Pie. In the 1960s this was a very exotic dessert--cream cheese, canned pie filling and whipped topping were not on our grocery list, except for Christmas. We ate what we raised on our small farm. My older sister was babysitting for a family in town and Dorothy, the woman she worked for, made this dessert for her bridge club(bridge clubs were serious business for many women in the 60s) and taught my sister to make it. In another part of this letter I write ". . .you will make a cream cheese pie when I come home for Christmas, won't you?" She always did. And I keep this tradition going even today.
Christmas Movies -- I always try to see a good movie on Christmas Day. This year I found a treasure in the 2005 French film, Joyeux Noel. This movie touched my heart, even more so because it was based on a true story. If you're not familiar with this story, apparently on Christmas Eve 1914 in the midst of World War I a short truce is stuck in the trenches as French, German and Scottish soldiers battle each other on the border between France and Belgium. The soldiers are trying to celebrate Christmas in their own way--Christmas trees for the Germans, bagpipes and carols for the Scots and champagne and chocolate for the French. First there's carols on the bagpipes, then the Germans raise Christmas trees above their trench, then Silent Night rings out. Soldiers on all sides cautiously come up out of the trenches and walk towards each other. This leads to sharing Christmas food and drink, photos of wives and girl friends, offers to get letters to Red Cross, and burying the dead. On Christmas Day there was even a football game. Of course, there was hell to pay on all sides when the main commanders found out about what came to be known as the Christmas Eve Truce of 1914. I've ordered Stanley Weintraub's book on this remarkable story. And apparently there have been more instances where soldiers in the field have managed to do what the brass can't do--find common ground and good will, even in the midst of war.
So, for Christmas 2008, I'll remember Cherry Cheese Pie and Joyeux Noel as the highlights. Be sure to head over to Sayre's blog to read about other Fun Monday participants' celebrations.
(Special Note: you'll see in Sayre's post that I'm volunteering to host Fun Monday on January 5. If you want to play and are not scared of buying a pig in a poke, just sign up in the comments below--give me your full address as I'm not sure I can sort out Mr. Linky. Otherwise, I'll post the topic for January 5 on Wednesday of this week. Be sure and sign up before you have too much New Year's Eve champagne and forget!)
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.