Yankee candles of Christmas Pine burning during the evening with Christmas music in the background
Coffee with Amaretto creamer
Going outside and smelling the crisp, cold air and returning inside to smell the warmth of the furnace
Waking up to a dachshund cuddled next to you in their sweet warm smell of sleep.
Christmas Memory #4
There was nothing better that going to Grandma's for Christmas. We usually went a few days early as they lived 2 hours away(back in the 60's two hours was a long drive). We would usually get there about supper time and I would run up the porch steps, open the wooden screen door and Grandma already had the front door opened. As I was gathered up in her arms, I could smell the pork chops she had frying for supper as well as the fried potatoes and kidney beans cooking(my favorite supper). Another sniff would produce the smell of a 2 layer spice cake with chocolate icing and colored sprinkles on the top. Grandma always smelled of Ivory soap. I would then make my way over to the couch and hug Grandpa. Grandpa was a retired coal miner and stood maybe 5 feet tall and weighed maybe 95 pounds. He wore his blue shirt and overalls all the time. He would sit on the end of the couch and in front of him his coffee table would be meticulously lined up with his cigarette rolling papers, his matches and his can of Velvet tobacco. The other grandkids were scared of him but Mom said I had his number from the time I was born. I would give him a hug and he would pat the couch and say, "Sit down young lady and tell me how your studies are going." I would say a few sentences and then let him retreat back into the western he was watching on TV. Grandpa got me hooked on Gunsmoke and several other westerns. I would go over to the Christmas tree Grandma had put up and look at all of the old ornaments as well as the candy canes she hung for me. I would look in the candy dish and sure enough, she had the orange slices candy I loved. The best time of all was Christmas morning. Grandma got up at 4 every morning, would grind the coffee and put it on top of the stove to perk. I would get dressed and go outside on the porch and sit on her porch swing while the coffee was making. I loved smell of the coal stoves(it was a mining town and most heated with coal unlike where we lived where all heated with gas). I would rock on the swing and be in the best of both worlds...the cold, crispy dark morning with the smell of coal smoke and knowing that just beyond the door was a warm house with a Grandma bustling about in the kitchen starting preparation for Christmas dinner and waiting for her granddaughter to come in and have coffee with her(mine was mostly milk but I got to drink it alone with Grandma). Grandpa got up a couple of hours later and was excited because every Christmas, his sons-in-law would get him a bottle of his favorite whiskey and he would have a "shot of Christmas Cheer" with them. He usually had a nap after that before Christmas dinner where he would shock the grandkids by just eating off his metal knife that he made along with his two pronged fork. I never questioned it...it was just a part of Grandpa. I remember that the women fed the men first, then the kids and then they sat around the table and ate and talked and nibbled. Mom had 4 brothers and sisters so they were all at Grandma's little house with their spouses and kids and no one seemed to mind the small quarters--in fact, we wouldn't of had it any other way.
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