Readers' Corner

I want to start out by thanking everyone for sharing their holiday traditions. We've gotten a great response. But, before I showcase them all, I want to introduce our topic for next month. As you might have noticed, a new year is upon us. In fact, it is the last year of the century. For many of us, it means making New Year's resolutions. Whether or not you will be able to keep them (or if you even want to), we'd love to hear what you have resolved for 1999. Share with us!

Our first holiday tradition comes from Bill, who appears to be yet another kid at heart:

    "We like to unwrap presents on Christmas Eve (after midnight mass - which is at 8 pm, of course!) because the kids just can't wait until Christmas morning. Ok, neither can I!!!"

Linda Mabel rings in the spirit of Christmas with a new tradition that's sure to make you feel like visiting Grandma right now:

    "My mother recently had to move to an elderly home because she can no longer care completely for herself. She's worried that she is going to lose touch with the rest of the family.

    This isn't really a tradition, but I want it to become one. We're planning on setting up a tree in her room and celebrating with her this year. All the gifts are going to be piled into the car and we'll go over the river and through the woods to Grandma's new home! I want her to know that she is still very much a part of the family."

What a precious gift to give, Linda. We at Seasoned Cooking wish you and yours an especially memorable holiday season.

Linda's touching idea sparked yet another new tradition idea from a recently divorced father. George had this to share:

    "Thank you for sharing that, Linda. You've inspired me to share my new tradition too. My wife and I got divorced last spring and I got custody of my two girls (very unusual, I know). They're 4 and 6 and I want to make Christmas special for them because I know it's going to be difficult for all of us. My first idea is to start off the holidays by taking the first Saturday after Thanksgiving and doing some cookie baking and candy making. They love feeling like they're doing the cooking too. If anyone has some other ideas

    and/or some nice sweets recipes that are appropriate for young kids, feel free to post them. I love lurking here on a regular basis. Happy Holidays, everyone!"

That's a fantastic idea, George! I hope you can continue your holiday baking with some of the sweet treats offered in this month's issue. Peanut Butter Bon-Bons are a great kid's project. Also, have the kids help with decorating the home. Yes, the tree, but also add some ornaments and lights to the front of the home, evergreen boughs near the fireplace (safety, safety, safety), and milk and cookies for Santa (don't forget carrots for the reindeer). As long as you spend time together, you are sure to succeed in your holiday hopes.

Finally, our very own Jenny Wojcik has shared her traditions for several holidays (Christmas isn't the only holiday, you know! Here are her ideas:

    "For Halloween: It's become traditional to make "treats, no tricks" boxes for my grandchildren. I include games, toys, candy of course and unique things that I find that they'd love. All little treats for little ones - and nothing scary.

    For Thanksgiving: Turkey and all the trimmings even if it's just my husband and myself for dinner. We do LOVE those leftovers - and he always sings about flaming turkey wings?!

    For Christmas: Handmade cards for about 40 of our closest friends, a Jenny original gift for my closest buds (last year it was a decorative dish liquid dispenser - and YES, I did it before Martha did it) and something family related (old photos organized in an album; framed family crests etc.) for our (adult) children and decorating that befits a celebration!

    Lastly, it's become traditional to spend the last hour of Christmas Eve at our Church remembering and celebrating that first Christmas, nearly 2000 years ago. This year, we're performing - which could well become a tradition too."

Well, that certainly ought to get you thinking about making some new traditions of your own. Me...I think I'm going to start roasting some chestnuts over an open fire!

Well, there you have it. If you've got another idea that you want to share with us, share away! Who might be gracing the pages of Seasoned Cooking too!

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