Holiday traditions. I am a bit of a Scrooge. My sister and dad were always so much more into the holidays, and somehow that gene did not find its way into my veins. Call me crazy, or extremely practical, but oftentimes the holidays are just another day in the grand scheme of things. I appreciate them as a day to relax, recharge, and be slow.
So, having said all that what’s your favorite holiday tradition? We both love to sleep in (who does not whenever possible). Maybe it is because we do not have kids yet, but we do not really have many/any holiday traditions. The one thing we often do is make my mom’s coffee cake. I like it, Chris likes it, and it is easy to make. It is nothing fancy, just a Betty Crocker (Picture Cookbook circa 1950) recipe that I doctor and adapt to my own liking, but something about it reminds me of my childhood. Somehow my family (and often my grandma) split a 9 x 9 pan of coffee cake (how did we ever do that!)? We would get up on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning and have it right away (before presents or anything). I have my mother’s Betty Crocker cookbook copy. The hole punched page has ripped out and the page itself is worn and splotched.
Tami’s Adapted Betty Crocker Coffee Cake Nostalgia (Circa 1950), page 82
Stir together thoroughly:
3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup unsalted Butter (or shortening):
Note: I only use butter and it should be soft
1/2 cup Milk
Sift together and stir in (I never sift though):
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted unsalted Butter
Spread batter in greased and floured 9″ pan. Sprinkle with desired topping. Bake until wooden pick thrust into center of cake comes out clean. Serve warm, fresh from oven.
Baker note: I go on instinct for the amount of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon I put together. I sprinkle it on top of the batter and then cut tiny sized chunks of unsalted butter and place them randomly all over the top of the streusel. It makes for more of a crunchy, yummy topping. It is my adaptation. Also, I use the above topping, there are other options for toppings in the cookbook.
Recipe note: Be sure that your “wooden pick thrust into center of cake comes clean” (who uses the word thrust)?
What are your holiday favorites or traditions?
Oh my gosh! This is the SAME recipe I use, also from Betty Crocker. The page is a mess. It’s falling out of the book as we have turned to it so many mornings. We make this a couple of mornings a month before work/school and there is never any left.
Holiday traditions are so fun to have and to make– who knew that we would not feel right about decorating the tree unless we have Berle Ives Christmas album blaring one notch too high? I wonder what pop star’s album will be the “one” that my kiddos play when they do their own holiday decorating? Which one will be the go to– Michael Buble perhaps?
Our traditions involve getting the tree- always trek out some farm, the finding, the arguing, the waxing on about “what I had when I was little.” We cut it with a saw and drag it to the car. Every year we look at the beautiful fake trees, standing all decorated, straight, and matchy matchy in the stores. Every year we wander thru the shed of pre-cut perfection in the tree barn and continue walking. Every year we talk about getting a tree in a pot to plant after…none of these take hold.
We pick a Scotch Pine this year…cheapest tree on the lot despite the beautiful blue hues of the needles. They are not “popular” now. We chat with the farm owners, who were delighted with our choice. They have an affinity for the same and wonder each spring at planting time whether to put in some Scotch seedlings or not…there were only about 10 total on the property and it is a 13 year investment for a questionable trend of fir choice in the future Homes and Garden magazine, right?
The tried and true tradition,I must confess, is wrestling with the tree once it is home.
There’s an entire “decorating” box with wire, miscellaneous boards of length and thickness to prop up the short side of the stand. There’s twine, more wire, s hooks and U hooks and one hanger bent into the shape of a shepherd’s hook that worked well in 1998. Each year, for about an hour to two hours, I hold the trunk and battle the needle-pokes. Youch! I turn it to the left, I lean it toward the wall, no forward, no, not so much!! BUT this year, those same Scotch Pine loving farmers invested in a new machine. They drill a hole thru the bottom of the tree and for another 29.95 we buy a tree stand with a center pole that fits right into that channel and Viola! The tree is up in 20 seconds.
That’s a tradition I’d like to start in every home! Happy Holidays! Thanks for sharing your story and pulling some of mine from the fray to the forefront of the holiday madness…it’s all what we make it, right!? Here’s to traditions- the comforting old and the new and improved!- Ret
It is definitely all what we make of it! I loved hearing of your traditions. Thank you for sharing!
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