“Black Friday” for my family NEVER meant shopping. It was always the day to begin preparation for Christmas. It was the day that the Christmas tree and the extensive Christmas decorations my mother had collected was finally put up throughout our house.
My mom, Queen Martha, had such a vast collection of decorations – that it required complete removal of knick knacks & photos from the living room, even pictures off the walls, most knick knacks from the dining room, and even some from the kitchen and bathroom. My favorite part of the day was opening up each box and unwrapping a candle or a figurine and talking about where each item came from. This process often meant lots of stories were told, and my brothers & I would have a BLAST decorating and moving things around. We’d have Christmas music playing, candles would be lit as each table or shelf was decorated, and we were in the Christmas spirit within minutes!!! As we got older, mom gave us free reign to decorate as we chose, and it was a really great time for my brothers & I.
There were items that were handed down from her mother, items that we made as small children that she kept as special treasures, gifts from friends or relatives that held special meaning – and as my brothers & I got older of course, the collection grew.
I remember one particular weekend, and I think it was 1986, when we spent at least two whole days decorating the house and making cookies and goodies. My brother Danno painted the front window – I decorated the tree myself – and my youngest brother, Davey, was in charge of decorating sugar cookies (and he created some pretty cool masterpieces!). It is one of my favorite childhood memories with my brothers.
Looking back, I don’t really know how my mom pulled it off! We had a large freezer that would be stocked with monster cookies, Buckeyes (peanut butter balls), fudge, dipped pretzels, church window candy, date pinwheel cookies, and more goodies than I can even remember. The coolest thing was how there were always enough peanut butter balls, that my brothers & I could always sneak into the basement and have one or two on the sly, and somehow the supply never ran out.
Most of the goodies we ended up putting into pretty tins or arranging onto decorated plates and giving to friends and neighbors. It was a whole “season” for us and it meant quality family time, it taught us how to think about others and give from our hearts, and our Christmas holiday always gives me warm fuzzies.
I’m going to interview my mom, Queen Martha, over the next couple of weeks – she’ll share some of our favorite family recipes, her tips & tricks for pulling off a massive cookie/goodie operation for giving, and share her thoughts & memories of holidays past. Check back often! I will announce an upcoming excerpt of Queen Martha‘s expertise.