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New Food Memories at Christmas & A Tribute


The holidays are such a special time of year – a time to reflect on holidays past and a time to build new memories with family and others that you love so dearly.   Jeff and I were reminded of the magic of Christmas in the eyes of our children when they danced all over as we brought our freshly cut Christmas tree into the house this year.   And later when we got some of their presents wrapped under the tree -   Hannah and Evan stacked and re-stacked them with wonder of what might be in each box.   Children really bring the spirit of Christmas alive in all of us, and I love that.


My mother-in-law, Beverly at

Christmas time in 2009.

But we cannot forget the tragedy that rocked our family’s world just over one year ago.   My beloved mother-in-law, Beverly, passed away unexpectantly in November of 2011 of what we found out was cancer way too late.   For many that have lost very close loved ones, you know the level of loss.   Beverly was the family matriarch with a heart filled with endless love for everyone.   She and I became very close over the 12 short years that I knew her.   She was a mother figure, but also a dear friend that I spoke to multiple times per week.  Even in the last conversation I had with her (which I did not realize at the time), she insisted on talking about my business , our kids and things going on in my life even while she was lying in bed in excruciating pain.  She was such a generous, encouraging person, and will forever be an inspiration to me.  I am so blessed to have known and loved her, and will always cherish the time we had together. 
Until 2010, Christmas day each year meant going over to John & Beverly’s home and opening presents under their beautifully decorated tree followed by a wonderful lunch that they both lovingly prepared together.   But things are different now, and we are forced to move on – if for nothing else, for the grandchildren that Beverly loved so much – our kids and their cousin, Sydney.  
The start of our Christmas table this year.  A work in-progress!
We now must build new memories and traditions.   One thing that has been passed down to me and my sister-in-law, Julie, is food planning.   Last year’s holiday season were a complete blur for obvious reasons.   But for Christmas this year, Jeff & I plan to host the family meal since Julie and her family hosted Thanksgiving.   Hosting is something I am looking very forward to doing – I’ve had fun shopping for festive tableware and it has given me the final motivation to get our china set fully completed.  I love cooking and hosting parties - and this change in our family's life has given me the opportunity to take more of that on.   Our menu this year will feature the traditional buffalo tenderloin that was made by John & Beverly in years past, but with our own new flair and sides.   So we take part of the traditions of the past and bring it lovingly into the present.

Are you forced to make new food memories during the holiday season in your family as a result of a tragedy?   I know our family is not alone, so I want to offer some encouragement.   Let us all move forward together with courage for the sake of the our children, other family  members and in our loved one’s memory.   Settle any differences you might have with loved ones, forgive deeply and love fearlessly.  They would want that for all of us - to be happy and joyful through the holiday season.  

Have a very Merry Christmas and God Bless you all – from our home to yours.

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