Dec 10, 2012


The holiday season brings with it some very specific memories.

Apple cider from scratch in my grandparents' flower shop. The smell of fresh pine and poinsettias (which are not poisonous unless eaten massive quantities, and it tastes awful, so your kids and pets are fine). A string of electronic carousel horses which pranced and played Christmas music. A two foot angel waving a lit candle in the bay window. My brother's gingerbread Star Wars creations. The shoebox of ornaments with my name on it, from baby's first Christmas through ten years old. The stocking my mother made for me, with my likeness cross-stitched on the front under my name.

In my family, we get tuchkas, a small, brown bag filled with nuts, candy, and an orange. It's a tradition that we brought over from Russia (although тучка - little cloud is not a word anyone else uses for it. It's a region in Russia and a native tribe, so I'm not sure what the connection is...) The orange is a special treat because fruit in Russia was very expensive and very hard to come by in the harsh winters. Now, with importing, exporting, and genetic engineering, it's not as hard, but for my family in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a big deal.

So, everyone in my family gets a тучка, and the orange is always my favorite part. I'm not really crazy about candy, though I do like chocolate, and after all the sweets present on Christmas day, an orange the next morning is a perfect antidote. It's one of my favorite holiday traditions, and the link to my past is an added bonus.

Happy Holiday Season, you guys. I hope you enjoy old traditions and create new ones :)

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