Growing up, Christmas season was a very busy time in our house. Not just the decorating (oh so much decorating- every flat surface graced with a Santa, a cheery deer, a snowman, a parade of angels, etc.), but the making. Dad would make elk sausage (I can still feel the mustard seeds burst in my mouth), elk jerky, shrimp dip, Chex mix (with the “fancy” nuts!), and help Mom with dozens of popcorn balls- both plain caramel and red and green (don’t remember if they tasted red and green). Mom, and later Mom and I, would make dozens of varieties of cookies, bars, truffles, and everyone’s favorite rum balls.
It was a lot of work, but always appreciated by friends, family, and colleagues who were the lucky recipients. It taught me the importance of sharing things you’ve made, rather than just purchased, and I’m sure that’s where I learned some of my first swear words when something didn’t turn out like it was supposed to. Now I’m continuing this tradition in my new home, with my new friends and colleagues. Mele Kalikimaka everyone!