Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Holiday Spirit

This weekend Santa and I headed out to the Phoenix Zoo to take pictures for some very important kids. The party went off without a hitch, and I left there once again amazed that I didn't feel nervous about how I'd do with them, or if they'd respond to me. They just do. It helps that I work with the best Santa in the whole world. Not that there is more than one Santa... I choose to think I've got the real deal. If there really were a Santa I'd like to think he'd take time away from toy building to visit kids like these.

It's so magical to watch these kids with Santa. Autistic, Asperger's, late development... none of that matters when they see that Santa was really there! They RAN to him. They focused on him.

Santa even took time to take a picture or two with his helper elves:

Every year we also adopt a few children. We don't have many kids in our lives, so it's a special treat to pick out a little boy and a little girl and make sure they have a great holiday. This year we picked David and Jennifer, 4 and 2 respectively. They each got pants, a few tops, socks, a jacket, and the toys that their parents ask for. We look forward to this every year, and every year we end up teary in the children's clothing section.

Tonight I'm baking for my grandma. My grandma is one of the toughest ladies I know, but she has outlived 3 husbands, and two of her children left the world before her. She lives in Florida and I don't see her nearly as much as I should. I also don't write as much as I should. But this Christmas, as hard as I know it is for me with my mom gone, it's got to be so hard for her. To lose another child... I can't imagine. So I've made her favorite Christmas cookie (she doesn't bake anymore) and my mom's favorite Christmas cookie.

My mom, me, my grandma. The month before
my mom's first chemo treatment in 2006

Next post I'll be putting up both of those recipes, along with my mom's Thanksgiving cranberry relish, but I was wondering, what food makes you think of the holidays?



Anonymous Angie said...

The foods that taste like the holidays for me are cinnamon cookies that my grandmother makes for my mom every year and oyster stew that my other grandmother makes for the family every Christmas Eve. Also, yummy frosted sugar cookies that we make starting at Thanksgiving and fudge.

When I was younger, we also used to have divinity (like white fudge), and these cashew nougat cookies--which I never really liked, but they still remind me of Christmas if I see them. My grandmother also used to always make glazed dried fruit for the holidays, but I don't think she has made it since she send some to me when I was a freshman in college.

2:24 PM  
Blogger African Kelli said...

Ack. Love that photo Panda. I can't believe how much I miss your mom.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous SunnyInspiration said...

Cute photo of you, your hubby and Santa. Your grandma will love the gift of homemade cookies.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous KC said...

You look gorgeous in both pics!

My fave holiday foods are my mom's peanut butter balls and Melissa's mom's peanut butter balls (they're very different from my moms, but I love BOTH). And my mom's cream wafers and our Christmas morning French toast breakfast :)
Happy HOlidays!

5:18 PM  
Blogger Ramona said...

That's a really great photo of the three generations of fabulous women in your family. Family recipes are really nice way of keeping tradition and memories alive.
BTW...thanks for introducing me to Mammoth Men, I've spent hours looking at their phots.

6:43 AM  

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