Monday, January 30, 2006

It's all about the food....

I have been accused by my darling children that I do not decorate enough for the holidays the way the rest of the neighborhood does. I do not have Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, 4th of July, Pioneer Day or Thanksgiving Day decorations in my storage. I have one token wood-sign-on-a-stake for Halloween and I only decorate the tree and the room it is housed in for Christmas.

Apparently my kids have forgotten a few things. Who makes an entirely green dinner for St. Patricks Day (and has to choke it down because certain things just shouldn't be green, like milk)? Who put together the neighborhood Pioneer Day BBQ as well as the neighborhood Halloween Party and Chili Cookoff? Who makes traditional Chinese Food for Chinese New Year? Who gets up early to make the traditional St. Lucia breakfast every December 13th? Grandma's swedish cruellers for Christmas Eve. Caramel Sticky Rolls for Christmas morning. Black-eyed peas for New Year's Day. Chile Verde for Cinco de Mayo. Mounds of sugar cookies for the day after Thanksgiving. Dyed eggs for Easter (and deviled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, and any other recipe for hard-boiled eggs I can find). Favorite foods for a child's birthday. A romantic Valentine's Day dinner at home (okay, that one doesn't count because the kids aren't invited to that one.)

My point being: Holidays at this house are not about decoration, they are about the food.

Most important to me, though, is what I do for my family daily. My table is decorated with a nice tablecloth and cloth napkins just the way my southern grandmother does her table. The children are taught to set the table properly. I cook healthy meals using whole foods the way my mother taught me. I grow a garden the way my pioneer-heritaged grandma taught me, and put up the produce for the winter months. One night a week, one of my boys practices his cooking skills or learns a new recipe by my side. Six nights a week my family sits down together for supper. In this day and age I consider that no small accomplishment. I'm proud of that.

So I don't decorate. I can live with that. Now I am off to accomplish our Monday tradition: Family Home Evening Treat (which tonight, by the way, will be Caramel Apple Cake with whipped cream.)