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Remember how Christmas used to be

By Staff
Suzanne Langcuster
When Christmas comes around, do you reminisce about how Christmas use to be?
It happened to me this week. As I began to pull out our tree and other things my mind wondered back to how we celebrated Christmas at our home on Washington Street in Russellville.
From the time I was 6 years old this was our home until we married and I were always excited about the Christmas season.
Mother and Mama – my grandmother – were in a frenzy trying to keep surprises away from us and cooking.
Mama made a fruitcake that was unbelievable. It was made before Thanksgiving and layered with fresh cut apples, wrapped in white linens and put in a large drawer of her sideboard in her dinning room.
We could hardly wait to cut that cake. Even after Christmas she had some left because it was so large. I would slip down to her house, on North Jackson where our backyards joined, and cut a big hunk – not a piece; a hunk – and eat it with milk. She also made fresh grated coconut cakes, jam cake and she made them big enough to feed all the children and grandchildren.
Mother make wonderful cheese straws, chocolate candy and chocolate pies and cakes.
Dad worked in his furniture and appliance store downtown. Stores stayed open much later in Russellville then and during the weeks before Christmas he would not get home sometimes until 7 or 8 p.m. This always happened on Christmas Eve.. Mother and Mama would put all the goodies on the table. We had all the packages under the tree and we would wait on Dad. We always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve We three girls would run back and forth to the window every time a car would pass. Then, finally, Dad would come home, arms loaded down and he usually brought in a big sack of fruit or nuts .
Christmas is a very extraordinary time. Charles Dickens wrote this about Christmas and I tend to agree:
"I have always thought of Christmas as a good time, a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year when men and women seem, by one consent, to open their shut-up hearts freely."
Here's wishing you a good time this Holiday Season.
Suzanne Langcuster is a food writer for the Franklin County Times.

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