Making It Through, and a recipe

Well, here it is just eleven days until Christmas–someone pointed that out to me today–and I realized that I have not done one bit of Christmas baking! I still need to wrap almost all of my presents for loved ones, and Christmas cards to address. These facts put me in a bit of a swivet, so this post is going to be short.

From Christmas Comes to Valentine:

There came the sound of a car honk in the street, and Willie Lee called from the front window: “Pa-pa Tate is ready with the car.”

Corrine called to Aunt Marilee. A moment later her aunt came flying out of the bathroom. She looked thrown together, but on Aunt Marilee that generally still looked striking. Her color was high, and she slung a burgundy wool wrap around her shoulders.
”Y’all get coats on. Where’s my purse?”

”We don’t need coats,” Corrine said and handed over the purse from where it sat on the sideboard.

Aunt Marilee, who was clearly about to argue the point on the coats, decided not to and went on through the door Corrine held open, seeming to suck the rest of them along by the force of her movement, down the stairwell and across the sidewalk to the curb, where they threw themselves into the waiting white Cherokee.

“Whew, we made it,” Aunt Marilee said when the doors were slammed.

Munro sat in the back seat between Corrine and Willie Lee, panting.

”Did you doubt you would?” Papa Tate asked, as he headed from the curb.

“Yes, Tate, very often I do,” replied Aunt Marilee, yanking down the visor and putting her lipstick on in the mirror there.

This passage made me laugh out loud, and also to remember a bit of wisdom I read a long time ago, which was: “Whenever you doubt making it through another Christmas season, remember that you always have.”

Christmas Comes to Valentine has recipes in it, and here is a favorite Southern one. It’s an easy one to make for a potluck party, and will help you get through.

Heavenly Ambrosia

  • 3 large oranges, preferably navel variety, peeled and sectioned
  • 3 bananas, firm
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits, or fresh equivalent
  • 1 red delicious apple, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • Whipped cream

Mix the pineapple tidbits and chopped apple together to help keep the apple from turning brown. Alternate layers of fruit in a dish or individual cups, topping each layer with coconut. Top with whipped cream and mint leaves for garnish.

Another point I try to keep in mind is that as joyous as the season is, it is equally sad at times. I know three families who are especially devastated this year by the loss of loved ones. Memories and longings strike my heart often. That is life on earth. When tears come, I allow them to flow, and soon I will smile again.

Now I’m off to begin my baking, and dancing around the kitchen to the old Christmas tunes. Eleven days, people.

Grace and peace,


8 thoughts on “Making It Through, and a recipe

  1. Dear Curtiss Ann,
    I was just re-reading some of your own posts and those of some of your fans. I was ordering another copy of your CHRISTMAS COMES TO VALENTINE when a word popped up—it was “swivet.” Maybe that’s a word only used in the South a lot because I have never heard it used in conversations elsewhere. But I remember when exactly I first heard it. From my mother. It was a hot and humid summer day in South Carolina when even the Spanish moss was so exhausted that it just drooled down the sides of the trees. Mom was trying to herd us six kids into the car when I heard her say to her friend “I don’t know, Caroline, but I’m in such a swivet
    today “.
    What a useful word! And it feels good coming off the mouth. It explains a lot in just one word—when you are in too much of a swivet to even explain everything that has got you in a swivet!
    When was the last time you heard someone use this wonderful word? Do you think it’s just southerners?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Louise, you are one to love words as I do! I don’t know about the word swivet being four from southerners exclusively, but I am fairly certain I must’ve got it from my mother. My mother loved words. She was intelligent and red widely, everything from literary to trashy, the paperback pulp books of the 50s, and then very high brow studious stuff that she got from the library. Louise, you are a wonderful writer! Thank you for sharing with me. Blessings, CurtissAnn


  2. You sound like me about my baking and Christmas Cards🙄 I had a couple old neighbors from my old neighborhood for Brunch today. We try to get together once a month. We have had trouble getting together because of sickness. Friends are such a gift🎁and blessings🤗🥰😊

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was very young, Christmas always meant lots of fun, family gathering, favorite foods, presents and Carol singing. Every year we bought our Christmas tree at the lot near the gas station on Christmas Eve. When I became a teenager I realized this was for practical reasons—my parents could afford a cut tree when they went on sale.
    Then as I hit my 20’s and 30’s some older relatives passed on and that element of sadness entered what had always been a happy time.
    Now that I’m in my late 70’s more people have left the gathering but the 20’s and 30’s have added their children who absolutely love the Christmas holidays. And the beat goes on. It is still my favorite time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Louise, what a joy to have your observations and voice in the comments! I so recall the tree lots at gas stations, and grocery stores, and there would be the Boy Scout and church lots. All changed now. Grateful the ‘beat goes on’, as you aptly put it. Especially in my heart, even if not as outwardly energetic as when as when young. Merry Christmas, friend.


  4. Reading “Christmas Comes to Valentine” is making my pre-Christmas preparations extra delightful. I wish the book wouldn’t end. Thank you for writing it.


    • I’m glad you are enjoying the story. I am a bit surprised to find how much I enjoy it–that it is so funny. Do you see in this passage what I mean about putting in too many words? Boy, could I edit this!


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