This post is the result of a series of unexpected yet serendipitous events. Saturday night my family and I decided to watch the movie “Man of Steel” on DVD……..two days later I was invited to be part of Samsung’s “Women of Steel” contest honoring the heroines in our lives…….which came right as I’d been thinking about upcoming holiday entertaining and what a SUPERHERO my Mom is at all this stuff! Maybe it’s just me…but I think those are some pretty amazing coincidences!
The more I thought about all of these interconnected events..I decided that this post, sponsored by Samsung, was meant to be an homage to my Mom’s entertaining style. Although it’s impossible to list ALL the things I have learned from my Mom, this list is meant to at least encapsulate the spirit of my Mom’s holiday entertaining, which I now try to make part of mine.
My Mom’s Holiday “Formula”:
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Homemade is best. Period.
No canned cranberries, frozen pie crusts, or whipped cream in a can at our holiday table. The rolls were all homemade and the jam too!
It’s never too early to get up to put the turkey in the oven.
My Mom’s recipe for cooking the perfect turkey involves long hours at a lower temperature which always necessitates her getting up VERY early to make sure it’s done in time. Our BIG family requires a BIG bird. :-)
Family comes first…and “family” is anyone who needs a place to call “home.”
There are very few years I can remember that there wasn’t at least one “stranger” at our holiday table. Whether it was the lady at the post office who had no family to spend the holidays with, or a elderly neighbor who had recently been widowed…there has always been room for more at my Mom’s table.
It’s worth bringing out the “good” stuff for the holidays.
Every holiday dinner that I can remember has been eaten off the “good china” set on the “good linens.” While my collection of “good stuff” isn’t quite as extensive as my Mom’s yet. I’m working on it.
Keep it kid-friendly and kid fun!
My Mom always made sure to remember the holidays weren’t too “fancy”. Not only did she make the decor and food kid-friendly, she made sure to involve us in the preparations as well…which meant the world to me!
Embrace the spirit of the season as well as the beautiful touches.
Despite all the effort put into making the season “cheery and bright”, she always made sure we remembered the reason for the season as well. Each Thanksgiving dinner was concluded with everyone sharing what they were most grateful for that year and we didn’t go to bed on Christmas Eve without reading The Christmas Story from the Bible and listening to “What Child Is This?”
Traditions makes the season richer.
Strawberry waffles for Thanksgiving and Christmas morning breakfast……The Flour Game on Christmas Eve……playing Secret Santa to a family in need…….Grandma’s Fruit Salad……picking out the perfect Christmas tree from the local tree lot…..Thanksgiving Day family flag football game…..are just a FEW of the ones I will remember the most.
Be willing to try new ideas.
As rich as our holidays are with tradition, my Mom has always been open to finding new and better ways to celebrate. When I got married and introduced a few Norwegian dishes from my husband’s family, my Mom was one of the first ones to embrace the wonder of Lefsa. :-)
I am so grateful to my Mom’s wonderful example over the years of how to be “the hostess with the mostest” without even trying. Her entertaining “style” always came from the heart…and that’s what ultimately made it SO very beautiful.