By Marcy T.

The joy of holidays was always bringing the family together to share a wonderful dinner. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins gathered around the table, glad to be together and to enjoy the many treats in store for the day. The meal was invariably the same for a particular holiday. For the fourth of July, America’s Independence Day, we had to have hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, and ice cream.  Ketchup, pickles, and mustard were always close at hand. The weather was warm, and we could sit outside to eat. Maybe in the evening there would be a few fireworks or singing around the piano. For the winter holidays, we had turkey and all the fixings: mashed potatoes, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, peas, and pumpkin pie. Because of the German influence in our city, most families included sauerkraut with their meal. We took our time with dinner, and everyone pitched in to help. The spirited conversation continued long into the evening. For our spring holiday we always had roast lamb, along with roasted carrots and potatoes. A rich gravy made from the meat drippings added to the delicious tastes of the day. Raising my own family, I loved continuing those traditions. This New Year’s Day when I fix the bacon and onion topping for the mashed potatoes that my grandmother always prepared, I will think of her and be grateful for the precious time we shared. My mother’s spicy bread stuffing will round out the dinner, and then we’ll enjoy the traditional pies of the day – pumpkin and apple. Whatever special holidays you celebrate, I wish you a joyous celebration with your own families.