I grew up in a household that celebrated all things hand made. My grand parents were pioneers on the prairie and my mother settled out west with us when I was 3. We don't have many family heirlooms and our history is lost in the mists of time. Some great conjecture about how my grandfather's father came over from Ireland to fight on the Plains of Abraham, but there were Irish on both sides.
We do have my grandmother's fruit cake recipe and I have her pans. She was militantly in the temperance movement, so I won't allow booze to sneak into this recipe. It takes fruit juice and starwberry jam to get the taste just right. What a splurge to buy all those fruits and eggs and butter! It must have been a hardship some years, even as I was growing up, to gather everything for this huge recipe baked in 3 tins of graduated size. It was also the cake for each of our weddings.
I made it Tuesday night so it could "ripen" in time for Christmas guests. I immediately divided the large cake into 4 smaller ones for each of my sisters and my mom. These traditions are worth holding on to.
I worked last night and finished the scarf on my break. This is all I can show you of its loveliness until my sister releases the pattern as a kit. What a joy to knit. Such a thoughtful lace pattern. I got permission to make it extra-long because I was using my own local alpaca. I look forward to blocking it (after I vacuum the carpet).
I also threw myself into sewing and made the three wise men costumes for our pageant. Our traditional costumes were taken in an act of desperation by the daughter of the seamstress to protect what she felt as her heritage. I am sorry that she wasn't prepared to share the costumes of 50 years with the changing worship and developing pageants.
But one wise friend said, "Let them go." and we are making new ones that will fit the children we have now and the scripts we are preparing. I hope she can come to this year's pageant and find the same hope and touch of tradition that we need at Christmas.
Now I will set up my Christmas list and look to see if I have it in my heart and hands to knit something for gifts.