The Magic of December, 1st !

“Suddenly December…the magic begins.” ~ Unknown

Wake up sweet friends, it’s December first! Perhaps you are wondering, “Why is she so excited about December first?” Find your coffee and a comfy chair and let me tell you. 

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

I love Christmas.  I love the fuss, the decorating, the lights, the sparkle, the baking and of course, thinking of gifts for those I love.  I absolutely adore the entire package and anyone who truly knows me will confirm this. 

In our home, the Christmas season begins December first.    I know you are wondering, why December first?   So, here is the story ~ one I hope you will enjoy.

“Wake up “darlin!”  It is December 1st, the beginning of the most magical, beautiful time of the year.”  Those were my mother’s words to me, every December 1st.  And to mom, it was a season full of love and beauty.  Every December, I thank her so much for this beautiful gift she gave me repeatedly each year, from when I was a young child until she passed away.

“I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Our mothers are so very precious.  If they have passed away, our memories of them are our personal treasures we tuck away in our hearts and hold them ever so close.  Mothers instill in us our values and give us gifts we treasure throughout our lives.  While many of these gifts “come tied up with strings,” many do not.  I was blessed beyond measure with a mother who gave me an abundance of gifts not “tied up with strings.”  These gifts, not purchased in a store, were from her heart.  She wanted me to understand the real meaning of Christmas, why we give and exchange gifts and she especially wanted me to understand ~ the message of Christmas is love.  Truly, I ‘believe’ she was successful.

Each year on December 1st, she always, always did something special for me and others she loved.   For me, it might have been her homemade cinnamon rolls, a special dinner, new ribbons for my hair, a new pair of socks, or my favorite ~ a pan of her famous peanut butter fudge. 

She also might spend the afternoon helping me make pomander balls or cookies to give to our neighbors.  Always something small, but it served as a sweet reminder as to how special the day and days to follow should be.

 “It’s Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” ~Keith Baines

As the years went along, I grew up, married and moved away.  Always, a tiny package would arrive, marked “Do Not Open Until December 1st.”  The sweet package was from mom, and she never failed to phone me before I left for work on this special day.  I can still hear her soft Mississippi drawl and her kind words.  She would ask about my plans to make the day special for others, especially plans I had for Mike.   The conversation would always end with her words, “I love you ‘darlin’ – scatter joy.”  Just a note ~ absolutely no one can say ‘darlin’ like someone from the Deep South.

Through the years, many friends and coworkers have often looked at me rather puzzled when they were first introduced to my December 1st tradition.  However, once they understood how, why, and from whom it originated, they relished in the joyful atmosphere. I can tell you they adored being sprinkled with a bit of mom’s Christmas magic.   The sweetness of the day lingered with them.  As the years unfolded, they would say to me – “It’s almost December 1st.”  This special joy has been returned to me many times.  Still today, I often hear from friends and former coworkers on December 1st.   Mom’s tradition touched the lives of many.

As for Mike ~ well, he has enjoyed this special day for 46 years.  He has more Christmas ties than are in the men’s department of Macy’s.  Christmas ties are a perfect gift for a teacher, also Christmas socks.  And, if you were to ask him about his all-time favorite December 1st gift, he would answer, “Merry.”  Merry was our black Labrador retriever.  Her proper or registered name was Merry Christmas of Crabapple.  Her name suited her perfectly ~ my goodness she was Merry.  Every day she lived, glowed like an overabundantly lit Christmas tree.

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find the simplest things give off the greatest glow of happiness.”  ~ Bob Hope

It really is “the simplest things,” which make this special season glow.  Mom’s sweet tradition enriched my life and, I know, the lives of many.  A lovely tradition which costs little, shows more love than there are words, and creates such wonderful memories.  So, from mom to me to you – “It’s December 1st” enjoy this most wonderful, magical time of year and… scatter joy! 

 

Do you have a special tradition which you and your family enjoy during the Christmas season?  I hope you will share.  

Wishing you and yours, a most beautiful and special December!

 

And, until we meet again…  “May you have heaven in your heart, starlight in your soul, and angels all around you.” ~ Unknown

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Sweet friends, I wish I could bake these and give each and every one of you a lovely bag full.  But, as I can’t, I am doing the next best thing and sending you the recipe. Happy December 1st!

Butter Sugar Cookies

Note:  This was my grandmother’s recipe.  She submitted it to be printed in her church cookbook, The First Presbyterian Church of Collins, Mississippi. 

Ingredients:

1 cup – 2 sticks butter, softened (do not substitute the butter)

1 cup sugar

½ tsp. vanilla or almond extract

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and egg, mixing well.  Sift flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Add gradually to butter mixture, mixing well.  Chill dough for an hour or two.  Make dough into small balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork, or bottom of a glass, that has been dipped in sugar.  Make sure each cookie is sprinkled with sugar.  Bake 15-17 minutes (my oven-14 min.), or just until edges begin to turn golden.  Let stand on cookie sheet 2-3 minutes.  Remove to a rack and cool completely.  Sprinkle with colored sprinkles if desired.  Store in airtight container.

 

Photos: viatumblr

Note: I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment.

 

 

 

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18 Comments on "The Magic of December, 1st !"

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Maristella
Guest

How special…Thanks for sharing,made me smile!

Brenda @ It\'s A Beautiful Life
Guest

I am so ready to start Christmas! And you are too, I see! I’m coming back to read and savour it properly.
Thank you for such a beautiful start to December, Sandra! xoxox

Pam Larrick
Guest

Thank you, Sandra. Such a beautiful start to a special month. “Scatter the love” especially tugs my heart.

Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things
Guest
Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things

Merry December 1st! I love this story. We don’t have any special traditions, except we always attend the local Christmas night in our small town.

bonnie morgan
Guest

What sweet memories of your mother. Your sugar cookie recipe sounds great.
I plan to try your cookie recipe
The tradition I have is making a Spritz Christmas tree cookie. I triple the recipe because I have to squirrel away extra to take to the kids because even put in the freezer my husband sneaks them. We’ve played that game for years! LOL!
Have a blessed week.

Becky Rogers
Guest

Sandy,
I love this so much! So many wonderful memories of your mom and her Southern Hospitality. You are so like her…
I am happy to have been the recipient of a lovey December 1st surprise, several years back. You certainly brightened my day with a beautiful plate, filled with warm from the oven Snickerdoodle cookies, all tied up with a red ribbon, and beautiful card. Thank you, my dear old friend!
Love,
Becky ❤️

Rita C at Panoply
Guest
Sandra, whow I loved reading this and thinking of my own mother’s traditions instilled in our family. I, too, love Christmas, and I lovingly host my big family – any and all – who can come to town for Christmas Eve dinner at our home. In our home, my mother always celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas with us on Dec 6th – that’s when we put our stockings out to be filled be tangerines, candies, and some sort of little present. There were nine of us, and she made sure every single one of us were remembered in a… Read more »
Pam Richardson
Guest
Sandra, what a beautiful way to start my Monday! What a lovely and sweet story that you have shared of your precious mother, she sounds just like mine. If we all would just “scatter joy”, it would be a different world. The sugar cookie recipe sounds divine. My mother and I had many traditions, she was a true servant to all who knew her. A tradition I started with our son began when he was two years old. We began making gingerbread cookies, he turns 33 this month and we still have our annual cookie fest. I think he just… Read more »
Shirley @Housepitality Designs
Guest

Beautiful photos and Happy December!! Fa-la-la-la-la!!….Great post and thanks for the recipe!

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