Christmas traditions are the best. One of my favorite traditions started years ago, as a young girl. We would always have Christmas night dinner with our family friends, the Hamiltons. I don`t remember what we ate most of the time, but I do remember the dessert . Mother would pull out this beautiful cut glass bowl, and make her famous Charlotte. It was light, and delicious and topped with a very thin crust of crushed graham crackers. Long after we grew up and had our own families, and had new traditions, the Charlotte always made its way on the menu for Christmas.
After Mother died, 5 Christmases ago, I took on the responsibility of making her Charlotte. I almost lost the bowl once, but excitingly found it as I was unpacking her things one day.
I even bought the ingredients this year with every intention of making it for our Christmas dinner, but time happened. Everyone wanted to be sure we had Peppermint/rice crispie pie, so I made two. There was a request for white chocolate bread pudding, so I made that. With many of my family watching what they eat, and not eating desserts, I thought this year, those two would be enough .
I felt a little sad that I didn`t follow the tradition this year, but only for a bit. It was ok, I told myself, to make new ones. So, I used my beautiful bowl and put my grape salad in it, and it made a great presentation. It took many pounds of grapes to fill it up, but it was good.
I realized that as much as I loved her Charlotte, it wasn`t what was in the bowl that was as special to me as the bowl itself. It will always make my heart happy to see it, because it was special to her.
As we say good bye to 2015 and old traditions, we welcome in 2016 and new traditions!!