at Christmas from a Distance
So, Herman and I go to our friends, Sue
and Neal’s house for their annual Christmas Party.
We were the first ones to arrive and as usual, Sue was in
a tizzy of preparation. Nothing was done, according to Sue.
So she put Herman to work setting up trays. She made her
ever-famous Christmas pepper ball and as usual made one
for us to take home as well.
Let me describe to you this pepper ball.
It’s a ball of cream cheese mixed with ranch dressing
and rolled in black pepper. Now, I’m just guessing
on the recipe. She told me once, but recipes just aren’t
my thing. There’s no way in the world you would ever
see me making a pepper ball.
She also had a tray of candy ribbons. Something
I’d never seen before. But she told me it was a traditional
Christmas party item and Herman agreed.
Did I ever tell you what Christmas was like
for me as a kid growing up Jewish? First of all, my entire
neighborhood was Jewish, so there were no such things as
Christmas decorations. Mom would traditionally take us on
a ride in the evening to see all the Christmas decorations
in all the different neighborhoods. They were no where near
us. That’s what I knew Christmas to be-looking at
other people’s Christmas lights.
We had Hanukkah and it was really beautiful
lighting the candles on the Menorah for each of the eight
days of the celebration traditionally known as the Feast
of Lights. But to compare it to Christmas is not really
fair. It’s as different as apples and oranges.
Because Herman and I have totally different
backgrounds (religion is only one of them) we celebrate
the holidays by hanging holiday cards from friends and family
as they come in. Herman especially likes to count them.
The more the merrier. I think this year we got nearly 80
of them. We hang them along the stairs in the hall until
we run out of room. It’s not only festive, but each
one is special as it represents a person who cared enough
to take the time and send it.
I sent out over 100 cards each year. Herman
thinks we shouldn’t continue to send to those who
don’t reply, but I don’t look at it that way.
That’s not why I send cards.
So, each of us have our holiday traditions.
Sue and Neal have their holiday open house, complete with
pepper balls and we have our own tradition of hanging greeting
cards. I hope your holiday was a good one however you celebrate
Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career
in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from
Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be
accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"