One of the wonderful things about my life is how many traditions I have with my family and friends. Creating traditions is what grounds me to the good stuff, ya know? And so, its a bit of a downer to admit how many traditions aren’t going to happen this year.
Amazing what a difference a year makes.
If you’ve been reading this blog (and thank you, by the way if you have!) you know that my family moved from our home of 10 years and are building a new one. There are lots of great reasons to do something like this but it also can cause issues and obstacles to occur.
I packed up my life last June. Late June here in the northwest is a beautiful time – the constant rain has mostly stopped and we’ve got the glory of July, August, and September just around the corner. As you might imagine, I packed away all the cold weather stuff. I was smart enough to leave out our rain gear because this wacky locale has been known to get rain even when we don’t expect it.
I pretty much packed up everything since we are living in a much smaller apartment than our home. And one of my “gifts” is the ability to pack light.
Today it was 23 degrees when I got the kiddos off to school. We’re expecting sun and a high of 41. Boy, those winter coats sure would be nice to have right about now. Nice, but not mandatory because we’re resourceful sweatshirt layerers.
But as I go around the area and see the Christmas machine ramping up to full throttle fever, I am sad.
Somewhere in the metro area is a POD, packed with all my Christmas things as well as my bundt pan, springform pan, extra cookie sheets, cookbooks, and recipe card box. It also has our fake Christmas tree, our real Christmas tree stand, the boxes of Christmas ornaments, my cherished turd-ball, and all the holiday do-dads.
For me, Christmas isn’t about the stuff of Christmas as much as the activities of Christmas. And this year, there will be no rum balls.
Let me leave that here for a bit.
No rum balls.
In case you don’t know what this means, I’ve written about the gastric traditions I cherish. You can read about my rum balls here. Every year, I make enough rum balls to set out at multiple family get together, to sip with my afternoon coffee, to give to my siblings and extended family, and I also mail a few dozen out to writing friends.
The tradition started years ago when I tweeted something along the lines of “the first 4 people to DM me their mailing address can have a merrier Christmas with RUM BALLS”. Critique partners, people who’ve lifted my spirits when I has having a particularly hard depression day, all sorts of things can earn a person a small box of 6-8 rum balls.
But this year, my treasured recipe is packed away. It is in a book that includes my family’s favorite lemon bundt cake, and is likely packed next to my recipe box that holds my super-duper awesome coffee cake recipe I like to make for Christmas morning.
Alas, there will be no rum balls to share this year. No lemon cake for Christmas dinner. No coffee cake to munch on under the Christmas lights amid the children’s giggles.
Oh, sure. I could find different recipes and try to make due. But it seems like we’re better off making some new traditions this year and catching up on coffee cake once we’re settled in our new home in January. Biggest and I have already made a list of tasty morsels we want to try our hand at – he’s lobbying for a version of Take 5 bars and I’m pondering trying to make GF Russian teacakes. I’m sure we can find plenty of gastric goodness to keep our spirits festive.
But in case you were hoping for rum balls, you’ll just have to wait like the rest of us.