Our holiday memories are often bittersweet. Though the sights and sounds of the season are generally positive, they are often tinged with memories of those we have lost or of times which were not always joyous.
I love this handmade bowl that my father made when he learned woodworking in the Navy in the late 1950's. He learned his craft well and went on to create many beautiful items which we enjoy every day.
This bowl reminds me of Christmas because it was always filled with a variety of nuts and a nutcracker. We would sit around and crack nuts and enjoy them throughout the season. This simple act represented an important memory from my father's childhood.
My father grew up very poor, and he remembered that some Christmases all he and his siblings received by way of gifts were some nuts and perhaps an orange. There were no stacks of gifts or new Christmas sweaters for him in those days, just a struggle to survive.
My father moved beyond his childhood and enjoyed a prosperous life. I never suffered the kind of privations that my father underwent. But having heard some of the stories of those days, I am thinking that I am going to fill this beautiful bowl with assorted nuts this month and give thanks for those who worked and struggled so that I can enjoy the glorious sights of this holiday season.