I am not a religious person and never have been. For me Christmas is all about family, food, giving, kids, and chocolate peanut butter balls.
Christmas Morning Excitement
As I mentioned, I have a three year old and I feel like much of my enthusiasm this year is focused on her and how excited she is. She was excited to come and see her grandparents and her cousins. She is excited for Christmas, but I think she doesn’t totally know why she should be excited other than because everyone else is. She is excited to see my mum, her partner and my brother. She is excited to be somewhere different for a while. She was so excited en route to see her grandparents that she barely slept at all during our seven hour trip to get here. This from a kid who can fall asleep in a 15 minute car ride home from daycare.
My older two girls are of course also excited about Christmas. They are at a stage where they are enjoying the giving part as well. They make me cards and other handmade gifts and I am excited to see what they have come up with for me this year, whether it is purchased or handmade.
To be honest I would probably still be excited about Christmas even without kids. That said, I probably wouldn’t be up at three am due to my excitement about how they are going to react and how excited they will be. I’m pretty excited for my partner to open her gifts too!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
Admittedly I already covered food and given that I am pretty sure that chocolate peanut butter balls are one of the five main food groups, they fall into the food category. Peanut butter balls get their own mention and not just because I love peanut butter and chocolate and any food that combines the two together.
I mentioned family gatherings as a long-standing tradition and those are as much about the past as they are the present. Our boxing day joining of the clans is an evolving event. People come and go, the families expand and contract and we get older.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls are about memory and childhood. My Nana made chocolate peanut butter balls every year for christmas. They were one of many christmas cookies and treats that she prepared every year. My dad’s parents were older than my mum’s parents. They were of a different generation, born before WWI and as a result I didn’t have them in my life for as long. They were always energetic people and I never really considered them old – except in the way that old grandparents are old when you are a kid. They took me on rollercoasters and travelled and hooked me up with ice cream money. It has only been in recent months as I have been going through pictures that my dad had that I realized that my Poppa was taking me on rollercoasters when he was 80.
I don’t have my Nana’s recipe for chocolate peanut butter balls and over the years I have tried a variety of versions in attempt to match the taste and appearance of what I remember hers tasting like. It is pretty hard to compare to a 25 year old taste memory. It has however been a great journey! I think this year I have landed on the right combination.
When I make and eat peanut butter balls I am remembering my grandparents and picturing the kitchen in their tiny house. I am remembering their excitement about Christmas and life in general. I am remembering my childhood and savouring all of the love I felt from them as a kid. How could I go wrong with chocolate peanut butter love balls?
On with the Show
Soon the sun will begin considering an appearance and by soon I mean in a few hours. The kids will appear and the chaos of the day will begin. The anticipation and excitement will build and quickly crash as everyone opens their gifts, eats chocolate for breakfast and the novelty of the new stuff wears off. Then we will move on to other parts of the day and week, see more family and friends and eat lots of food. It is time for me to head back to bed in hopes that I might be able to catch another hour or two of sleep before it all begins.
Merry Christmas everyone!