Appropriately so for this blog, I was questioned today about why southern people "fish out" pickles from the jar with a funny fork and put them on crystal trays. A co-worker said she had been asked by a friend to help her put out the pickle tray for a Christmas party she attended this weekend.
I guess that's a logical question for someone not familiar with the tradition of serving gherkins and midgets on pretty little trays that have been inherited from your grandmother. I quickly agreed that it was, in fact, a very normal thing and that for as long as I can remember we haven't had a family function where a pickle wasn't involved. Understandable - I'm from Mt. Olive (home of the world's best pickles) and my uncle worked there his entire life. Pickles were his life and we supported that livelihood with great allegiance. I still do.
Things like pickle trays are those great things I always took for granted as a kid but have grown to value more and more. I catch myself noticing all of those things that make our family traditions special. And, during the holidays there are alot that can be seen.
My grandmother's tree topper is an angel my uncle made in the 2nd grade. It once was white construction paper adorned with glitter and crayon. Now, its more fragile than an egg shell. The paper is almost transparent. My grandmother adores that angel more than any other ornament on her tree.
I have my own little tradition that I've started but the credit for the idea goes to my 2nd mom. My best friend's mom had one of the most beautiful Christmas trees I had ever seen. It was full of Christopher Radko ornaments. Those handblown and handpainted, sparkly ornaments that you can get and give for any occassion. She started me on my tradition of collecting Radko's. I'm still fairly new to the whole collection and so I have to improvise with other ornaments to fill in the holes, but I'm getting there. I can't wait until my entire tree is full of only Radko's. But, more importantly, I can't wait until maybe I'll inherit that construction paper angel to put on top of my Radko tree.
(that's my favorite Radko - reminds me of the beach at Christmas)