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Updated: 12/26/2013 08:00:03AM

The reason for the season

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It seems to get earlier every year … the Christmas shopping season … this year the advertising started after Halloween. What a different life when I was a Santa-believer.

My mother didn’t spend a lot of time Christmas shopping; instead, she spent every spare minute Christmas baking. In a corner of our kitchen was a pantry, designed with floor-to-ceiling cabinets. At Christmas time, the top layer of that storage space was reserved for Christmas baking, and Mom worked hard at filling it. So as the variety of cookies, bars, and even a fruit cake exited the oven, there was a place waiting for them on the “Christmas” shelves. (Of course the family usually sampled a few of the freshly-baked treats as they were created). And, as the space became filled with those goodies, Mom produced her final pièce de résistance: homemade candy, both divinity and chocolate fudge, loaded with freshly shelled hickory nuts from our own trees.

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