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Roy Rogers Cap Pistols and German Chocolate Cake!

Dec 5, 2007
I remember one special Christmas morning, when dad and mother yawningly turned the Christmas tree lights on in the corner of the living room, illuminating all the wonders that Santa had brought the night before. This was before television and computers and well before video games.

As though it was yesterday, just as the morning light was seeping through the windows, I saw a red cowboy hat and a Roy Roger's gun and holster set under the tree. On the other side of the tree there was a tan cowboy hat and pistol set. This one was for my younger brother.

As I recall, that was the extent of my Christmas gifts. By today's standards it was sort of skimpy, but our family couldn't have enjoyed the day more. In addition to our genuine cowboy outfits, Santa brought mom a new hand bag while dad got another tie. It was a wonderful Christmas morning! A fantastic Christmas!

The day however, was just beginning. After my brother and I had chased off any outlaw or renegades that might have sneaked into our house during the night, we greedily ate some of the apples, oranges and nuts that Santa had scattered under the tree. Back then these fruits were a delicacy we only enjoyed on Christmas morning and rarely were there any left for the next day.

It may seem as if I'm painting a picture of a poverty stricken household, but on the contrary, we were somewhat more affluent than most of our neighbors. It was just a simpler and more innocent time with each gift important to us. Receiving only a few items at Christmas seemed to give make those gifts more precious, if you can call a Roy Rogers genuine cap gun and holster set precious.

When things began to settle down a little and the wrapping paper was packed up and stowed in trash cans, the ribbons carefully save in a box for next year, mom began Christmas dinner. In the south back then, lunch was dinner and dinner was supper. I still wonder why the terminology changed; must have been Yankee influence.

Even though Thanksgiving's feast had only been a month before, Christmas dinner always was a little more spectacular, if only in the sweets department. There were no counting calories when I was a kid, especially on Christmas day. In addition to my mother's contribution of sweets, my Aunts always came over and brought with them ridiculous amounts of sugary delights, all of which would be eaten.

By dinner time the house was full of the fragrances of ham, turkey, sweet potatoes and every kind of side dish you can imagine. Thanksgiving dinner had been just a warm up for the main event. Christmas was the when relatives you hadn't seen since Aunt Bertha's funeral showed up for dinner. That year was no exception!

Mom always made the coconut cake and fruitcake. It was her specialty and no one would even try to match her on either one of those. I'm not sure of the recipe, but she made her cake with real coconuts. I recall her cracking the hard shell with a hammer, draining the milk into a glass and then prying out the coconut, which she shredded. No packaged pre-shredded coconut for her!

An hour before the table was set, Aunt Vida arrived with two of her chocolate pies and enough fudge to feed Rhode Island. Aunt Helen balanced a real German Chocolate cake in one hand and a gallon of boiled custard in the other. These were in the center ring of our Christmas dinner circus.

While other folks brought food items, none were in the same class as my mother's Coconut cake and my two aunts' chocolate pie and German chocolate cake. Sometimes there was a little controversy as to whose boiled custard was the best. No one ever really won that argument!

While none of us can turn back the clock, this is a time for remembering special moments of the past. Maybe this year's Christmas will be a great memory for one of our kids. It's nice to think so.
About the Author
Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at:
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