Twelve Days of Christmas: Tenth Day

 In Lessons from a Small Town

                    Christmas treats

Two special treats appeared at Christmastime when I was a child. One was clementines.  Today the smell of that little citrus gem immediately takes me back to the one that was always in the toe of my stocking on Christmas morning. I am not sure the origin of the other, assorted nuts, in their shells. But thanks to their appearance I learned the difference between a filbert and a pecan and a walnut and a Brazil nut. My little hands struggled the crack their outer shells so sometimes I just put them on the floor and stomped on them. Then I dug out the meat with the sharp pick. In my home today I make sure to have both for Christmas.


On the Tenth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me….


ten fancy crackers,

      nutcracker collection

nine candy canes,

 miniature candy canes

eight Christmas angels,

new and old Christmas angels

seven pickle liqueurs, 

antique ice bucket and pickle liqueurs

six cookie cutters,

three generations of cookie cutters

five…Christ…mas cards,

My favorite Burgess Christmas cards 1956,1957,1960,1961,1963

four vintage snowmen,

old fashioned snowmen candles purchased in 1990’s

three special balls,

David’s, Samantha’s and Richard’s ornaments

two wooden skis,

Kim’s wooden skis
(circa 1956)

and a Christmas plate for Santa’s midnight snack.

1978 Christmas cookie plate

We are on the upswing now. Happy Winter Solstice!


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  • Bruce Hodge

    We got a gift of assorted nuts this Christmas and it reminded me of the woods behind your house just past the little creek that went across Shunk Road. I lived in those woods as a kid. In the fall at the edge of the woods, facing Route 10, there was a line of hickory trees. They are easy to spot because the trees have bark that is pealing off. Those trees were loaded with hickory nuts that I would place on a flat rock then stomp on them to shatter the shells and expose the meat. I too used a toothpick to pick out the delicious pieces of meat. What great memories. Again thanks for sharing.

  • Kim K Meredith

    Ames has powerful memories for me too. That “crick” as I liked to call it was a great place to explore. On one summer visit to Ames, I took my own children to the “crick” when they were in elementary school. As we stood on the small bridge I showed them how to spit over the concrete barrier into the muddy water. They still remember that silly moment.

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