This eggnog recipe was originally published in the Greenwood Daily Journal on Saturday December 24, 2011.
Tonight children everywhere will be tucked away in bed,dreaming peacefully of what Santa may be bringing them, what surprises he will put in their stockings. Will their greatest wishes be granted? Were they on the naughty list this year or did they actually make it to the nice list? I know when I was younger these were the things that ran through my head as I lay down to sleep on Christmas Eve.
The magic of Christmas and what it means to your individual family is different from house to house. In our home the holiday season is a time to celebrate with family, friends and to come together over a meal. We share gifts with the ones we love and spend time together. As much as is possible we slow down and relax. Sometimes I just like to sit back and watch my kids enjoy playing with their cousins.
It is also a time to give back to others that have needs that far outweigh any of our own. My son’s third grade class as well as our local 4H group adopted families to help get what they needed during the holiday season. This program is called Christmas Angels. Programs like this go on all over the county and are very successful. I find that making kids a part of this kind of benevolent activity gives them a more clear picture of what actual need is. We were not just donating toys and dolls but socks, pajamas and other clothing items. These collected items would most likely be the only gifts that the recipient children will be receiving this year.
As parents we sometimes are frantically searching for what we think our kids really need for Christmas. Kids set out early on in the shopping season to top their list from last year with whatever the latest hot new item of the year is. They want what their friends say they are getting, what the commercials say is ‘The Best’ on the market, basically what all the Cool Kids are getting. I mean look at what happens every Black Friday! Complete pandemonium just to get the newest Elmo that sings, speaks 16 languages and plays the bongos. I am all for saving money and I know a lot of people who have benefited from the sales that day. I guess I just missed the shopping gene.
So since the focus can sometimes be on what the kids think they need I recently asked several women, about my age and stage of life, to answer a few questions for me. My question was, what would be on their grown-up Christmas list…If we had one, if anyone even asked? I took into account all of the expected answers like healthy children, more money, a bigger house and long life. Of course we all want world peace, new cars and nice legs. What I wanted to know was what would be on their list? You don’t see parents leaving Santa a long letter about how we have been good all year. Explaining how we worked hard, took care of our families and generally led good lives the previous 364 days prior to Christmas.
Why do our kids get to have all of the fun? What I found was both humorous and insightful. What I heard was that deep down we all want to be surprised. Just once. We want to be thought of, in some way, periodically. We want someone to take the time to do just 1 thing that makes us smile. Whether it be as small as making dinner and cleaning up or as big as a piece of jewelry. I asked for a grown-ups wish list and that’s what I got, and they answered honestly.
So what I learned in my not so scientific poll is that from early childhood we are all wanting. Whether it be material things or personal peace, we are all looking for something. This is yet another reason for this season and why we all come together this time of year. The Christmas holiday means different things to different people so I am not going to weigh in on that.
I found that if we could send Santa a letter, like the ones my kids sent this year asking for a red watch, shoes that make you run fast and goat cheese (yes, I said goat cheese) that what we would ask for are just a grown-up version of the outlandish requests of our youth. A new kitchen, a tropical vacation and a Coach purse topped the list with diamond earrings, a shop-vac and patio furniture bringing up the rear. Not surprisingly, my list involved food.
It seems, all I am looking for this year is a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and a recipe for eggnog that I will actually drink. My wish was granted early, for the eggnog that is. I was given the gift of the Tallman Family eggnog recipe that is being trusted to me by my mother in law, Flo. She, too, was searching many years ago for a long-lost recipe for eggnog that was similar to the one she enjoyed as a child. Her sister-in -law gave her this one and it was a perfect match. The rest is history.
After all of my wish-list frivolity I do want to leave you with my one last wish. I wish for you all to start the year with health, a wealth of happiness…
and of course, a glass of eggnog. From my home to yours.