December 21, 2013


The True Meaning of Christmas


Christmas Gift! Christmas Gift Everybody!
~Ferrol Sams 
"Christmas morning did not begin at daybreak but at least two hours before. It began with the thump of children across the bare floors of a hundred year old farmhouse. No adult can sleep through that, no matter how accustomed to the regular night noises, the groans and creaks and sighs of such a house. At first we talked in whispers. "Did he come?" Finally a permissive mother would light a lamp and all Christmas would break loose."

"Sometime in the week before Christmas Miss Mildred bundled us all into her square Chevrolet with quilts to wrap around our legs against the cold and we careened merrily off to Atlanta. If it was bitterly cold, Papa Jim heated bricks on the hearth and gave all the children one as a foot warmer. This added to the excitement, the frenzy, the urgency."

"For my grandfather, I bought the same thing every year. He was such a favored friend that I had absolutely no doubt at all what he liked or how to please him; he got a pound box of chocolate-covered cherries. They cost a quarter and could be found at the Fayetteville drug store."

"Not a single menu for supper of Christmas Eve stands out in my memory. I remember everyone gathering in the parlor before the tree, from Mr. Jim and Miss Sis on down to the smallest child, while we listened to the first sixteen verses of the second chapter of Luke. Then we sang, our mother valiantly trying to keep us all on pitch. "All is Calm, All is Bright." There was a temporary moment of peace, of total tranquility. "Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child." We believed."

"In the daytime, light through the windows reflected the balls and tinsel with the chilling wink of winter. Night was the real time of the tree. That was when it lived completely within the room. For the week Before Christmas, we were allowed to build a fire in the parlor grate every night and at least knock the chill of refrigeration off the tall old room. The mystery of Christmas filled our hearts."

My memories cover six decades and again I am a little child at Christmas!

There are certain traditional recipes that can be served at every Christmas gathering in the South. Hot Fruit Casserole is one of those delicious side dishes that is perfect to serve at both breakfast, along with Sweet Potato Waffles or the holiday dinner along side the smoked ham! My mother-in-law would sometimes add a teaspoon of curry to this recipe to make it her own merry masterpiece. You will want to add this southern classic to your current favorite recipes!

Hot Fruit Casserole
1 (16 ounce) can pears, cut into chinks
1 (16 ounce) can pineapple chunks
1 (16 ounce) can sliced peaches
1 (16 ounce) can plums, whole
2 small bananas, sliced
1 small bottle Maraschino cherries
1/3 cup butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1 (16 ounce) can applesauce
3 t. brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

 Drain pears, pineapple, peaches, and plums and let stand. Cut bananas and add cherries and bananas to fruit mixture. Combine butter, brown sugar and applesauce. Melt in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat to a boil and stir constantly. Place drained fruit in a 2 quart casserole dish and pour the hot cooked sauce over the fruit. Sprinkle with the 3 t. of brown sugar and chopped pecans. Bake for 45 minutes to 60 minutes at 300 degrees F.

Estelle’s wishes you all a
Very Merry Christmas and
Blessed New Year



  1. God bless you and your beloved family. You have such an eye and heart for beauty and I thank you for sharing it on the internet. This has become a little place of respite and peace for me from the craziness of the outside world :)

    1. Well Lynn, these are such kind words. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the fact that you take time to read my blog and that gain enjoyment from the posts. It is wonderful to have such nice comments and such appreciation. Thank you for visiting Estelle's and we wish you the merriest Christmas Holidays!

  2. I have vivid memories of Christmas Eve at my Mom's--it was her big holiday. Baking and preparing dishes for all the family and friends who would be stopping by was something to look forward to. The fruit casserole is so warm and inviting and since we live in the South now, it's sure to be on our table for new memories, XOXO

    1. You will love this warm fruit casserole Susan. I love the fact that you have such fond Christmas memories! You will have new adventures come 2014 and a new home. Have a wonderful Christmas!


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