As the studio wraps up this year's celebration of the season of meaning, I've been thinking back on my own holiday traditions and the people that make them meaningful- my family. So many traditions went into the Blount family holiday experience. You can imagine the hubbub on Christmas morning when there are seven kids attacking stockings- it was a beautiful thing.
My dad would stomp downstairs and take my often-reluctant brothers off to the marshes on the cold, wet morning to go hunting; the festivities couldn’t start until they returned. My dad was in charge of doling out the gifts on Christmas morning. He was theatrical in his gift distributing, he would always announce gifts with flair. At one point in our small lives, we used my dad’s giant socks for stockings- but as those began losing candy to giant holes in the toes, and the stockings became the main source of gifting, we graduated on to hand-crocheted, child-sized socks made by my brother.
Those stockings lasted a few years, but in the latter years of my childhood we transitioned to simple brown-paper-bags. My sister, Mary, would write our names on the bags, and one year she wrote “hanhaha” instead of “Hannah”- it stuck. We would all fill those bags with a plethora of treats- potato chips, candy, shampoo and conditioner, homemade popcorn balls and marshmallow drowned rice crispy treats, batteries, and- most important of all- clementines. Fruit was not a common commodity in the Blount residence- and when there was fruit, it was never there for long. Of all the treats, clementines are still one of my most treasured holiday treats.
Growing up, my parents had little money and a lot of expenses- so they put extra spirit into making Christmas special. We always felt rich during the holiday season.