The whole clan gathers at our house on Christmas day. There are always still some gifts wrapped under the silver Christmas tree. Outside, Jack Frost is nipping in the air. Jack Frost is my neighbor across the street and he is always nipping on his flask as he shovels his walkway. My sister Verdi is helping Mom in the kitchen, basting the turkey, dropping plates and helping herself to Christmas cookies when Mom’s not looking. I can look through the picture window and see Verdi’s boy Rudy outside in the snow, tossing the Nerf football around with the family dog. Poor fella. He’s only got one eye, three legs and no tail. We call him ‘Lucky” The dog, not my sister’s kid Rudy. Watch out for that Santa Elvis out there Rudy!
My cousin Celine, as always is hyper. Running around making sure everyone has eggnog or seeing if Nana has an extra blanket in her rocking chair or putting the Johnny Mathis album on the Hi-Fi. When everything calms down Celine sits by the tree under the mistletoe. Celine used to be Cecil and we were on the same basketball team in junior high. But hey, it’s the twenty-first century and I stay away from the mistletoe when she’s sitting under it.
There’s my Dad. He ‘s the one with the Christmas Santa cap, the cardigan green sweater on and the gauze wrapped around his left hand. That fire looks great again this year Pop! At least he remembered to open the flue. Old Uncle Valley is busy stocking up the bar. He usually starts getting ready in August. Good ol’ Uncle Valley. He’ll be asleep in the recliner before we even eat.
But every year I’m in charge of making the Santa Claus Apples. These beauties are simple, fun and go a long way spreading comfort and joy. When you’re a teenager, give one to the cute girl who sits in front of you in History class. Sure, you’ve never had the courage to actually talk to her, but she’ll think you’re cute and sensitive. Give one to your teacher before Christmas break and count on an ‘A’ in English or Algebra.
Or just give one to Nana and watch the tears trickle down her cheeks. I think Nana still has the one I gave her in 1972.
This is fun for the kids and adults. It may very well be a project that brings the family together for the Holidays.
- Red Delicious Apples
- Whole Cloves
- Marshmallows, (The Big Ones)
- Fresh Cranberries
- A Roll of Cotton and Cotton Balls
- Scissors, (Don’t Run With Them)
- 1Begin by taking the stem out of the apples. Put a toothpick through a marshmallow with a ¼ inch sticking out of the top. Do this to five marshmallows and set aside.
- 2Cut a ¼-inch piece off of the cotton roll about 6 inches long. This is Santa’s belt and wrap the cotton around the middle of the apple. Insert a clove to fasten it to the apple. (You may have to use a toothpick and put a clove next to it for his buckle.
- 3Insert a toothpick with the marshmallow on the top of the apple. This is his head. Insert another marshmallow on the top left of the apple, another on the top right and finally the other two marshmallows on the bottom left and right. These are the arms and legs.
- 4Make sure you have enough toothpick exposed and place a cranberry on the end of each marshmallow.
- 5Place two cloves in the top marshmallow. These are his eyes.
- 6Finally, take a cotton ball and place just under the head with another clove for his beard.