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'Tis the Season to be Jolly'

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - Happy Holidays to All!

By Linda RivenbarkPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
'Tis the Season to be Jolly'
Photo by Cris DiNoto on Unsplash

Decorating with bright colored lights, trimming a tree in Holiday fashion, baking cookies, pies, and cakes, wrapping presents, attending Seasonal parties, hovering close to an open fire in the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa...and in so many other ways, we savor the Holiday Season that accompanies the Winter Solstice and Yule each year.

From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, there are Christmas tree lots galore to purchase that perfect tree. Some people choose to travel to a Christmas tree farm and choose their tree still growing in the ground, cut it down, and haul it home to decorate, or buy it rooted in soil and plant it in their yard after the holidays.

By Chris Briggs on Unsplash

By Arun Kuchibhotla on Unsplash

What would a Christmas tree be without presents? The next holiday tradition is to hit the shopping mall, department store, or your favorite online retailer or merchant for gifts for everyone on your list.

Picking that just-right gift is, in itself, a gift of love. Finding a gift that will bring joy to someone's heart shows that you are in tune with who the are, what is special to them, and what they want or need most that you can supply.

By Hert Niks on Unsplash

Your gift does not have to be a 'thing' at all. It does not have to cost money. Some of the most cherished gifts are a handmade coupon booklet offering to spent time with your loved one or friend doing some activity of their choosing.

The coupon book might include, along with fun activities, offers to provide needed services for the other person. Imagine how much your offer to clean up after a meal and wash the dishes a couple of times a week would mean to a Mom on a busy, hectic day.

Perhaps Dad would breathe easier if you gave him some coupons offering to clean the garage, wash the car, or help with a household repair at a time of his choosing.

Granted, your parents could conscript you to do a chore for them, but it would not have anywhere near the meaning it will carry if it is the offer of a gift of love from you.

Holiday Traditions

Finding and decorating the Christmas tree is a wonderful Holiday tradition.

Buying and wrapping presents and hiding them in that perfect secret spot at home is also a great tradition.

Don't let your family traditions be restricted to already-established traditions.


Call the family in for a brainstorming session complete with snacks, beverages, music, and even games if everyone is game. LOL.

Some traditions my family has practiced in years gone by is opening one present each, of their choice, on Christmas Eve night. A second gift could be opened which would contain a new pair of pajamas for each family member.

Maybe you would like to plan a yearly outing to ride around and look at Christmas light displays and stop at a favorite restaurant to eat dinner together.

Or return home and order food delivery, a popular way to avoid cooking during this relentless pandemic.

Whatever special tradition you make, major in making memories to cherish for a lifetime.

My gift to you, my Vocal friends, is one of my favorite recipes for you to try this Christmas season, if you choose.

Make some to give away. Maybe it will even become a holiday tradition.



Have you ever wondered how long bananas have been a popular fruit in the United States?

In 1876, the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition owners introduced the banana, wrapped in foil and sold for ten cents as their way of introducing the exotic fruit.

The company was importing huge shipments of bananas from various locations like Jamaica. They wanted to build a customer base by creating increased demand for this delicious fruit.

Did it work for them?

Well, by the time 1900 came around, bananas were being imported all over the United States.

Here is a recipe that will require 20 minutes of prep time, 1 hour and 10 minutes of baking time, and will produce one loaf of bread which can be cut into a dozen pieces.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour'

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups of very ripe bananas, mashed (3 medium)

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick) softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs


Combine 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.

Photo taken by Linda Rivenbark on 12/16/2021


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease a 9 x 5 inch metal loaf pan

3. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine the bananas, vanilla, and milk.

4. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the 2 large eggs, one at a time. Reducing mixer speed to low, add banana mixture and flour mixture alternately - starting and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Continue beating until well blended.

5. Pour half of batter into a prepared pan (bottom greased or use cooking spray). Spoon half of the streusel mixture over center of loaf. Pour remaining batter over the top and spoon remainder of the streusel mix to the center top and gently smooth out.

6. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the loaf in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After removing from the pan, cool the loaf completely on the wire rack.

Nutritional Information: Approx. 274 calories per slice; 4g protein; 44g carbs, 9g total fat (5g saturated fat); 57mg cholesterol; 371mg sodium.

Now, go ahead and 'have yourself a Merry Little Christmas' this year!


About the Creator

Linda Rivenbark

I believe in the magic of words, love, and tenacity. There is a world out there that needs to be explored, researched, and written out to try to make some sense of it, and to make a better place for the children of tomorrow.

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