Much later in the season than usual, I pulled out the box of holiday linens this week. A box full of holiday tablecloths and napkins, towels, and aprons of years past. A box full of memories and dreams, too.
I never showed you this sweet new one from last year. It was made by Meg (I believe it's based on her Emmeline pattern), and was part of our 2007 Holiday Traditions Exchange. Exchanging recipes, traditions, songs and books. I love hearing what other families do to celebrate this season - in all the many diverse ways we do so. Now this apron from a friend I've never 'met' has now been added to our own traditions and stories - in the family collection of aprons we'll be wearing this season and for many more to come.
Adelaide has taken a special fondness this year to this one, to no one's surprise. Those christmas cats, of course. It's never one I would have picked up on my own, but it was my grandmother's and so I treasure it dearly. Just seeing it and touching the worn cotton fabric - it all reminds me of walking into her warm house full of yummy smells and soft hugs on Christmas, and seeing this tied around her waist as she prepared a party full of food in her kitchen.
I nearly forgot what a flood of emotion would come with opening that box of holiday linens (no, it's not the post-baby hormones, I fully admit that an apron alone has the power to tug at my heart). But oh, those aprons - some handmade - by me and others, some passed down, some found - all carrying a special meaning of one kind or another. Each with it's own story; some with years worth of flour in spots so thick that the fabric is faded there; and some with stories I'll never know but always wonder about; and some with stories yet to happen in our family - that I can only dream about now. But all evoking a little bit of the spirit of the holidays - of time spent baking and making for those we love, of feasts prepared and shared, and of home and family.