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Monday, December 19, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Dani Stone

The Christmas Cheese
by Dani Stone, contributing author, SLEIGH RIDE: A Winter Anthology

Christmas is a holiday steeped in tradition. From hanging mistletoe, stringing popcorn, and pouring the first glass of eggnog, every family has something that triggers the start of the season. For me, it was always the Christmas Cheese.

I’m the oldest of five children and in our house, setting up the Christmas tree wasn’t a chore, it was an event! The Christmas Tree Decorating Party included snacky food like cookies, summer sausage, Ritz crackers, cheese cubes and homemade fudge. The sugar high was especially helpful in keeping my father’s mood festive while he wrangled and cursed at the tangle of Christmas tree lights. “Another bulb burned out. Quick, somebody get Daddy a peanut butter cookie, STAT.”

When it was time for the kids to take over, Dad would take his place as the Decorating Party DJ, literally spinning Andy Williams, Elvis, and Nat King Cole records, filling the room with music. We would sing, dance, munch our treats and take turns hanging multi-colored bulbs and crafty school projects. It was a sad year when my construction-paper Rudolph had to be thrown away because it was practically disintegrating. You made it 10 years, buddy, it was a good run.

The first year my brother placed an ornament hook through a cube of cheese and inconspicuously hung it on the tree, he did it to see if anyone would notice. With all the blinking lights and assorted accoutrement, we didn’t. When he finally pointed it out on Christmas Day, we howled with laughter and a tradition was born.

Each year thereafter, once we’d flung icicles like crazed elves, coating each branch, most of the floor and each other in silver strands, my brother would ceremoniously hang the Christmas Cheese.

My brother now has a son of his own and I’ve got the perfect gift in mind. . . cheddar.

Happy Holidays!

Stuff Your Stocking Prize: A beautiful journal to write all your favorite memories in!

Dani Stone is a freelance writer, wife and mother of two residing in Wichita, KS. Her website is She's one of seven author featured in Sleigh Ride: A Winter Anthology, available in trade paperback and ebook. Sleigh Ride is edited by author Malena Lott. A portion of the proceeds of the book will benefit the domestic violence prevention cause through the Alpha Chi Omega foundation.


Kathleen said...

What a wonderful story.......loved it!

Deborah R said...

What a neat tradition! We could have a lot of fun with that!
Happy Holidays!

Jean P said...

What a fun story and a great tradition. Merry Christmas!

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Debby said...

That sounds like so much fun. We do the Christmas Pickle.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I have heard about the Christmas tree pickle and Christmas cookies for Santa, but I have never heard of Christmas tree cheese. It's a cool tradition Dani, and by next year I expect Kraft cheese to use the idea in their commercials. It's one of those slices of life that can weave into an intriguing story.

GladysMP said...

Learning about how life is in Spain is fascinating. Knowing Spanish but still not able to understand what your neighbors are saying surprises me. My problem with attempting to communicate with someone who speaks Spanish has always been that they seem to speak so fast that the words just flow by before I can understand. But I enjoyed your description of life in Spain.

shadow_kohler said...

Great story and fun tradation! Thanks for sharing! Happy holidays!

GladysMP said...

Well, I have never heard of anyone else hanging cheese on their Christmas tree, but cheese is very much a part of our Thanksgiving and Christmas. Years ago, my husband started stuffing strips of celery with a mixture of several different flavors of cheese, mayonaise, olives and a bit of olive juice, and these stuffed celery sticks are as much a part of our two holidays now as is the turkey and Christmas tree. Hubby always makes up an extra batch of the cheese mixture along with some celery pieces for our married daughter to take home with her.

wanda f said...

I realy enjoyed this post that is a cool tradition.Merry Christmas

Na said...

I remember setting up the Christmas tree when we were younger and it was a fun event! It's fun deciding where to put each ornament and just being in the moments. Many candy canes also made it onto the tree.


Frank said...

ROFL!! Love that story, Dani! What a neat way for your family to have started one tradition :) Very clever of your brother, and yes, I think a chunk of cheddar would be the perfect gift... or maybe Swiss... hoping your celebrating is merry and memorable this season, too!

--flchen1, using DH's account
f dot chen at comcast dot net

VampedChik said...

Lovely story. Thanks for sharing!

Kathryn Merkel said...

That is such a fun story about the Christmas cheese. My best friends 2nd son asked for cheese for Christmas when he was 9. His mother thought he was nuts, but come Christmas morning there was a box of cheese under the tree for him from me. He's 21 now & this year when he picked up his present & felt how heavy it was, he got this big grin & said CHEESE!!! I hated to disappoint him & admitted I had thought about getting him cheese, but I ended up getting him some reusable portable heat packs, since he's been working outside this winter & has a hard time keeping his fingers warm. When I explained how they worked, he got real excited & said that it was just as good as cheese. At least I know if I can't think of anything else to get him, he'll always be happy with box of cheese. lol

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