Christmas was the only day we had oysters

Posted by | December 9, 2006


I detested oysters and perhaps that is why I remember this part of the day. I often sat in the kitchen and watched my father fix these oysters, dipping them in an egg mix and then coating them with cracker meal.

We did not have the traditional Christmas dinner of turkey. We had chicken because we raised most of our food. We also had ham but that was “store bought.” I remember how my father loved ham and oysters. But then, my father loved food. All year long, our cookie jar was never empty and pies and cakes were plentiful. It was on Christmas that we made Jell-O. I remember sitting a huge bowl of red Jell-O in the snow on Christmas morning. By dinnertime, it was set and this was the favorite dessert of all the siblings because we rarely had this fun food.

In that day, all our neighbors were also what you call economically disadvantaged by today’s standards. But oh, how rich we were. There was love and happiness and while my parents had worries about caring for us I am sure, it did not trickle down to us. We lived in a blind world of false security where everything was all right. And come to think of it, it usually was. We had food and warmth, and most of what we needed. Everyone worked, with even the smallest children having chores to do. Weren’t we so fortunate?

Maxine Corbett
Richwood, West Virginia
December, 2004

Appalachian history
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Appalachian Studies
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