Sunday, December 22, 2019

Official Christmas Nostalgia Day

Does anything scream “Christmas” quite like marshmallows?

Image result for christmas marshmallows

Peppermint and cinnamon, so much better than “pumpkin pie spice”

Image result for cocoa with christmas marshmallows

And apparently they needn’t come from bags - you can make them yourself! And if you are truly OCD you can even make them into marshmallow snowflakes.  

marshmallow snowflakesWhat a great gift for all the, um, snowflakes in your life.

You can make them in any flavor of the season: chocolate caramel, peppermint, gingerbread…also better than “pumpkin pie spice.”


as well as any species:


But is there any marshmallow as cute and fun as the snowmen?

3057224611_b7fb6bbcc0_oGingerbread Snowflakes’  marshmallow snowmen

When I saw these little guys I recognized them immediately as a modern adaptation of the puffy little Christmas decorations I made one year when I was in high school. I tracked their provenance back to the pages of the December 1960 Better Homes and Gardens and Raj found me an archival magazine website that has every issue, ever published, of dozens of iconic magazines.  And there they were, on page 58, in an article titled:  

Marshmallow Men-21_thumbMarshmallow Men-1

In my childhood house the December issues of the “ladies” magazines were never disposed of, they were stashed away after Christmas to emerge again each year as inspiration for the upcoming holiday season. What didn’t get baked or made one year might just make it into the rotation in a subsequent cycle. And so it was in 1966, a sad year for my family as my dad had died late that summer, that I set about to make the marshmallow men that I had first seen when they made their December issue debut 6 years prior.  Gingerbread Snowflakes’ updated version, above, uses colored markers to make eyes, nose and buttons, the original BH&G specs are far less benign. Check out the materials listed for the construction of the original snowmen: 


Glass-head pins!!!! In cute little marshmallow men that look like confections?! Can you imagine what the publication’s lawyers would say about that today? In 1966 however I headed off to the fabric store to procure my glass headed pins and non-digestible green sequins without batting an eye. And what? - resin glue! That sounds awfully toxic. Pretty sure I used Elmer’s because that’s what we had, not because you can eat it.

I remember my creations being adorable, if not quite perfectly constructed. In fact they were probably more than a bit rough around the edges because crafting has never really been my forte. But I remember them making me happy for the first time in what seemed a lifetime. They were a tiny part of learning that life goes on, that pain never goes away but it does gradually abate. Although oblivious to it at the time I was beginning to discover, as Deborah’s Palm has reminded us time and time again, that we choose life and blessings, not the other way around. Choose wisely.

And with that memory I officially launch Christmas Nostalgia Day: haul out your own Christmas Past memory, story, photo, food, gift and share it.

For a jump start here’s a photo forwarded from FullMetalSpanx  (still the best handle on the InnerTubes IMHO, assumed during the dark days of the Obama Occupation when we were forced to endure Lady M’s unfettered butt day after day). Any hoo, here’s our wee Spanx, in the middle, looking a bit skeptical, with her younger sister and brother, circa 1950. Where oh where does the time go?