Oh the South. Well I am from North Carolina as those of you who are my regular readers know. On that note, I am going to share some of my favorite things that I recall around the topic of A North Carolina Christmas!

As a kid, I did grow up there but very few Christmasses were actually spent there. Reason being for a little back story, my Mom grew up in Virginia and my father in the very northeast part of NC. They liked to rotate holidays at the relatives. It was a crazy Christmas lots of times. What I will focus on here is the fun times I have enjoyed as an adult and the places I have been around the holidays.

I may be biased, but North Carolina is one of the most beautiful states and especially at the holidays. You see, many folks landed on the coast there and brought their traditions from England, Scotland, France, Germany and Switzerland. You can only imagine the variety of celebrations that were held. My stepfather, now deceased, had a brogue that would rival any Scottish immigrant. My siblings picked it up when they lived in a lower coastal region of North Carolina and mixed it with a southern accent.

But once again, I digress. You’re probably getting used to that. Ok back to my story. One of the most gorgeous places in North Carolina is the Biltmore Mansion, built by George Vanderbuilt. To the best of my recollection, it’s the largest mansion in the United States. They bring in more trees to decorate than a small city and the biggest of all is in the ballroom or dining hall as it were. It goes from floor to ceiling and may be 3 stories tall.

The mansion takes you back in time to a fantasy world when Christmas was magical. Personally I was priviledged to go two times and you stand there gazing with your mouth wide open in awe. Spectacular and breathtaking. Then there is another magical place out on the coast of North Carolina, Manteo. The private boats are decorated and at night it is lit up like a fairy tale with twinkling lights. The reflection is mesmerizing.

A few traditions for the holiday time of year in our family were the corn pudding made by my fathers mom. My moms mother was known for her yeast rolls. To this day I have not had any that can compete. Oh then there is my Great Aunt Hettie’s lemon meringue pie that was always the center of attention for desert. She also fixed a homemade jello topped with nothing less than her whipped cream. No store bought in her house thank you very much.

Thankfully fruitcake was not a family tradition. Whew! Traditions can be special but also starting a new one can be fun such as popcorn and a favorite movie around the holidays. Whatever you do, make it yours and make it fun!

See you soon…. happy eating…..

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