A waffle iron for Christmas?

The humble gift of long-lasting love.

Making waffles on Christmas Eve.

We still make waffles on Christmas Eve.

As Christmas Eve rolls around, I check to make sure I have all the fixings for our waffle supper.  Waffles mark Christmas Eve in our house as surely as Santa and the Christmas tree.  It’s a tradition that goes back a long ways.

My father was never much of a present buyer. If someone didn’t remind him, he seldom got Mom a Christmas present at all. But occasionally, he would get her something, and Mom always welcomed the gesture.

My memory is dim on the specific year Mom opened her gift and found a waffle iron. My guess is it was sometime in the very early 1960s because I was old enough to know this type of gift was not quite what a woman would hope to get from her husband.

If Mom had any hesitations, you’d never have known it from her reaction. A gift from her husband was a gift to be treasured.

Mom received her new kitchen appliance with enthusiasm, going into the kitchen immediately to mix up a batch of waffles. Since none of us Iowa farm kids had ever seen waffles, we watched her create this exotic food with great interest. 

At our house, pancakes made it into the rotation of breakfast meals with some frequency. Pancakes can be whipped up and thrown on the griddle, creating stacks to feed the whole family in a matter of minutes. Waffles take time. Several minutes to make a waffle to feed one or two people. Then you cook another one. Meanwhile the troops get restless.

Day-to-day life on the farm was practical. The waffle iron proved not to be so. Mom used the waffle iron a few times in the first year. She wanted Dad to know she appreciated his gift. Gradually, the waffle iron came out less and less frequently until finally it only appeared on Christmas Eve. But it appeared every Christmas Eve, and we all came to expect waffles, to relish the uniqueness of the meal, to cherish the tradition.

The waffle iron and Mom’s devotion to Dad and his gift spoke to us all of the love of Christmas.

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Thank you for joining me in 2013 as I shared the challenges and triumphs the year offered.  I wish you all the best in the new year, and I hope to see you here again in 2014.