I don't know about you, but I don't have near the relationship with my neighbors as my parents did with ours when I was growing up. Louise and Al across the street were our surrogate grandparents, Mamie was the older southern belle across the street who knew more about my schedule than I did. Peggy lived on the corner and was the one we went to in case of emergencies if Mom and Dad weren't home. There are literally countless other neighbors, friendly faces I can see in my mind's eye; peripheral characters who cheered me on from across the street or right next door.
Each Christmas, my mom would load up our red Radio Flyer Wagon and load it to the brim with Saran-wrapped goody plates. There were sugar cookies, Hello-Dollies, Grandma Capell's doughies--so many varieties I can't remember them all! We would drag our red wagon from house to house and make our deliveries. There were hugs and carols and "Merry Christmas!!" over and over, and there was always something more, something I couldn't name as a child, but now see it clearly: It was Love.
Grandma Capell's Doughies
1/2 lb butter
1/2 C sugar
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
vanilla to taste
nuts (as little or as many as you like)
Mix butter and sugar together with hands. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Add flour, salt, vanilla and nuts. Shape into balls or half moons. Bake until golden brown. Remove from sheet and roll in powdered sugar. Allow to cool, then roll in powdered sugar again.
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I think it's time to drag out the wagon, rise up and follow this sacred family tradition!