family · Nostalgia · Recipes · Stories

Week 7: Cook Up Some Comfort Food | Everyday Nostalgia

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The other day as I was having a conversation with someone I had just met, and as all first conversations go, we were sharing pleasantries and asking questions of one another. And then the inevitable Colorado question was asked: Are you a native? 

These days it seems not many people in Colorado are natives, and alas, I am not one of them. But I also wasn’t one of the people that spent their whole life in one place and then wanted to venture out and see the world. Due to the nature of my father’s job, I spent my childhood moving from place to place, from Indiana to South Carolina to Tennessee to Ohio. A few years here and a few years there made for some challenging transitions and constant change.

But in spite of all the moving we did, I could count on one constant, no matter what state we ended up in: our old antique kitchen table would always come with us and every night, my mom would cook up and place on that table the delicious, comforting recipes that defined my childhood. And even if it was our first night in a new house, the appearance of those familiar foods helped us feel like we were home.

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family · Nostalgia · Recipes · Stories

Week 2: In With the Old | Everyday Nostalgia

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Last Spring was a bit of a blur for me, but today, if I close my eyes and think about that time, I am transported back to a cold April day. It was a day the promise of many things—including snow—hung delicately in the air. And it was the promise of a beginning that manifested itself in the shape of a key—a key that would open the door to a hopeful, happy future.

I remember the sound as the key slid into the lock and my footsteps’ hollow echo as I walked across the floor.  I remember the way the space felt and smelled, so fresh and new. I remember wandering around as if in a trance, pulling open the blinds and seeing a hint of dust dance in the flood of sunlight and—although I was on a tight schedule and needed to get back to work—sitting down on the floor and taking in the moment.

I pressed the key firmly into my palm now and it moved ever so slightly against the pulse it had found—a pulse now slower, calmer, than it had been in months and possibly years.

And as I sat there in the emptiness of my new place, so full of promise and potential, I remember thinking, “Now what?” Continue reading “Week 2: In With the Old | Everyday Nostalgia”

Holiday · Nostalgia

12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 11 Classic Christmas Books {Eleventh Day}

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According to recent research by the Pew Research Center:

“[Y]oung adults – those ages 18 to 29 – are more likely than their elders to have read a book in the past 12 months. Fully 80% of young adults read a book, compared with 71% of those ages 30 to 49, 68% of those 50 to 64 and 69% of those 65 and older.”

This holiday season, let’s improve on those statistics. You probably have at least one of these classic Christmas books in your home right now. If not, go get one or more of them from the library or the bookstore. Gather the family. Kids. Mom and Dad. Grandpa and Grandma.

And read. Together. It’s one of the best ways to develop strong family bonds. Combine that with embracing the nostalgia of the season (which also strengthens personal connections and bolsters positive thinking), and you have the makings for a most magical, memorable, merry Christmas.

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Holiday · Media · Nostalgia

12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 9 Christmas Movies and a New Way to Think About Them {Ninth Day}

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Everyone and their dog has made a list like this.  And they have done so, year after year, after year. Just Google “top holiday movies” or “top Christmas movies.”

Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

See? Dozens and dozens of lists just like this one.  Some have 10 movies.  Some 25 or 50. Some have 100.

I dunno . . . seems like a “Top 100 Christmas Movies” list would cover just about every Christmas movie you could possibly want to watch. One wonders what kind of horribleness your Christmas movie has to be to not make a top 100 list . . .

In any event, you may be asking yourself: why should I read another Christmas movie list? What could The Nostalgia Diaries possibly add to the conversation?

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Holiday · Nostalgia · Things / Products

12 Nostalgic Days of Christmas: 6 Ugly Christmas Sweaters {Sixth Day}

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According to uglychristmassweater.com, one of the likely reasons ugly Christmas sweaters has risen to great popularity in recent years is nostalgia:

“Ugly Christmas sweaters have that vintage Christmas appeal.  They remind many of us of the days when Christmas meant going to bed so Santa could bring those presents and waking up with an anticipation we would rarely if ever experience otherwise.  In other words, it reminds of what Christmas was before it was merely the Super Bowl of business transactions.”

For a long time, finding ugly sweaters meant raiding your Grandmother Mildred’s closet or Uncle Clyde’s dresser drawers. No ugly sweaters in the family? No problem. A trip to Goodwill or the Salvation Army or other second-hand stores could net you a pretty sweet ugly cardigan, v-neck, or pullover. Now, ugly sweaters are big business, with shops popping up all over the internet and every big and small national and local clothing store looking to capitalize on the ugly sweater craze.

Today, instead of having to search for vintage ugly sweaters (or make your own), companies like Tipsy Elves manufacture and sell intentionally-ugly sweaters (and other outrageous Christmas attire), and the offerings are legion. Ugly sweaters actually have become part of the “Super Bowl of business transactions” and ugly Christmas sweater parties—now a staple of the holiday season—drive the sales of these dreadful duds. Not only do families and friends gather to show off their ghastly garments, but bars and other businesses sponsor contests and award cash and prizes for the worst-of-the-worst ugly sweater fashions.

The bottom line is that ugly sweaters provide impetus for friends and family to gather together, enjoy each other’s company, and provide plenty of fodder for laughter and the making of nostalgic memories-to-be. And anything that promotes a connection with loved ones is something we are happy to recommend here at The Nostalgia Diaries.

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