"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mom’s Christmas Nut Roll

Quick update here: I'm on a blogging break until January 2nd. I wish you all a Happy New Year!

I’ve shared part of this story with a few of you. It’s about tradition, friendship, remembrance, and giving. One of the most wonderful and thoughtful Christmas presents that I have ever received was a nut roll.

Let me explain. Nearly 10 years ago, my mother passed away on a cold November day, just before Thanksgiving. I found myself totally depressed that she never knew that I had started writing, even though I had whispered it to her on her deathbed. She was the one who had always encouraged me to write. She knew I had a gift. She saved my essays, creative writings, and reports from school. She would always say, “Write, Laura. Just write.”

As Christmas approached that year after losing mom, I was feeling extremely blue. In my early years, I would know it was just a few days until Christmas by the smell of the house. My mom would make her divine Christmas nut rolls. The entire house was filled with this incredible nutty, sweet, doughy goodness.

The morning of the last day before winter break for my kids, I got up and rested on the couch while they were having breakfast. Suddenly, I was overcome by a smell of a baking nut roll. I know this sounds crazy, but I really did smell it. I thought perhaps I was dozing and dreaming, but I got up and asked the kids, “What is that smell? What are you making?”


I actually opened the oven expecting to see a pan of nut rolls baking.

“Don’t you guys smell something baking?”

“No, mom. You must be dreaming.”

“I swear I smell my mom’s nut roll.”

By this time, Eric had got up. I must have sounded convincing enough for him to come out to the kitchen to take a whiff.

“Loree, I don’t smell anything. You must be dreaming.”

Just as suddenly as it appeared, the smell went away. I sat on the couch with my coffee. I couldn’t believe what I had just experienced. I didn’t really understand it, or know how to digest it. It was just one of those strange moments in life…but then came the warm feeling. After the kids went to school, and hubby went to work, I was overwhelmed at what had happened. I cried, not with sadness and grief, but with a great joy. I knew, somehow, through God, that my mom knew that I was writing, and she was proud. However it came, or why, that smell was meant for me…and me only.

Now, I take you to five years later. I was with some friends, and we were talking about Christmas traditions. I mentioned about how I always knew it was two days to Christmas because my mother always made her nut roll.

“The house smelled wonderful with the rich aroma of Christmas nut roll. I wish I would have learned how to make it.”

That year, two days before Christmas, my dear friend brought me her homemade, unbaked nut roll for me to bake in my oven and fill my house with the aroma of a fond memory. Every year since, when my friend makes her Christmas nut rolls, she sends one over to me to bake— to remember my mom's Christmas tradition. It’s one of the most thoughtful gifts that I have ever received.

What about you? I would love it if you would share your favorite or most thoughtful gift.

Dear friends, I’m going to take a blogging break during the next two weeks to spend with my family and friends. I also plan to read Mind Over Madi by Lynda Schab. I had hoped to read it earlier this month, but I didn’t get to it as the holidays approached. I’ve heard nothing but great reviews on her book and look forward to the read. I will return with a post on the first Monday in January. In the meantime, I hope your holidays are filled to the brim with happiness and joy, hope, faith, and love. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Between you, me and the gatepost,



Jessica R. Patch said...

Loree, what a beautiful story. I am wiping tears from my cheeks because I know God allows wonderful things like even smelling a nut roll to let us know glorious things.

Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy Mind Over Madi, I just loved it! :)

Sandra Orchard said...

What a precious gift! I won't look at nut roll the same way again! Have a joyous Christmas.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

What a wonderful friend you have to send you such a special gift each year! I've never had a nut roll, but I'm sure they are amazing! I pray that you and your family will be refreshed and blessed this Christmas. :-)

Brandi said...

It's a blessing to have that beautiful memory of your mother. Thank you for sharing with us, Loree.

Many blessings and a Merry Christmas to you! See you next year!

Shopgirl said...

What a wonderful story of tradition, memories and love.

I think your connection with your mom is so special and I can relate to that. May you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

Loree Huebner said...

Jessica, Sandra, Gwen, Brandi, and Shopgirl, thank you for stopping in and leaving such wonderful comments!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

MTeacress said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Loree. I will appreciate the smell of a nut roll more, now that I've heard your story. :)

Loree Huebner said...

Michelle: Thanks and Merry Christmas to you!

Stacy Henrie said...

Such a beautiful story and what a sweet experience to have. I love those tender mercies from the Lord. Have a Merry Christmas!

Loree Huebner said...

Stacy: Thank you. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas

Jayne said...

Loree- I just love this story. I think our loved ones come back to us in many ways, including through the sense of smell. Some of our strongest memories are tied to the sweet smells of the holidays.

Enjoy the beautiful season and your blogging break. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. :)

Loree Huebner said...

Dickyto: I hope your Christmas was wonderful! Happy New Year!

Jayne: Thanks, Jayne! I agree with you...some of my most fond memories come from the smells surrounding the holidays.

I wish you and yours a Happy New Year!

Misha Gericke said...

Beautiful story. I'm glad that God gave you such wonderful closure.

Have a blessed 2012!

Carol Riggs said...

What a lovely story, and what a nice friend to prepare a roll for you to bake! Sweet. :) Enjoy your bloggy break. Hope it's relaxing and fun. Happy 2012!!!

Loree Huebner said...

Misha and Carol: Thanks for stopping by! Happy New Year to you both!

Laura Frantz said...

Loree, I'm taking a blogging break, too, and have been visiting a bit and wanted to come by yours. I'm so touched by your story and believe with all my heart that the Lord blessed you with that divine moment (and aroma!) to comfort your aching heart! It thrills me that He is such a personal God. Praying His best for you and your writing in the coming year.

Loree Huebner said...

Laura: Thanks for stopping by and your thoughtful comments. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Jeanette Levellie said...

I've experienced this same kind of "smelling in the Sprit," but never knew of anyone else having it happen to them, before you! How sweet of the Lord to give you this hug and kiss!

Loree Huebner said...

Jeanette: Oh how sweet! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Happy New Year!