From the Editor (December 2018)

Grandpa George Brown and Ammie, Christmas 1978.

by Ammie Bryant, Editor

This is a time for reflection, tradition, and making memories with loved ones. As an only child, it has always been the family gatherings that I loved best.

On my father’s side of the family, we gathered around my aunt’s large dining table to share a delicious meal prepared by my aunt and grandmother. The women in my family were fabulous country cooks. My favorites were the dinner rolls, pumpkin pie, and homemade whipping cream!  Every year my aunt and I would make a race of rolling up the edge of her fine table cloth while my dad or my uncle said grace. My father’s side of the family no longer gathers together like they did when I was a child. My dad passed in 2004. His parents passed before him.

C. Claire and Virginia Goss. My paternal grandparents, Christmas dinner c. 1978. Clearly my “Meemee” did not want her photograph taken while she was eating Christmas dinner. Granddaddy, however, did not care.

On my mother’s side of the family, my grandmother, mother, and her three sisters made many dishes for a large buffet-style meal. With nine cousins, this side of my family was always too big to sit together around one table. We still get together; but, now I and my grown cousins bring dishes to share as well. Now all of the cousins have married and most have had children of their own.  Two cousins are even grandparents now, making my grandmother a great-great-grandmother. This year will be Grandma’s 93rd Christmas. Sadly, we lost Grandpa in 2007.

Traditions change through the years as we grow up and have families of our own. Some traditions are passed down and others evolve. Still others are abandoned in favor of new ones. 

Within our December issue you will find stories that we hope will inspire you and your family this holiday season. Maybe you will decide to volunteer or donate to one of the good causes that we have shared. Or perhaps you will “Celebrate the Holidays in Stillwater” with a few of the festivities outlined in that story (see print issue, online digital issue, or online post). Maybe you will try Karyl Henry’s latest recipe and make it a new tradition for your get-together. We hope that, when you read this issue, you find some measure of inspiration that will bring your family joy and peace as we bring 2018 to a close.

As always, thank you for sticking with us for another year. We are thankful for you and this community.


My dad and me at Christmas in the early to mid-1990s. My dad had just said something funny and I’m trying not to choke on my Christmas dinner.