Published on December 22, 2020

Memories are made of this

My Christmas card to you and hot buttered rum

By Jan Edwards
The Bulletin

COVID-19 has changed everything this year, including sending out Christmas cards.

I think I mentioned in an earlier column that I used to sit at a kiosk at a drug store and create my Christmas cards. I didn’t do it this year because the time it takes to make them would possibly expose me to the virus for too long.

But the urge to create something for people I care about is still there. So I thought I’d make my column into a card of sorts for my “customers.” It contains a picture I took, then a sentiment for the inside of the card and also a recipe card as a little gift for my readers.

Before you get to my card, I’d like to share with you why I used the picture I did. I have used it on Christmas cards before, and maybe some of you have seen it, but it still means a lot to me because it is the reason for a series of “firsts” for me. It’s just an old derelict shrimp boat in a canal at River’s End, but the snow made it magical.

1) This picture was taken the first year Roy and I moved down to River’s End to live.

On Christmas Eve, the snow began, and we stayed up to watch it come down. Around midnight, a push boat went by, decorated to the 9’s in Christmas lights, including a lit Christmas tree, shining its spotlight through the falling snow.

Just the silence of the night, the heartbeat of the diesel engine and the snow. That was the first Christmas down here. There will never be another like it.

2) “The Shrimp boat in the Snow” was the first picture I took with a brand-new camera, and I was still figuring out how to use it. Roy and I were walking around taking pictures of weekenders’ homes so they could see what their houses looked like in the snow. As I was crossing the little canal, I turned and took the shot – though Roy thought I was crazy.

3) It was the first picture for which I ever got an award. In 2005, it took a blue ribbon at the Brazoria County Fair for “Most Original” and second place in “Landscape.”

4) It was the first picture I ever had published. After the 2004 snow along the coast, HEB held a contest for snow pictures. The best pictures were made into a coffee table book entitled simply “Snow.” They sold out in HEB stores in a day.

Then, people who hadn’t heard about the first contest (like me) still wanted to share their pictures, so HEB held a second contest, and I entered that one. These pictures became their second coffee table book entitled “More Snow.” Though I did not finish in the money, they gave my picture a full page in color.

5) It was the first picture I ever sold at a charity auction. I enlarged and framed my picture and donated it to the first F.O.R. (Friends of the River) auction to raise funds for the river. It was purchased for $250 and now hangs inside the offices of Port Freeport.

I selected this picture because it elicits all kinds of wonderful emotions about the people and the place I live, and I hope it will for you, too.
Now you know why I selected this picture for the front of my Christmas card. Open it up, and it will say,
“One touch of Nature makes the whole world kin” - Shakespeare

May all the seasons of your life be filled with peace and love.

Love, Jan and Roy Edwards with Skunk and Coon Dog

Finally, I give you a little recipe card gift for a little drink to keep you warm on those bone-chilling nights when the north wind becomes blue.

2 heaping tablespoons Hot Buttered Rum Batter (see below)
1 ½ ounces rum
Boiling water

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 pound brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, beat together softened butter, brown sugar, spices, and vanilla extract until well combined. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a month or place in your freezer until ready to use.

In a pre-heated coffee mug, combine Hot Buttered Rum batter and rum. Fill with boiling water and stir well to mix. Serve with a spoon.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza or just plain Happy Holidays – to you and yours.

(Write Jan in care of The Bulletin. Email: john.bulletin@gmail.com. Snail mail: The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX, 77516.)