The year 2011 is an odd year, which means it is one of the most glorious years! Every-other year the Egg Bowl is played in Starkville, Mississippi. This year I found myself in the stands of Davis Wade Stadium ringing my cowbell on the Saturday after Thanksgiving with my family. The Saturday, I renewed a four year tradition of visiting Jack Daniels with Divot and friends for the December bottle signing with JD’s Master Distiller and Master Taster. I also added a new tradition to my beloved list this week, watching Rudolph with my Madison, Alabama family as we enjoyed hot chocolate.
Traditions are important to me. I have documented my tradition of wrapping Christmas presents in brown paper and displaying a feed troff (manger) in my home rather than an evergreen tree. I have always loved Thanksgiving and recently I have loved the years that Mississippi State played Ole Miss in Starkville even more. The past few Egg Bowls played at Mississippi State I have joined my nephews to enjoy the game from the stands. This year was no different. But I just have to mention how much I truly enjoy having my family together to watch a game and ring a cow bell. Ringing a cow bell is absolutely addictive. I suggest everyone try ringing a cow bell at a cow college before you die… but please ring responsibly.
This weekend, I visited Lynchburg, Tennessee for a bottle signing with Snapper, Kitten, Divot, and Christopher. Divot and I first ventured up to Lynchburg for a signing four years ago and it was just as cold today as it was that first time. Since the first visit, Divot and I have become Squires, convinced Snapper to enjoy bottle signings and I even spent time as a tour guide at JD. The point of me mentioning the tradition is a new tradition started at Jack, the Holiday Select bottle. Jack Daniels released a line of 100 proof whiskey from 140 barrels. The used barrels from the special Holiday whiskey were then fashioned into a Christmas tree. How cool of an idea? Yes, I know that it is all marketing. However what a clever idea to provide your customer with a product and a symbol of Christmas.
Rudolph, I am sure everyone has watched the 1964 TV movie. But have you watched it with your family and friends gathered around you as if it was as important as The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or the SEC Championship game. This past Tuesday night I visited the DiCarlo family home for dinner and a movie. We watched Rudolph. I had not watched the movie since I was a young child. I honestly didn’t remember the story line. This fact only made it more memorable for me. It is so special to enjoy peoples company at Christmas time and share family traditions. Recently, I have missed my family a lot. I can’t even describe how important family is to me. This Rudolph tradition maybe simple, however, it is a wonderful time spent with the people you love.
Finally, this year is most defiantly an odd year. In my house for the first time is a Christmas tree. I know you are thinking what is wrong with Ruth Marie. I finally caved to the power of the tree. However, the feed troff is still being displayed right next to the tree. I have realized that life is so much better if you have lots holiday traditions. Life is so much greater when you have things to look forward to. Life is so much sweeter when you have your favorite people around to enjoy the ups and downs, the good and the bad, and most importantly the traditions of life.