Snapshots from Christmas in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Country Club ©Kim Smith 2013Liv and Alex copyLiv and Alex

My husband’s extended family has been celebrating Christmas Eve together since they emigrated from Germany in the mid-1800s. I was feeling a tiny bit melancholy because the older generation (now in their 80s and 90s) is retiring from hosting the parties. The festivities will surely still go on, although not in quite the same high style as Christmas’s past because many of the next generation (such as ourselves) have made their homes far and wide.

_DSF5764This year was my mother-in-law’s turn to host the party. The table was beautifully decorated and I love the simple and cheery touch of the cardinals on the apples.

Bumbleberry cake BonBonerie ©Kim Smith 2013jpg copyBumbleberry Torte from BonBonerie

Cincinnati was settled largely by German immigrants and judging by the countless established bakeries dotted throughout the city, I imagine the original emigrees were fabulous bakers. One of Tom’s cousins, Debbie, created a cookbook based on favorite family Christmas recipes, including recipes that date back to the 1800s, recipes from the family’s cooks, and recipes from old German great aunts who also lived in the big house and whose job it was at Christmastime to make thousands of cookies. When we spend Christmas at home and not in Ohio, Liv, Alex, and I love to cook from the family Christmas cookbook and the cookies especially are the yummiest you could possibly imagine. _DSF5794My father-in-law, who is the most kind-hearted man I have ever met, has a wonderful sense of humor, and is a great storyteller, too–and boy does he have many stories to share from a life richly led!

Liv Alex and Hannah

Cincinnati Country Club snow ©Kim Smith 2013Dusting of snow Christmas Eve morning

Cincinnati Country Club  -1©Kim Smith 2013_DSF6033Cincinnati is just that much further west that sunrise is nearly an hour later than in Gloucester. The club that we stay at is set within a golf course sited on a hill, with beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Cincinnati Country Club  -3©Kim Smith 2013JPG Cincinnati Country Club -4 ©Kim Smith 2013Getting ready for Christmas Eve celebration #2! _DSF5990Always a challenge to get loved ones to stand still long enough for a photo!

_DSF5987Liv and AlexNutcracker ©Kim Smith 2013 copyDouble Exposure Fuifilm X- E1

End Notes: In poking around online, I found a photo of the home of Great-aunt Kitty, where the Christmas Eve parties were held continuously for many years. Tom has fond memories of wonderful Christmas’s spent there and especially of the “kiddy table,” where all the cousins and siblings sat together (no adults!), and I gather, where many food fights occurred. The house, still standing, was donated to the Cincinnati park board and you can see more photos of the gorgeous interior at this link: The Gibson-Hauck House. While in Cincinnati we also visited the Rookwood Pottery studio. If you have ever seen Antiques Roadshow, you probably know how beautiful is Rookwood pottery. This post is already too long so later in the week I’ll do a little post about Rookwood.

Hauck Gibson HouseGibson-Hauck House

About Kim Smith

Currently creating documentary films about the Monarch Butterfly, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, and Gloucester's Feast of St. Joseph. Landscape designer for the Gloucester Harbor Walk Gardens. Designer, lecturer, author, illustrator, photographer. Visit my blog for more information about my landscape and interior design firm- Good Morning Gloucester daily contributor. Author/illustrator "Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden"
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15 Responses to Snapshots from Christmas in Cincinnati

  1. Oh, how grand~how beautiful~how special the evening must have been! What a wonderful Christmas tradition to experience and memory to recall. You have a beautiful family ~ the merry in a merry Christmas ~

    • Dave Moore says:

      Ms Mary Tucker any relation to the Tucker Street in Lanesville Mass? I know many streets are named after the many families that founded areas? I lived on Washington close to it. :-) Happy New Years!

      • GM Dave, no relation that I know of. Tucker is my married name ~ former husbands family from Vermont. I grew up in Maryland. However ~ I am a Gloucester Wonson and McLoud. My summers were spent on Bass Rocks with family from Bass Rocks, all along Mt Pleasant Ave to the end of Rocky Neck ~ what fun! Happy New Year ~ Dave ~ to you and Kim!

    • Kim Smith says:

      Thank you Mary–very special for my husband, and especially for my kids, to spend time with extended family in Ohio. As they are growing older it becomes more challenging with their work schedules, but very fortunately Liv was able to come for part of Christmas, too!!!

  2. Andrea says:

    What a beautiful Christmas gathering! I’m so excited that Rookwood is back up and running in Cincinnati. The pottery is absolutely beautiful and timeless. I made a stop into the store to buy some gifts and am looking forward to collecting a few pieces myself.

    • Kim Smith says:

      Thanks for writing Andrea. I hope to post this week re, but may not get to it until next. It’s a wonderful Cincinnati treasure and i am happy to see they are back in business, too.

  3. brenda says:

    Holy Moly, It looks like Christmas at the White House…Beautiful.

    • Kim Smith says:

      I didn’t think of that Brenda, and yes it was very beautiful. Cincinnati is a beautiful city, with many outstanding features, especially its art and architecture.

  4. Dave Moore says:

    Kim & Family -Mary McLoud Tucker hit is all! :-)
    “I believe much trouble would be saved if we opened our hearts more.” Chief Joseph Nez Perce
    PS I could never sit still either younger for a picture or doctors visit as it was cutting into my fun time :-)

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