Countdown to Christmas and Strawberries Romanoff

Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist

“Christmas is coming — o, the happy time!”

Yes, Christmas is coming and so are Hannukah and Kwaanza. If you don’t have the holiday spirit by now you have very limited time to work on it so get busy.

How does one get the spirit? Here are some suggestions. They all center on others.

1. Don’t be a Grinch. At first, this all-important first step seems all about you, and how you see the holidays. It’s not, really. Think about it — one mean, green Grinch just about spoiled the holiday for a whole town and all its inhabitants. Until he changed his attitude, opened his heart and let love in.

Remember, it’s all about the real reasons for the season — love, charity, fellowship, hope, and treating others as we want to be treated — all of which are bigger than any one of us.

2. There is great joy in giving. Providing for others spouses, siblings, parents, pets, and even strangers is a privilege that anyone can embrace, enjoy, and afford. It needn’t cost a dime.

You might question whether you can “afford” to give gifts this year. In my estimation, there is no greater gift than the gift of self. Spend time with loved ones. Go to them and invite them to come to you. Time spent together is a blessing now and especially later on, when material things no longer matter. One day all you will have are your memories to hold onto. Make sure they’re happy ones while you have the choice.

3. Graciously accept and be thankful for whatever others give to you. They do it because they care about you. Lots of thought was probably spent in trying to select just the right gift. Something that would really please you. Make sure you look and sound as if you are grateful for whatever it is.

One of the most enjoyable things I do every year at Christmas is to cook for my family. I like to serve old favorites every year, along with something new. I think this classic recipe has the potential to come in as the “something new” that comes back every year and becomes tradition. I hope you enjoy it.


2 cups to 1 quart fresh strawberries

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 pint vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup Cointreau

Prepare berries at least 3 hours before needed. Keep berries whole; wash, hull and sprinkle with sugar. Chill.

Just before serving beat cream until very stiff. Fold in ice cream and beat until fluffy. Add Cointreau, fold in strawberries and pour into serving bowl.

Serve immediately. (Do not prepare ahead, except for berries. Assembly is simple.)

Serves six to eight.

Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at