When I think about the holidays, my brain runs around wildly with thoughts of Holiday Breads and Meats and Pickles and Milks!
Holiday traditions have kept my family coming together for generations from all corners of the globes and all over the corners of Ohio.
My grandparents, Lillian and Otto came from across the English Ocean to the great and wild Ohio, searching for religious persecution and a small fruit farm/factory away from the troubles of England and the English in the 1910's, and since then...BOY have the traditions switched from something we do every year to something we all get together to do every year with each other every year!
The Hoopers have always been a proud and strong family.
Hooper, as described by the name book dictionary is:
English: occupational name for someone whom fitted wooden or metal hoops on wooden casks and barrels, from an agent derivative of Middle English hoop ‘hoop’, ‘band’.
Being a Hooper means remembering the family tradition of hoop making.
We (and by "we" I mean my dad, Alden) set up a pole in the middle of the barrel room, and we throw hoops at it until someone makes the barrel hoop around the pole and then they are crowned "King Hooper" for the day and get to decide what we all have for dinner, and what movie or book we read or watch for the night.
Last year, I won on the third Saturday of the month, so naturally I took the whole family to Red Lobster for a Fish Steam and Gremlins at the video store.
BUT, when the BIG day (Christmas Eve) finally comes, we have ourselves a little eggnog drinking, in lieu of the fox hunt that the Hoopers have been known for in generations past. Then, and I know this will sound weird to some of you out there, but my brother Kieth sets up the family kissing booth and to get a kiss, you have to tell Kieth, whom is afraid of EVERYTHING, not to be scared of your mouth and that he has a nice haircut or something else flattering, and then he will give you a kiss.
Two years ago, my dad Alden told him that he was really smart and could build rockets. Boy you should've seen the kiss he got from Kieth!! It was like we were at Lake Havasu with my dad and brother for the holidays!!
Then, we all meet for the pickle hunt around the tree. This is a German tradition, but my Grandma always wanted to be German, so we hide a pickle in the tree and look for it. I never really try to hard at this, because I have plenty of pickles already.
Then we go caroling with neighbors whom I have never met, because our neighborhood is changing and now everyone has lots of kids and takes public transportation everywhere. EVEN TO GO CAROLING!!! I think they don't have a car.
Once we return home, it's time to get in the car and turn around and go right back out to the Veterans Hospital.
If there's one thing we all know from the holidays, it's that helping Veterans is important, especially Veterans from wars that people don't know about.
I spent some time with a 1st Sergeant from the Bay of Pigs War.
He kept wanting to hear "Ave Maria" I really sing it beautifully, but he must've been crazy from the war! LOL!
We don't exchange presents because it's more important to be nice all year long.
I made Kieth a Halloween costume this year, and my dad fixed my oil pan on my car, and my mom is planning a trip to SeaWorld for some of us (more news on that trip later!:))
The it's time for the Hoopers to return to whence from whom they came and back to work in our jobs and place of work, until the next year when we meet and do it all over again!
I hope you all have a great Christmas or whatever Christian holiday you celebrate, and remember the incarnation of the only living God.
A Heavenly Host to ALL!!
Christas with the Hoopers A+
-Trish Hooper, Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach