This is the sixth of nine winners in the Deseret News annual Christmas writing contest, "Christmas I Remember Best."
My siblings and I bounded out of bed at exactly 6 a.m., the earliest my parents would allow us to arise on Christmas morning. It took interminably long, maybe even 90 seconds, for the whole family to gather.
Our semi-chaotic tradition of opening the beautifully wrapped gifts that had appeared under the Christmas tree overnight began as soon as my parents gave the official nod. We were all spooked just a few minutes later when the front doorbell rang in the midst of our revelry.
Who could be at the door at that time on Christmas morning?
It must have been quite a sight to our visitors to see my normally refined mom standing bleary-eyed at the door in her robe with several sparkly-eyed pajama-clad youngsters peering from behind.
There stood the Rasmussens, a retired couple who lived around the corner. They presented a plate of hot scones with honey butter, bid us a merry Christmas, and quickly disappeared into the darkness.
We couldn’t help taking a brief break from ripping wrapping paper to enjoy freshly fried bread slathered in deliciously sweet gooeyness.
When Mom asked us the next year what we wanted on Christmas morning, several of us chimed, “Hot scones!” in unison. We tried deep frying scones on Christmas morning for several years, but somehow our concoctions never approached the yumminess of the Rasmussens’ scones that one Christmas.
We seemed to be missing some secret ingredient.
Years later I found out from another neighbor that the Rasmussens had no family nearby that Christmas. When they realized that all of their close family members would be out of town visiting other relatives, they decided that they needed to do more than just sit around alone on Christmas.1 comment on this story
So that Christmas morning, the Rasmussens arose at 2 a.m. to make a large batch of dough and form it into bite-sized balls. Then they kept watch on the neighborhood. As soon as they saw lights turn on at a house, they would fry enough scones for that family and deliver the piping hot treats to their surprised neighbors.
Each time I think about the Rasmussens, I remember that plate of hot scones that they delivered to us that Christmas morning and I get a little better understanding of their special ingredient: the true spirit of Christmas.
Generosity, selflessness, and love don’t appear on a recipe card, but I swear you can taste them.