Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve

Growing up, Christmas Eve was always spent at my Grandma's house. Everybody went - Aunts, Uncles, cousins. Everybody. I'm assuming there was food, but I don't remember much about the food, which is odd for me!! It was all about the presents then. The adults gathered in the living room while the kids scoped out the presents under the tree. After what seemed like hours, it would be present time and we'd rip off the paper with glee. My Uncle would make remarks about hearing Santa's bells. It must have been very late by the time we got home.

Around high school, my Grandma grew weary of the Christmas celebration. She declared her hate for all of us and that was the end of that. My Mom decided we would do it ourselves. I vaguely remember her telling me we would make our own party food, and I thought it was odd and too much work for just the three of us. She did it and every year afterwards. It was always the same ~ chicken salad sandwiches, cocktail sausages and meatballs, devilled eggs, chips, dips, and punch. Oh, and lots and lots of cookies. My Mom always made a coconut cake for Christmas too. I hate coconut, but her cake was awesome.

My Mom would go to church every Christmas Eve. If it was cold, she'd wear her long, gray, wool coat. I remember when she bought it and I thought she was nuts. Christmas Eve was the only time she wore it, and only if it was cold enough. (I sold the coat last winter and cried and cried afterwards.) While she was at church, I'd start the sandwiches and heat up the food. We'd eat when she got home, clean up, then open gifts. Occasionally I had a boyfriend around, but usually it was just the three of us. Sometimes it was quite lonely. It seemed everyone, everywhere was off at big family celebrations. Everyone except us.

Clint came along, and we had Christmas with his Mom the first year. Two guests for a total of five people was a party to us. Then his Mom was gone. Clint and I married and the kids came along. Now there was six. For two years in a row, there were six of us.

Now, we are down to five. The one who started it all is missing. And it's up to me to carry on these traditions and create new ones. I often wonder what will my kids remember. I don't think they will remember much, if anything, about Christmas at Grandma's. And that's ok. They'll know Christmas at home, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Miss you, Mom. Merry Christmas.


  1. What a beautiful pic!

    Have a very Merry Christmas, my wonderful bloggy pally!!

  2. Merry Christmas!

  3. It's wonderful how you still get together! AND that you remember to take a picture! :-) Happy Holidays!