I get a little sentimental when it comes to Christmas and usually I don’t take the tree down until after the New Year, but this year, I had a real tree. Needless to say, it came down less than 24 hours after Christmas because it had started to shed everywhere! Normally, the day after Thanksgiving, I start out by putting on the holiday music and dragging all of the forgotten ornaments and put up the Christmas tree. The season brings to mind traditions and memories of Christmas’s gone by. On Christmas Eve, my mom always prepared a special dinner and afterwards my dad read us the Christmas story by the firelight. We had a tradition of opening one present the night before Christmas.
Christmas day came early. Mom began bustling around getting the meal ready, As she described herself “running around like a chicken with her head cut off” making everything happen. She gave me the small tasks of making salad and fruit salad, and setting the table. Dad assisted with putting leaves in the table to make it large enough for company. When we had Christmas at our house it was usually a smaller group of people, eight to ten. Dad kept the fire going, and chatted with the guests, Shortly after mid-morning, company started arriving. Mimi and Paw Paw arrived, and sometimes my Uncle Jerry. My parents always wanted to reach out to people who had no other Christmas plans. So there was always, an extra plate and space for someone like Lewis, the 80-something year old rancher, with the cackling laugh, who usually spent Christmas with us. Like any children, my brother and I looked forward to the presents after dinner. Paw Paw was a engineer so he always gave us some kind of gadget that entailed showing how to use it afterward. Mimi, was a lady through and through and she usually picked out my present which was always very feminine and girly, such as a magnificent doll, which I adored.
My maternal Grandma’s house was where we spent many of our Christmas Days. I remember helping my Grandma get ready by cleaning, decorating and wrapping presents. She loved having real flowers. At Christmas time, someone often gave her a Poinsettia, or an Amaryllis, she admired—especially the Amaryllis!
On Christmas day, her house was filled with aromas of cooking as my Aunts, and she jabbered along in the kitchen while completing the last finishing touches for the meal. The cousins, were a racket, running around in the yard, (hopefully the yard and not through the house). The men were in the living room watching football on TV, trying to stay out of the way. Every now and then I’d hear a cheer coming from them or a loud nervous, “WHOA, WHOA WHOA, OOOOOH!!!” or “Foul Ball! Foul Ball!”
Now we are making new memories, while thoughtfully remembering the ones we cherish.When our family comes together, we go around the circle and share with one another a special memory, a poem or a story. I want to share with whoever will listen and enjoy this special gift: This is the recording of the day my brother and I sat outside on Grandma’s front porch as she recounted several of her stories that we had grown to love. Grandma shares about a time it snowed on Christmas Day! She was so special.
Click to play the Story: “Say it With Snow!”
I would like it very much if you would share your special memory or family tradition with me in the comments. Have a wonderful NEW YEAR!
“The walk after dinner!” Christmas 2009