As a child, our family tradition was going to bed Christmas Eve and having trouble falling asleep because we were too excited about Christmas morning. Somehow, sleep always came and we would wake up Christmas morning to gifts under the tree. Our paternal grandparents lived a block away and would come over with additional gifts for us. They loved spending time with us and I’m sure being able to watch our joy and excitement on Christmas morning was much better to them then the gifts they received.
Later that day we would load up and head to our maternal grandparent’s house where we would gather with my uncles, aunts and cousins. My grandmother was an awesome cook and we looked forward to every meal we had there, which was many. She would have turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, rolls, and desserts. So many desserts! I especially loved her homemade rolls which were to die for. My grandmother had 11 children. She and my grandfather were products of the great depression. Being able to cook was a necessity and with lots of practice had perfected that necessity.
Their Christmas tree was the silver metal kind with the rotating lights that made the tree change from red to green to blue to yellow. As a child, I thought it was the most marvelous tree ever.
Opening gifts with cousins was special too. It not only meant having new things to take home and enjoy, but also enjoying the things our cousins received on Christmas. At least for the time we were together celebrating.
Every year we would receive some things that we wanted, but we also received a lot of practical gifts. Clothes, socks, underwear and pajamas were pretty much expected, but very much enjoyed and appreciated.
I have only fond memories of our family traditions growing up and like all things in life, things change. This means traditions change.
To be continued . . . . .