Christmas Eve was spent with my dad’s family, usually in my grandmother’s house (where I now live). The nights were spent eating too much food, drinking way too much alcohol (for those that were old enough), and participating in lively discussions about religion and politics. Some years we would break out the Scattergories or other adult board games, which always made for lots of entertaining memories.
On some of the more special years, my great- aunt would break out her piano fingers and we would all sit on the floor and sing Christmas carols or listen to her tell some wacky story about one of the far away places she had visited that year. Those were really special times.
Christmas Day was always perfect. I was usually the first one up in the house; I only remember my little brother waking me up once. It would literally kill me as I walked out to the living room, staring at the presents in awe, digging through my stocking, and knowing I had to wait until mom and dad would eventually crawl out of bed. Some years, it felt like they were never going to get up. Once they were up, my dad had to fart around with the camcorder, and we had to open gifts one at a time, so they could record who got what and who it was from. At the time, neither of my brothers or I were overly impressed with our dorky parents; but I sure am glad they did that. Like always, they were teaching us more than just patience.
So many gifts were received over the years that I just don’t remember. Clothes, toys, “things” that I am sure were great at the time, but as an adult, I have no memory of what they could have been. Yet there have been some gifts that I will cherish the memory of opening for the rest of my life:
~ Garth Brooks posters I got when I was about five or six years old- I was in love, and they hung on my bedroom walls for years.
~John Michael Montgomery and Mary Chapin Carpenter cassettes- I remember fighting with my dad (because he got new music that year too) for who got to play their tape first.
~ a ballerina doll with the matching leg warmers for me- she was a lovely doll, but what I loved more than anything was getting to show her to my great grandma and share that time with her.
Of course none of those things hold a candle to the engagement ring my husband gave me on our first Christmas in our very first apartment, but that's a story for a different time.
Holidays are rarely easy as an adult- somehow we have let the stress of buying food and presents and looking the part of the perfect family on a Christmas card overshadow the real meaning of the holiday. I hope that, no matter who you choose (or get forced) to spend Christmas with this year, that it is a blessed time for you and that you get to make some new memories. If the party company stresses you out, it might not hurt to grab an extra bottle at the liquor store, just in case… just don’t forget, if you have kids, you won’t get to sleep off the hangover tomorrow! Merry Christmas to all of you- I wish you and yours a very blessed day!~ Richelle