, I'm reminded of some of reasons that Christmas is so very special to me...
All the festivites in my family happen on Christmas Eve. Every year (for as long as I can remember...30+ years and counting) everyone in my family gather at my Grandma & Grampa's house, which can be between 35-40 people respectively. That sounds cozy, doesn't it? Ooh, it's wayyyy cozy. Mamaw & Papaw live in a two-bedroom modest home and it's always 500 degrees too hot, it's loud, you stumble over everyone...and it's FANTASTIC! There have been years when the snow has been flying and we've thrown open the doors to cool off. The kids are squealing/running/crying/whining....bless their little hearts! Usually, the women all gather around the kitchen & dining room (where all the food is...we aren't dumb...LOL!). The men "congregate" in the living room where Papaw is relaxing in his chair.
We, like most families, have our traditions, and even though some of those have changed recently, I still savor the memories of them...
1. My Papaw used to always read the "Christmas" story from the Bible while all of us gathered around him in the living room. Papaw is getting a little feeble in the last several years, so he hasn't been able to do it...but it's one of my favorite memories.
2. You can bet that somebody will "goose" my Uncle, affectionately known as Bubbo, just to see him jump and yelp. (Yes, we are evil people, but it's soo funny when he jumps and yelps 'ooohhhh' hee-hee!)
3. Above mentioned Uncle will make good use of a wooden chair...and the result of deviled eggs, just to clear the room! (My mother will be mortified that I stated this, but again...it's tradition!)
4. You will hear "Can we open presents now?" four million times from the youngsters (and the funny thing is...I used to be that youngster, now it's my daughter that says it.)
5. It's the 'job' of the oldest grandchildren, now great grandchildren to pass out the presents...and guaranteed that somebody's present is going to get buried under all the wrapping paper!
6. You can bet that Mamaw's kitchen and all the dishes will be done before anybody leaves...that's how my aunts 'relax' by cleaning up the kitchen!
7. I love the gifts that we exchange...homemade jellies, breads, candies...handmade Christmas ornaments. Those personal things that were handmade with love by my family...wonderful gifts!
8. The scents...the sounds of my family around me. I cherish each and every year that we've been blessed to have everyone still here (on this Earth).