As I head out to visit family this week for a celebration, I think about past Christmases we had together… when I was a little girl. I remember Christmas dinners at my grandmother’s house and my mother’s house. House full of people. Local family and family from out of town. One of my uncles would tease me and say, “Uh oh! Uh oh! Here comes trouble!” I would get so riled up at him! Another one of my uncles would ask me my where my red glaces (glasses in a silly way) were. My mom’s family has a slew of funny words and isms that crack me up.
I remember one Christmas at my grandmother’s house. I had to be 3 maybe. It was around the time the Oopsie Daisy doll came out. One of my cousins had one and I remember hearing it crawl around the kitchen and the chatter about the doll that ensued. I remember hearing a loud tumble down the basement stairs, exclamations, and commotion. One of my older cousins had fallen down the stairs. He landed safe and sound with a plate of cake unharmed. That story would be told for years. I remember my grandmother’s smile, her graceful voice… vaguely now :(. She would stare off and talk to herself at times. She was tired.
My grandmother passed away when I was 9 years old. I remember my mother getting a call from my uncle saying that she was unresponsive. We rushed to the hospital. Family gathered in the ER. Bawling, hugs, and tears. I remember looking up at my mother and saying something along the lines of, “Mommy, does this mean that the family won’t be happy anymore?” It seems like ever since that day, it’s been hard to get all of the family together in one spot. I understand we all grow older, take on more responsibilities, and wander our ways. It is what it is, but I miss having all of the family together for celebrations. A little backstory, my grandmother and grandfather (passed away before I was born) had 10 kids. Seven girls, three boys. Part of me wants to have a large family… me being the only child and all. I can’t even count the cousins. There are so many of us, me being the youngest. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s me being more aware of my age or just being a parent. I worry about my aunts and uncles as they grow older because I don’t want to lose them. I fear that Jayden and my future children won’t get to know them. Two of my aunts and one uncle have passed away already and it kinda puts things into perspective.
So without thinking, I would say my favorite Christmas tradition would be putting up the tree and gazing at its clear and multi-colored lights. Feeling like a kid again and reliving my childhood through Jayden’s eyes. But after being reminded of my childhood and reflecting, I’d have to say my favorite Christmas tradition (that I miss) is just having bunches and bunches of family in one place… cracking up, playing video games (Sega and Nintendo at the time), watching movies, and stuffing our faces. As much of an introvert I am… I actually enjoy it.
So while I try to create new traditions for our little family, decorating early, baking, stuffing stockings, and picking up cool ornaments each year, it’s the large family gatherings I enjoy the most. Now if you excuse me, I have a plane to catch. And here’s to hoping that I don’t lose my tough shell and go all best cry ever (Google it) all over the place.
Tell me, what are some of your favorite Christmas traditions and memories?
Rockin’ around the Christmas tree
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