Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Scribblings-Holiday Memories

The prompt this week is holiday memories. I have so many. Holidays were always the best for me. All my grandparents and cousins on both sides lived within a 10 minute drive of me. Every Christmas Eve, we would head to my maternal Grandparent's house for fun and Christmas Day would be at my paternal grandparent's house.

The party with mother's family always included the most amazing southern food. From fried chicken to dumplings to BBQ to coconut cake to chocolate cream pie, it was a feast. We would open gifts and laugh and play until it was time for midnight mass where my father would always sing. We would even grab all the cousins and go out to sing carols for the neighbors every year.

Christmas day, up at dawn, all eight of us would wait at the top of the stairs. Mother and Daddy would go downstairs to the den with the camera and ooooooh and aaaaaaah for what seemed like an eternity. We just could not contain our excitement. They would then say, "ok, we're ready" and sixteen footsteps could be heard barreling down the stairs just to be the first to see what Santa had brought.

Chaos ensued. Paper being torn and thrown around. The screams of "Yeah!!" " Wahoo!!" and "Thanks, Santa!!" as the toys were revealed could be heard throughout the house.

We would head then, to my father's parent's house for even more fun and presents. We would eat more wonderful food prepared by my grandparents and play with our other cousins until dark.

I cannot imagine how on earth my parents pulled off Christmas every year. From the expense of it all to just the logistics of putting together all those toys for eight children. Where were the presents hidden? When did my parents go out shopping? These are still mysteries to me.

I'm home this year for the first time in as long as I can remember and the first time since I've had children. When Jon and I thought that we would avoid the travel and make our own holiday traditions here, I'm not so sure we had any idea how sad we both would be not to be in the middle of the chaos.

Our Dallas "family" has invited us over for Christmas Day. We'll have new memories this year. It won't take the place of being with my family but I know we'll have a good one!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!


Sherry said...

Sometimes changing traditions is a hard transition to make...but you will make new ones this year, and you'll make wonderful memories. Memories are that place we go to have a visit and we realize that what we have now and what lies ahead are really better than anything else...because we can create them to be whatever we wish.

May you make many wonderful new memories this year and have a Christmas that is full of love, joy and laughter. said...

That sounds perfect -- chaos and all.

Dad 2 eight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dad 2 eight said...

Your Mother was ever so creative in finding various nooks and crannies to hide the loot. However, she was so good at it, that I estimate 10% of all gifts purchased were permanently misplaced!!

susan said...

Great memories. My cousins were a family of six children (the first set). Your memories sound like what I imagine Christmas morning was like at their house. They're scattered now including Texas. You brought back happy memories for me. Thank you. Being with family is what I keep hearing and it affirms for me that many of us are not sucked into the commercialism but love.

susan said...

I believe I found your blog via Januari's. Glad to hear about your discussions. I, too, tried to teach my girls early and I know it paid off. My eldest routinely works for charities during the holidays and throughout the year. My youngest is doing community service in her own way, too, though she's more dazzled by stuff than her older sibling.

Redness said...

Hope your Christmas was fabulous as you made more memories! Loved your post!

tumblewords said...

It seems like tradition in my family lasted for a long time, then suddenly it shifted and now each year takes on a different format. Nicely written post.