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!