I know not everyone celebrates Christmas but for us tomorrow is Christmas Eve and this time of year is steeped in traditions. Even though our children are long grown, they all that possibly can, come home for Christmas. We have always opened gifts together on Christmas morning. And even though Jack and I have offered to go to their homes they feel a need to come home for Christmas. And, for us it just doesn’t get better than that.
We start with dinner out on Christmas Eve and through the years it’s grown as family has married and started their own families and friends have joined us. This year will be one of our smaller dinners with 13. After dinner everyone goes their separate ways taking a wonderful glow with them. Then bright and early, and I mean early, everyone arrives for gift sharing and brunch.
But more than the way we celebrate the day, is the things we do every year. Growing up my father played Santa. He would hand a gift to one of the children and instruct him or her on who it was for. Then we would all share as the gift was opened. For me there is always something magical in a wrapped gift and usually I can’t remember what’s in it after I’ve wrapped it so all the gifts hold that air of expectation for me. My Dad has been gone for a number of years but truly he still shares Christmas mornings with us. That’s one of the things about traditions they hold a wealth of memories, memories so strong that a loved one is never lost to us.
On our first grandchild’s first Christmas I bought a Hallmark babies first Christmas ornament. (Wow a lot of firsts in that sentence.) And a tradition was born. For eighteen years we bought a Hallmark ornament. When each of them got their own homes they started their Christmas ornament collection with the dozen and half ornaments from their childhood. Now our daughter is doing the same thing for her grandchildren. Growing up the kids loved putting their ornaments on our tree. We would laugh at the memories they brought. Like our one granddaughter had a space Santa Claus. It had a star with the year in its hand until she snapped it off. For years that star lay in the box until super glue made it possible to cement it back on.
Even the menu for dinner holds traditional dishes that we’ve used over the years though it has changed as our taste buds have matured. For one thing we’ve graduated from ham to prime rib. And the guys cook it. One good reason to switch now that I think of it. Ummm maybe it wasn’t just the taste buds maturing after all. 🙂
One thing never changes, we all love Christmas. And, every year I say “This is the best Christmas.” We’ve had lean years but it has never been what we have in material things but in the riches we share as family.
And, as another Christmas waits in the wings, We Wish You All A Very Merry Christmas.