Merry Christmas to All

Barbara Vey -- December 24th, 2012

I’m not sure how many will take the time today to read blogs, but I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

When I was a kid, we would wake up about 5 a.m. on Christmas morning (there were 9 of us).  We’d sneak downstairs and squeal over our presents.  Even though we only got two or three each, the tree look loaded underneath because we all made something for my mom, dad and grandma.  And 9 times anything is a lot.  Of course, my dad would yell for all of us to go back to bed until a decent hour and we would last about a half an hour before racing downstairs again.  Mom would reluctantly get up, but we still had to wait for my dad and grandma.

The time wasn’t wasted as we tried to guess what was in each present.  Mom made hot chocolate while we waited and finally it was time.  Dad handed out the gifts and he was so slow about it.  Everyone got one before we could open them.  Then it was on.  The ripping, the tearing, the screaming (yes, even the boys).  Dad always got Old Spice and mom got hand prints on paper or clay bowls.  Grandma loved lace handkerchiefs.

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When it was time for me to have a family, things changed, but not in my head.  I still got up early and ogled the gifts.  When I was finally able to rouse my boys by 8 a.m., they stumbled down where I had hot chocolate made and Christmas music playing.  There were still lots of presents under the tree and I always counted so they would have the same amount.  I made them open their gifts one at a time so I could relish the moment.  As a mom, I still got the hand prints on paper and clay bowls (which I still have).  They are my most precious possessions.

Now I spend Christmas morning alone.  My kids are grown and gone.  I celebrated with my older son, Keith, and his family a few weeks ago in St. Louis and Andrew I’ll see tonight.  Christmas Day he spends with his dad and girlfriend.  I still get up Christmas morning, make coffee and Baileys (with whipped cream, of course) and listen to Christmas music.  Then it’s time to watch my favorite Christmas movie, Die Hard.

It’s not horrible, just different.  Don’t feel bad for me, I’m very blessed.  Christmas eve is now the special day for family.  We gather at my sister’s house and there’s usually about 40 of us with my brothers, sisters and their families.  The tree is overloaded with gifts and there’s plenty of squealing, laughter and hugging.

If you have a minute, tell me your holiday tradition.  Has it changed over the years? 

Bottom Line:  Merry Christmas to all…and to all a good night!

 

13 thoughts on “Merry Christmas to All

  1. B.E Sanderson

    Your childhood Christmas morning sounds a lot like mine. There were 5 of us kids and Christmas morning was controlled mayhem. Now it’s just me, my husband and our daughter (who’s 19, so no more squealing over presents). No mayhem anymore. Just quiet. It’s not the same, but it’s still lovely.

    Merry Christmas, Barbara. I hope you have a lovely day.

  2. Jacqueline Seewald

    Barbara, I do read blogs, and especially yours. Hope you and all fellow readers have a wonderful holiday!
    Like you, my children are grown. But we now have four precious grandchildren. And there’s nothing better than giving gifts to small children. My best gift is spending time talking to them, drawing pictures with them, and writing stories especially for them.

  3. Nancy Northcott

    Barbara, I’ve finished my shopping, so I have plenty of time to read blogs. Your family gathering sounds wonderful.

    When I was growing up, we also got up very early Christmas morning and had to go back to bed. I didn’t really appreciate my parents’ perspective until our son’s second Christmas, when he knew what it all meant and was too excited about it to sleep. We all check out our stockings first thing. Then the dh makes Swedish pancakes like his mom used to. After breakfast/brunch, we open our packages. That process took much longer when the boy was little because he played with each gift for a while before moving on to the next. Now that his gifts are mostly electronic, that custom is at an end.

    One of the things I most like about Christmas Day is the quiet in our neighborhood. It’s so peaceful, as though everyone just paused to take a breath.

    Merry Christmas to you and all your readers who celebrate it.

  4. joysann

    It’ll be a nice quiet one at my house, me, my husband and our cats. It’s something we’ll enjoy a lot. Happy Safe Warm Holidays to you, Barbara, and all your readers.

  5. Piper Bayard

    Our son and daughter used to get us up at 6 a.m. Now that they’re teens, we drag them out around 7. We gather in the family room and designate a “Santa Claus” to pass out our packages. That’s usually our daughter. Then, we take turns opening our packages one at a time so we can drag it out through the morning. I make my mother’s coffee cake for breakfast.

    After that, we notice it’s close to 10 a.m. so we hurry and get dressed and dash up to the local bowling alley for a game or two, only to remember when we get there that the one that’s open on Christmas is in another town. Seems forgetting that fact is something of a tradition in itself. Obviously, I remember this year. Not sure if I’ll say anything, though, if no one else does. :)

    Merry Christmas, Barbara!

  6. Susan Carlisle

    Nine child makes for a lot of fun. I travel to my mother-in-laws for Christmas eve with one side of the family. Christmas morning is at my house and I have twin grand children to share it with this year. Christmas day lunch at my mother’s. Super fun and a lot of noise.

    Merry Christmas Barbara.

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