fighting about when to put the tree up. Christmas morning was for the kids and evening at my parents was for all. We would squeeze 50 plus people into that small house and it was literally elbow to elbow with food flowing, gifts wrap all over, glitter sticking to people's faces, drinking being passed and chatter from every nook and cranny. It was crazy and I loved it! In truth, I miss it.
Things would calm down around 2 a.m. Usually the snow would have piled up outside during our time of fun and always someone’s car would be stuck and we would have to go outside to push them out of the driveway to head home. Then, the next day my kids would play happily with the new toys and by evening, it would be a trip to visit one of my siblings house to see their tree....this went on every night for a week or two, until all siblings homes had been visited by all siblings and our parents. It was a busy hectic time.
Then one of the nicer days, we all gather back at Mom's so the kids could go sledding down the hill in her yard, while the mom’s cooked. There might be chili, soup or spaghetti (my Dad's favorite). We chatted with one another,
never getting bored with our time together. After awhile, a kid would come in for dry mittens, then another, and then another. All the wet mittens that we accumulated were laid over the registers to dry. Every register was full of
mittens and we would have to turn them every once in awhile so they wouldn't burn on one side over the hot coal fire of my parents house; and we would be in a hurry to dry them fast before a kid needed dry ones. Before long, they would come in hungry, cold, and happy. We fed them; they played inside, warming up while we parents dried their snowsuits on the clothes bars. And after awhile they donned their outerwear and back out they went to play in the dark.
We parents would treat ourselves to a slice of pie or some other goody not realizing that time was ticking away from us. We all pitched in to clean up the kitchen and if we were lucky before any of the kids came back inside, so we had a few moments to sit in the living room where the Christmas tree lights refreshed us. It was a good time back then....Christmas at Mom's lasted over a month. The tree stood for about 6 weeks or so. Long after everyone else had packed their things away, you could still go to my parents and enjoy Christmas all over again. The ambiance hung in the air.
These days, Christmas day..........is.....................just not the same. I am happy to go to work after Christmas day; otherwise I sit home in the silence remembering. What was cannot be re-created. Those were the glory days.
This year, with Christmas days away, I don't even have a tree yet. I am a terrible cook so no good smells in my house and baking is just as bad for me. I pulled out some non-breakable decorations to put in the living room for when the two little ones come, and I did buy gifts to hand out Christmas Eve to my loved ones. That is the extent of my Christmas doings.
I still cherish Christmas, thankful for the many, many, many years, of joy it brought me. And, I make the best of how it has changed. Before, there wasn't enough time to do it all. Now, all I have is time.