Been thinking a lot about Christmas from when I was a kid. It's not the gifts I remember, although my wishes were granted. It was about the traditions, the spirit of family that I remember most.
Our house was always decorated from top to bottom and the gifts under the tree were spilling all around. Seemed like there was always a ton of snow and when you'd step from the car, it would go over the top of your boots and get my tights wet. I don't remember a brown Christmas like we had this year.
Christmas Eve started when my Dad got home from work and we piled into the car and headed to his side of the family at Grandma Joyce's house. We walked into loud, controlled chaos with hugs from everyone and the room was always hot and stuffy. Rosette cookies on the table and egg nog for all, both of which I didn't like but would always try just in case I changed my mind.
From there we went to my Grandma Betty's house. Always decorated to the hilt by my Uncle Billy. Herring and funky shaped cookies on the buffet. It was comfortable and cozy. All of us equally excited for what others received.
My Grandma was always fair. The adults pretty much opened the same gifts in different colors. The kids would all get their "wish" but inside would be an envelope that would contain a quarter and some pennies or a couple of bucks. See, my Grandma always spent the same on EVERY kid and you got the difference of cost in that envelope. It always made me smile.
My Grandpa also always picked out the worst Charlie Brown Christmas tree. One year he even had to wire the branches because they weren't strong enough to hold the ornaments. He said that every tree deserved a home on Christmas and I think he truly meant it because he typically went into the woods and cut one down, so his choices were vast!
Home we went to open more presents with a fire in the fireplace and wait for Santa to bring the extra special something in the morning. My stocking was always my favorite part of Christmas Day.
Christmas is about traditions and although ours are different now, we still have them. I hope that when my kids are my age that they look back and remember silly things like I have. But, I hope they remember the sense of family and love the most.
Here they are putting the star on the tree. Makes me a bit sad that Max doesn't need a step stool any longer.