Thursday, January 12, 2017
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Sunday, January 1, 2017
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Some of my fondest memories around the holidays occurred on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t the actual event that was so much fun but the preparations up to that special day.
My Dad would always help in the decorating of the living room. There are certain decorations that had to go in a specific spot each year. We always had red and green crepe paper chains that ran across the ceiling of the living room. We would take branches from the bottom of the Christmas tree and place them on the mantel above the fireplace. We had a fabulously colored gold and shiny tinsel looking thing that hung from one of the doorways.
My job on Christmas Eve was to always set out the different food-laden bowls in the living room. We always had a bowl with various nuts, mainly walnuts. We had a specific bowl for the fruit, mainly navel oranges that we ordered from the FFA each year. And you can’t forget about the cheese plate. (Which was my favorite.)
Both sets of my grandparents would come to my house each year for Christmas Eve dinner. My dad’s mom and my step-grandfather, both affectionately known as Mamaw and Papaw, as well as my mom’s mother and her brother, also known affectionately as Granny and Uncle Tommy. You needed to make sure you called Mamaw “mamaw” and Granny “granny”, or they’d let you know about it.
We would have a very big meal and then get to open our presents from our grandparents. I always knew what I was getting. Mamaw gave up buying us presents when we were really young. Instead, we were given money to go buy ourselves a present, which you had to wrap and then open in front of Mamaw.
Granny had so many grandchildren that all she could afford was usually a dollar bill and a pair of socks. I didn’t mind because I always knew that I would get a new pair of dress socks for Christmas.
Christmas Eve also meant something else too. That night the furnace got turned up to almost 80. Both grandparents were extremely cold-natured and we would have the fireplace going full blast and the furnace wide open. I loved it! I swear that was the coldest house I have ever lived in. The furnace had two vents—one into the living room and the other into mom and dad’s bedroom. There was an exhaust pipe that ran up through the ceiling and on out to the outside. The pipe was right beside my bed and I would hug it (it was warm) before I burrowed into my bed covered with about 15 quilts and blankets.
It seemed we were in bed relatively early and we tried to stay awake so we could monitor the comings and goings of the busy bees downstairs as they readied the living room for Christmas morning. I’m not sure what time they got to bed but everything was always perfect.
Our Christmas Eve dinners were always a lot of fun and something that we looked forward to. Sadly, several of the key players are no longer with us and they are deeply missed. We have a new tradition for Christmas Eve that we started after we lost Dad. I’m not sure why, but now we always go out for Chinese food.
Posted by Gianetta at 12:05 AM
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
I was holiday shopping recently and got behind a group of people that included a grandma, daughter and several grandkids. The mall was so packed it was hard to get past them as they paused to window shop so I just fell along behind them as they lingered near several stores that catered toward a younger clientele. The stores that seemed to capture their attention the most was the Disney Store and the Build-a-Bear Workshop.
When the family stopped first at the Disney Store the children went absolutely bananas. "Oh, Granny, can we get a princess dress? Oh, Mommy, can we get a movie? Pleasssseee. It's almost my birthday. Pleeeeeeazzzze."
The daughter looked toward her mother who just shook her head and gave her an 'I don't know' look. "No, honey. Not today. It's almost Christmas and you're going to get lots of presents from Santa and your Aunt Susan and Aunt Alice."
I watched the children frown slightly as they processed this information so they stopped looking and continued on through the mall. What was surprising was that the kids accepted what their mother had told them and hadn't pitched a royal fit.
When we arrived at the Build-a-Bear Workshop the excitement started all over again. "Granny! Mommy! Can we make a bear? I just love teddy bears, don't you?
Oh, please! Cam we make one, please? My birthday is in TWO days. Pleeeaaase."
Mother and daughter exchanged another look and this time the grandmother said, "Sweetie, you're gonna get lots of presents for Christmas."
"I know, but they won't be for my birthday," one said with a pronounced frown.
At that moment, an older gentleman walked up and everybody just squealed, "Grandpa!"
"What's going on?" Grandpa asked.
Granny and daughter informed him about the shopping they had done and wondered where he had been. "I've been sitting on that bench over there with all the other old guys," he said with a chuckle. "I saw y'all over at the bear shop and wandered what you was fussing about?"
"Well, the kids were wanting some things for their birthday," said the daughter.
"What's wrong with that?" he asked.
"Dad, they are going to get tons of presents for Christmas. They do every year and we have this same conversation every year."
"That's a load of crap. It seems to me that it isn't the kids' faults that they were born so close to Christmas. Go ahead, get 'em what they want and I'll pay for it."
My thoughts exactly!
(I just hope you have a grandpa to pay for it.)