As we approach the holidays, many thoughts are going on in my mind. Thoughts of Christmas’s pasts and what the future will hold. I guess you can call it my Scrooge moment. But the one thing that I keep thinking about, that I keep coming back to is the traditions. Traditions are the reason for Christmas, the reason that there is food, gifts and family. It’s the traditions that keep Christmas alive and keep families together.
When I was a kid, Christmas was a big holiday. We would set our tree up on Christmas Eve. Not sure why we did that so late but it was tradition. Mom, Dad, my brother and I would decorate the tree and the house. Later on in the day, my Dad would get a bunch of lunch meat, cheeses, chips and other good stuff. He would carefully arrange the meats and cheeses on the platter. I remember this so well because my aunts and uncles and other family friends were always so amazed at how good Dad could arrange those trays. Family and friends would show up throughout the late afternoon and evening. Exchanging gifts, eating and drinking spiked eggnog. At midnight, we would all go to midnight mass. The church was crowded and decorated beautifully. I was just a kid but I can remember the poinsettias lining the altar and the choir singing. My Mom would always get tears in her eyes during the singing of “Silent Night”. When I would look at her with concern, she would tell me that they were “tears of joy.” We would come back to the house and my brother and I would go to bed but we wouldn’t sleep. The next morning, we would run downstairs and see what Santa had brought us under the tree. Mom would cook a big breakfast and later make a big turkey for Christmas dinner.
It was a great time and I try to recreate those memories every year. Some years I can and some I can’t due to the new crazy of my life. My kids are grown and scattered everywhere. Thank God for my oldest being around. But no matter what is happening around me, I will try my hardest to recreate those memories. And I will hold onto those memories forever as I make new ones for my children.