Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Seasons Greetings, there are SO many ways to say it. But no matter which words are chosen, they all still mean the same thing, kind words meant to raise the spirits of those who hear them.
When I was a kid, Christmas was miles away my favorite time of year. My Grandparents house was always the epicenter of our family gatherings, especially Christmas. The tree was always ornately decorated; hand-crafted glass ornaments, twinkling lights, sparkling tinsel and a gorgeous Angel on top. One of big staples of Christmastime at my Grandparents was the Christmas village. There was this buffet table piece of furniture they had, and it would get draped with a sheet of fluffed cotton that looked just like a blanket of snow. All the little houses, the little people, pets, trees, fences, bushes, and every little accessory one could imagine.
Then came Christmas day, the most wonderful day of the year. The whole family would gather, there have never really been very many of us, but we would all meet. My Grandmother was always the primary cook, she was a master at multitasking. She cooked the turkey, mashed the potatoes, sliced the cranberries, shredded the lettuce, glazed the carrots, and everything else all magically at the same time. While she was doing all of this cooking, the family would slowly trickle in, and normally I was the only kid there so naturally the adults would all chat and converse while I usually just dawdled with whatever toy I might have with me. Then came gift sorting time, I was always the designated gift organizer; one at a time I would distribute gifts to the appropriate person. There was always a pile off to the side of the tree for gifts that went to out of town family or family who couldn’t make it. Then it was a free-for-all, everyone just tore into their gifts.
After the gift explosion, it was time for dinner. We would all sit around and eat, having good conversation, a great meal, and it was always so tasty. My Uncle was always the never ending human vacuum of food. If someone might have another scoop of potatoes or part of slice of turkey, he’d always say “you gonna eat that?” and naturally would then take it. Now I know where I got my bad habit of licking the plate after finishing the meal, thanks Tim.
Then following a lovely meal, half the family would go sit in the living room gradually falling asleep firmly entrenched in food comas, while the other half would clear off the table and start playing Trivial Pursuit: Master Game – Genus Edition. Only once in a while would I know an answer, but it was still no less fun. The evening would eventually come to an end and another annual holiday gathering came to a close. We would load up all of the gifts and carry them out to the respective vehicle, trying to make sure not to drop anything in the snow, which I would inevitably do at least once every year. Plates for everyone to take home would get made up in an almost assembly line manner. Then off to home where I would pass out almost instantly.
Merry Christmas to one and all, especially you Grandma, you’re very much missed this time of year especially.