I love Christmas. Always have. It's my favorite holiday and it begins with Thanksgiving. I'm sure it comes from being raised in a family of Christmas lovers. My mother started baking for the Christmas season the day after Thanksgiving. I
swear she made every type of Christmas cookie available.
I followed that tradition for years and even made a ceramic village. I've since given the village to my youngest daughter and just the nativity set goes under my tree now.
Now I make the Christmas Eve dinner the Saturday before Christmas since everyone can't be here Christmas Eve. My brothers, sister and I still get together Christmas Eve. Some of our children join us, but most visit their in-laws . I hope I can carry this tradition on for many more years. As I look back on the many blessings I've received through the years, I can't help but feel thankful.
It's funny, but thinking back through the years, I don't remember the gifts I received, but I remember the fellowship with my uncle, aunt, and cousins and years later with my siblings. My mom had a wonderful sense of humor and she passed it down to us kids. As we married and had children of our own (we blessed my parents with 23 grandchildren), we quit buying gifts for each other. It was just too much. I don't recall how it got started, but usually about a week before Christmas, my sisters, brothers in law, my husband, and I got together and started exchanging joke gifts. My mother joined in after a year or so and my brothers got wind of it and insisted on being included. We moved the gift exchange to Christmas Eve - that was our Christmas with our parents - Those are the gifts I remember. We decorated one of my mother's old white hats (we must have sneaked it out of her house) with flags and miniature Christmas balls.
Mary was entered into the cash explosion lottery and hoped to have her name drawn - she didn't. Someone got her an outfit to wear for the event if her
name was picked. A pair of wading boots, a yellow raincoat, and hat. I wish I had that picture of her. There were some interesting outfits over the years and we continue the practice to this day. I made a suit for one of my brothers this year. He mentioned he didn't own a suit. A dangerous thing to confess to us, so we remedied the situation. I didn't take a picture of the pants, but I glued ruffles on them like the fancy rubber pants we used to get our children.
My one brother is a great garbage picker. He found a plaster elephant on his walk with my sister in law one year. Of course he had to have it. That elephant's gotten around the family and I ended up with him last year. My sister glued those little fuzzy balls and feathers on him. I decided to bring him back to normal and pulled all those fancy balls off - not an easy chore mind you. I repainted him and dry brushed him. If I say so myself he looks pretty good and now has a prominent place in my living room.
Wishing everyone a blessed and Merry Christmas.