Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. I have had more difficulty with it as of late with deaths in the family and the absence of traditions and the and of the year blahs. I am in a since writing this blog to try and reclaim some of the wonderful feelings that dominated the season well into my college years.
I remember the old traditions of Christmas eve like they were yesterday. We would get up early and go have a breakfast with the neighborhood. It was hosted at a different house each year and I think we even had it at our house once. It was a pot luck affair and I remember playing with most of the neighborhood kids while the adults met upstairs. This affair ended when I was in early high school it is sad through it was enjoyable. The last one was easy to remember because it snowed. Not the kind that sticks to the road but the fluffy kind that sticks to the ground a bit and is pleasant to look at.
When getting back in I would go out with my grandfather and cut down his Christmas tree. He loved cedars and we usually walked into the field near my house with the hack saw to take it down. We would then carry it to the house and my grandmother would decorate it. This was a neat event as I grew up withing walking distance of my grandparent's house. This was a tradition that we ended after my grandfather got weaker and had he eventually got an artificial tree. He had it decorated and we carried it from his house to the garage each year.
During the evening we would go to my cousin's home and have a family Christmas party where we would celebrate Christmas and my Grandmother's birthday that took place on the 26th. This was a fun event we would have deer meat balls and plenty of other country style foods along with many many fine sweet treats that marked the holidays. I really miss this party as it was a great for the family to get together and share good times. We still try and celebrate my grandmother's birthday each year how we can.
We would always take time to look at Christmas lights in the wealthy neighborhoods around where we lived. this used to immediately follow our Christmas party but this time we still work hard to see the lights before the season starts.
After getting home my grandparents would come down to our house and we would exchange gifts. This was usually followed by coffee and good conversation. This is deeply missed as we currently are unable to enjoy this tradition. I still think of my grandparents at this time of year.
Before going to bed at night we would watch the movie White Christmas. This was a tradition my mother's mother began with her and passed it down. We still do so every year with my father yelling the same expletives at the screen at the same parts of the film each year. At first they were annoying but at this time as this is the only tradition remaining they actually have become quite comical.
I still love this time of the year. I always believe that change is what you make it enjoying the memories of the past and using them to try and grasp the future and look at it with a new light is the only way to make things work.