Monday, December 30, 2013

Mother Christmas

Christmas Time 2013
For The Record
Part III

I suppose nostalgia is a normal part of Christmas time.  I do have many nice memories of big family festivities from childhood.
Of course our holiday celebrations have changed since then.   I realize that there is a direct correlation between the evolution of our family and the size, location and tone of our gatherings.  But actually the changes are definitely affected by Mother.
For instance, when I was child, Christmas eve and Christmas day were always spent at my grandparents houses, even though, it meant an hour car ride back and forth and then back again.
I have images of lots of cousins, aunts, uncles, food, music and laughter.
That changed when my grandparents died, particularly after my each of my grandmothers passed.
It seems that’s when the family separated into their own units.  And there was a new Mother’s house to go to for Christmas.
So the Christmas memories of my young adult years are filled with visions of my Mom and Dad’s house. The aroma of bubbling gravy on the stove and lasagna in the oven, the sight of my excited kid sisters and brothers and the sound of my father’s rendition of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” are still vivid senses etched in my mind.
When my dad died, my mom moved into one of those adult communities.  By then our family had started to grow, with new husbands and wives and children of our own.  But we would still gather at Mom’s for Christmas.
As Mom got older, it became necessary for her to move into a smaller place. By then the dynamics of our family changed once again with moves out of the areas and multiple divorces. But even though her place wasn’t big enough for us to gather there, Christmas would be wherever Mom was.  By then the dynamics of our family changed again with moves out of the area and multiple divorces.
Since my mom passed away four years ago, as it happened with the passing of my grandparents my siblings I began to have Christmas with our own families.
The past couple of years, my kids and their families would come to our house at some time between Christmas and New Years.  Then last year a new tradition was established.  My daughter had Christmas at her house.  So now Mother has been passed on to her and that’s where we had Christmas again this year.  She and Derek did a splendid job.   Ham and all the trimmings for dinner and homemade cookies for desert. There were bags full of gifts and excited children.  We were all together, Ross and I, Derek, Jen, Bella, Ryan and Jackson, Anne, Domani, Ken and Jimmy.  New memories being made.

Christmas Eve
Even though the gathering gets smaller each year, one thing that has remained constant for the past several years is spending Christmas Eve with my sister Elaine and my brother-in-law Al. This year it was just the four of us.   There was delicious food, great conversation, laughter and love.

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