if only in my dreams. . . . .
Well, it's Christmas Eve. . .and I am home. No, not "home." "Home" is many, many miles away. At "home" right now it's late afternoon. Grandma and Papaw are already watching and waiting for the first sign of family to drive up. Their video camera is charged and ready to go. Either coconut or jam cake is on the kitchen counter ready to be enjoyed by all. All of the kids have grown up now. It's not the same as it used to be. But it is tradition all the same.
I remember as a kid being so excited to finally get to Grandma and Papaw's house because it was there that we would sit and watch for Santa's sleigh on the evening news. Then Dad would tell me that we had better hurry home before Santa got to our house. So after bagging up all of the mounds of wrapping paper and loading the trunk of the car with all of our goodies, we would say "goodbye" and Christmas Eve would officially come to an end. I will forever cherish the memories of that crowded little living room full of family and love.
. . . . . .
Christmas Eve growing up was quite the event. I'm not sure what time the festivities started, but I am quite sure that I have no idea how we fit everything in. The best I can remember, we started our night at Willa and Jack's house. As a little girl I was always so happy to be there. They always had a UK game on the tv and Christmas music in the background. The tree was huge and the presents were so many that they filled the entire room. This was a time to be with family that I did not see very often except for the holidays. Rose and Willa always prepared the yummiest food and as a little girl I remember always hearing Janet Webb's voice in the background. We always put our coats in Jack and Willa's bedroom and as the night went on I remember wanting to escape back into that room and look around. I'm not sure why. I think I was always fascinated because Jack and Willa slept on two twin beds. Isn't it funny the things that our minds store away as lasting memories?
After Willa and Jack's it was on to church for the Christmas Eve service and then to Mamaw and Aaron's house. And what do I remember about that?. . . Ina's cream candy packaged in mason jars and curly ribbon, a stocking filled with half dollars and yummy fruit, a tiny little tree that sat on a small table and all around it was surrounded with First Bank and Trust envelopes for the whole family. I remember Aaron sitting in his gold colored chair and Mamaw in her thin striped green dress with a little zipper on the front and a Christmas pin. And I remember her laughing so hard that she could hardly catch her breath as she told her stories.
I wonder. . .what kind of memories will my girls have of the holidays? It's not the same today as it was back then. Our town was small. My family surrounded me. I can't recall that I ever received a UPS box filled with gifts or a Christmas card that said "Merry Christmas from across the miles." But. . .tonight we are HOME. The snow is falling again tonight. We are having a very white Christmas (of 30+ inches of snow). We are together. Our house is warm and filled with love. It's good. So, Merry Christmas across the miles to all of my family!