Unfortunately if you know me very well you have heard me say "I hate holiday/Christmas - etc..." Yes I hate to admit - I have used the word hate.
That is most likely misunderstood. I feel quite sure when someone hears me say that they do not realize that the part I hate is really not a part at all - it is the lack of parts...
I simply cannot get all the parts to work together. You would think since I have been married since 1986 I would have come up with some traditions for Kerry & Cheryl and traditions that we could share with our children and their children. (Oh do you know that Son One will have Grandchild One in January?)
We have traditions....
***Getting to unwrap a gift on Christmas eve - it was always pajamas - something that looked good - something to wear to bed that night so that on Christmas morning the pictures looked good!
***My mom started giving socks at Christmas many, many years ago - and it became the tradition for Christmas with DJ & Grandad.
I think the mixed up part for me is that I really don't do anything like I used to do and I have allowed it to all get lost. When I was growing up we always went to my Grandma's and my mom's family. On Christmas Eve would we go to my Aunt Joyce's house and everyone in my Grandma's family would be there. For many years we would spend the night in Collinsville and I would spend Christmas morning with my cousin. What a gracious family to allow the cousin to spend that family time with them. I feel quite sure I never said thank you enough to my aunt & uncle.
***Tradition - spending Christmas Eve with Bobette and her family.
Somewhere along the way we stopped spending Christmas Eve and we would drive back to Perrin and then the next morning get up early and go back to Collinsville. We would have Christmas Day lunch with my dad's family and Christmas Day evening with my mom's sisters and their families.
***Tradition - Christmas in the Dallas area with Aunt Mary, Aunt Catherine, and Aunt Gloria's families. A different family would host each year - we still try to have these times together but now we have the Adams family Christmas in December on a Saturday or Sunday. Most of the family still live in the Dallas area.
The grandchildren and great grandchildren of Fred & Ethel Cannon have not continued the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day tradition - and I completely understand that! We each have our families and the traditions those bring when we married. My dad and his younger sister Helen are the two children who remain. It has been years since we have been to Collinsville for Christmas - and that's okay - it is all part of how life goes on.
So now we look to the traditions we have established for Cheryl and Kerry. We still do the pajamas - although as time goes on I am sure those might have to be mailed or opened much earlier - or opened on Christmas Day but I hope our boys realize that they will always be able to count on pajamas at Christmas. And I will always continue the sock at Christmas tradition too.
Since I love to cook I have tried to start a Christmas breakfast tradition of sorts. That is pretty fun and I enjoy cooking. My parents and Kerry's parents too usually join us for that breakfast.
***Christmas morning breakfast - the menu usually includes potato casserole, waffles, bacon, fried chicken and scrambled eggs.
I don't really hate Christmas - I stress over all the parts and the fact that those parts move and move. I completely understand families and not being able to keep all of my parts the same as they always have been - that is easy - the parts look completely different for me - almost every year. After that breakfast at my house we now go to Pap's. We have been doing that maybe even since Kerry and I married and only missed probably one time - the first Christmas when we only had Christmas day and could not travel 4 hours to get home - we came on the weekend instead. Anyway - we go to Kerry's Dad's Dad's house for Christmas Day lunch (known as Pap).
***I LOVE Christmas at Pap's (this picture was taken on his 90th birthday last May)
Maybe Pap's Christmas is the best for me now because it is the generation that is still with us. I miss that Christmas with my grandma but I am so thankful we still have a part of that generation with us.
One day Kerry and I will be moving up in that generation ladder. Perhaps it is time for me to embrace Christmas - create traditions that my grandchildren can write about some day -
Of course it will forever include food!
Maybe that is what I have been missing -
Just embrace the gathering together -
Worry about the decorating when I can -
Keep those traditions that we enjoy -
Pajamas - Socks - Breakfast - and just time to see each other.