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This week's prompt is: My Christmas Memories
Easter morning was spent at church followed by a huge family dinner. Always a pork roast with very southern accompaniments such as rice and gravy, corn, deviled eggs, homemade rolls, lima beans, etc. The 4th of July was also a big celebration. Every year we had BBQ with all the fixins including a great big watermelon and home churned ice cream and fire works after dark. At Thanksgiving, Grandmother always got out the good china and the silver (she actually used the china and silver on Sundays and holidays) and served up a feast of turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole (the kind with the marshmallows on top), green beans, corn, potatoes, rice and gravy, homemade rolls (it's just NOT a southern holiday without the carbs!), broccoli casserole, cranberry sauce etc. Luckily, Granddaddy's blessings were short and sweet and eating commenced rather quickly.
All the holidays at Grandmother and Granddaddy's house were awesome but, my fondest memories of all, center around Christmas. Every single year for as long as I can remember, I went to Grandmother and Granddaddy's house to help decorate for Christmas. It all started with Granddaddy bringing home the cedar tree and cutting off the bottom so that the tree would fit in the stand and in the house. Grandmother and I would go into the attic and hand down the boxes filled with Christmas treasures: the plastic Santa face for the front door; the wreaths for the side and back doors; the floral displays made of plastic poinsettias, glass ornaments, and glitter all contained on the hidden piece of florist's Styrofoam; and the ornaments-all different colors and shapes (plastic icicles, glass soldiers, balls, Santas, drums, and more in purples, reds, blues, greens, oranges, golds and silvers) to adorn the tree. The tree was slowly transformed into a colorful Christmas delight complete with a star on top.
|The Christmas tree was always a cedar at their house.|
The anticipation of the arrival of Christmas Eve was almost too much to bear. And, when the day finally did arrive, the procedure was pretty much routine. We arrived at Grandmother and Granddaddy's house to find the dining room table filled with homemade cakes (from scratch, no mixes) with 4 to 6 layers- coconut, pineapple, chocolate and the dreaded fruitcake (when Grandmother baked her cakes it was absolutely delightful! The house would fill up with the sweetest, warmest baking aromas and there was always just enough left in the bowl for licking.).
There were cookies, fudge, and other candies- all homemade. And, just out of the oven, a ham with cloves, pineapple slices and cherries all over the surface covered with a sweet honey and mustard glaze, sliced to perfection and eaten on sandwiches with plain 'ol white bread and mustard. There was Chex Mix in Christmas containers all around the house--none of us have ever been able to reproduce Grandmother's Chex Mix (who am I kidding? We've never been able to reproduce ANY of her fabulous foods.).
On the record player (this was back in the days of vinyl) would be Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, of some of the Rat Pack helping us celebrate the season with Christmas songs. When Granddaddy walked into the living room, clad in his red shirt -sometimes plaid, sometimes solid- Luke, chapter 2, was read after which the most fun of all began---the reading of the names on the tags and the opening of the gifts-- after which the floor would be covered in brightly colored Christmas paper with the shadows of the flames from the fireplace dancing all over the room (Granddaddy had a fire in the fireplace every year whether it was cold enough outside or not.).
|That's me with Mother and Dad sometime, probably, around 1965.|
I don't recall ever wanting to leave my grandparents house to go home on Christmas Eve but I do remember, once in the car, needing my dad to go as fast as he could to beat Santa to my house. And I VIVIDLY remember that one Christmas Eve seeing Santa and his reindeer out the car window and nearly having a panic attack as we were still about 20 minutes from home.
Christmas Day was spent at our house. The very first thing in the morning was opening the gifts from Santa! I still remember the excitement around that activity. Afterwards, we got dressed and my dad's family came over to the house. This is when we got to eat all of Mother's Christmas goodies- the fudge, the cheese and olive balls, the sausage balls, the little green wonders and so much more.
|A few of the family on Christmas day circa--a long time ago. LOL 1959|
My uncle always brought his 8mm camera over to shoot videos of Christmas morning. The main thing I remember about was how bright the light was on that thing. It was like trying to look into the sun.
Opening presents with dad's family was followed by Christmas dinner. My grandparents came up to our house and we all ate a sit down dinner together.
Like the year I got my very first all-my-own puppy.
And the first year I did not spend Christmas as an only child---