On the right…my Uncle Merton, PePa and MeMa on Christmas Eve!
I absolutely loved Christmas Eve as a child. I still love Christmas Eve today and can still conjure up that same feeling of wonderment. I just miss the relatives that were at the center of our family Christmas Eve party.
I still keep those Christmas Eve parties deep within my heart.
On Christmas Eve, I discover that I miss my parents. My brother. My aunts. My uncles. My very fun grandfather (PePa). My very pretty grandmother (MeMa). Time does move very fast and when we are children…it seems like the most fun times of childhood will last forever. We grow up, have our own children and make our own memories. However…
I still keep those cherished Christmas memories deep within my heart!
We would spend Christmas Eve at one house or another… sometimes at my parent’s house. Sometimes, Aunt Doris would be the hostess. Sometimes, Aunt Lois would be the hostess. Sometimes, Aunt Ethel would be the hostess. I have no idea how they made the decision about the exact location each year. They evidently just took turns. There were always beautiful decorations and a truly wonderful dinner. I am not even sure if the hostess made the dinner or if everyone brought something. Children just don’t think about the logistics of the situation. We just were excited to have the party.
My aunt and uncle with my parents at our dining room table.
I still keep the vision of the party house and the decorations deep within my heart.
Everyone dressed up for Christmas Eve…grownups and children. We are so much more casual today. When we arrived at the party, we had appetizers and the grownups had wine. I remember that my mother always made her little cheese biscuits with olives on the inside. She also made the very small hamwich…a delicious homemade roll with ham and maybe cheese on the inside. Unless she ran out of time, she would make pecan tassies. Oh my! So good! I am sure that my aunts had their special Christmas recipes since they were all excellent cooks.
I still keep the vision of passing around the appetizers deep within my heart.
I mentioned that the grownups had wine. My mother would get out her most prized wine glasses. The glasses were each a different color…very muted and pastel. I have them in my china cabinet. Usually my Uncle Doyle would be the total life of the party. He had an outgoing and big personality made even bigger by even one glass of wine! When my cousins and I were almost teenagers, we tried to slip some wine for ourselves. If my memory serves me correctly, we were quite successful several times. Of course, we would sneak off to another room with small cups of wine.
I still keep the vision of my parents, my aunts, my uncles, my grandparents laughing and talking deep within my heart.
From the left…Carolyn, Kathryn and me…cousins playing in my backyard.
My cousins were at the center of my world on Christmas Eve and every other day. We played together often and could easily visit. Our hometown was not particularly big. We went to two different elementary schools, but went to the same junior high and high school. I had six cousins on my Dad’s side of the family and one brother. Most were older than me. As luck would have it, three of us were the same age and one was just two years older. I was the oldest of the three “same age cousins” with a September birthday, followed by Kathryn in December and Mark in April. Two years ahead of us was Carolyn with an April birthday. I loved them so very much and still do.
I still keep the vision of happy times with my cousins deep within my heart.
We have all found our own kind of success as well as happiness…probably because of our loving parents and family. There is truly something to be said for living close to extended family in the growing up years. We had more people than just our parents to be accountable to…not to mention their close friends! I doubt that we could have gotten away with much without someone seeing us.
From the left…Mark, my friend and me…in my backyard.
I still keep the vision of my grandparents telling us to behave and not go into PePa’s “smoking his pipe” room deep within my heart.
So…we were just well behaved. At least, I thought so! I really think that Mark went into the “smoking his pipe” room, but I have no proof. Otherwise, the worst thing we did at Kathryn and Carolyn’s house was to repeatedly slide down the banister. But…who in their right mind can resist a banister? The worst thing that Mark and I did was to wander very far down the creek that separated our neighborhoods. But…who in their right mind can resist a creek…especially one that ran behind a miniature golf course? We just had fun growing up together.
I still keep the vision of our wonderful family Christmas Eve deep within my heart. I still keep my three closest cousins deep within my heart.
Wishing a very Merry Christmas to my cousins… Carolyn, Kathryn and Mark!