Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was once much more hectic than it is today. Before my mom became ill and when my dad was alive, we always exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve. Everyone would converge on my mom's house about 8:30 p.m. and the living room would be filled to capacity with kids, grand kids, aunts, uncles, grandparents and gifts for all. Someone would grab the video camera, which then was as big as a microwave oven, they'd heft it up on a shoulder, and switch on the attached light. The light was brighter than the landing lights on a 747. You could get a tan while you were videotaped.
Everyone would get cranked up on my mom's Christmas punch, wolf down a pound or two of divinity or some other kind of killer candy and by 9 p.m. we were ready to open Christmas presents. The kids were in a frenzy by that time and the house was pure pandemonium. That's when my mom really began to smile. She would start giving out the gifts but there were so many to give out that she would always called for reinforcements to help give out the gifts. By the time all the presents were opened there would be a mountain of Christmas wrapping paper.
After my mom's health began to fail, she went to live with my sister, things began to change and new traditions observed. We now exchange gifts on Christmas day.
This change left Christmas Eve open for us. What was once a rush to get here and there is now a relaxing evening where we do a nice dinner, have a little wine and open the gifts that we got for each other.
It felt odd at first, but the one thing I've come to understand is that things change. You can fret about it or make the best of it. Christmas Eve is now one of my favorite times during the holidays.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.

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