What wonderful memories! As a military child and now a military wife, we are very rarely close enough to have an extended family celebration so I love to hear about others.Mine isn't one particular memory, but rather an accumulation. We would all go to Grandma and Grandpa's house on Christmas Eve. There I would get to see my brothers (who were all grown and on their own), aunts and uncles, all my cousins and any tag-alongs. We kids would play in the big glassed in porch until it was time to eat and then the kids' table was in the family room while the grown-ups all had a quieter and somewhat less rambunctious meal in the dining room. After supper, we of the younger set would do the washing up and then head to the school yard nearby for some slightly modified version of football and the adults would sit and visit. Then it would be time for Grandma to play the organ and everyone would sing. After that it was time to all sit in a huge circle and open gifts, one at a time, starting with the youngest and ending with Grandpa. We'd go round and round until everyone was out. Then we would play with our new treasures or try things on and show them off or just talk and laugh. It was time for everyone to admire each others gifts and have a little more dessert if they would like. Everyone would finally load up and head for home around 11 or so, which made for sleepy Christmas mornings. It's been 20 years since G&G sold the house and everyone started moving away and we all had a Christmas together like that. I love remembering those times- those were blessed days.
It sounds like it should go under the heading of the song "Over the river and through the woods", lovely memories. It is tough to always be so far apart from extended family.What an absolutely beautiful thread full of treasured memories. It helped me to remember mine and I was frantically writing them down as I was scrolling through so I wouldn't forget. I need to write them somewhere in a notebook for sure so I can always remember and share with my kids.
When I was little, we had my dad's parents that lived right next door (we lived out in the country) and my mom's parents lived 2 hours away. On Christmas Eve we would drive to an aunt and uncle's house on my dad's side about half an hour away and have a family gathering. There was lots of food (grandma at the stove making noodles/dumplings), all the cousins and fun. I have such fond memories of this. We would eat and play and then we would gather in their huge den and open presents. The adults would have drawn ahead of time to see who was buying for who and our grandparents gave us all envelopes with some money in them. It makes my heart ache that my kids will never experience any traditions like that. Looking back it really was magic....the drive out there, the gathering with family, food and love, the drive home and anxiously setting out cookies for Santa and going to bed and not being able to sleep. One year I swore I heard sleigh bells. On Christmas Day, my other grandparents would drive to our house from 2 hours away and arrive around lunchtime. I remember watching out the window for their arrival knowing that they would be loaded down with gifts. We would eat and open presents and have a great afternoon and then they would head home.
That's a tough one. We didn't realize that Christmas 2008 would be my Dad's last - he died just a few short weeks later in February. We did, however, have an amazing Christmas in 2008 and have so many wonderful memories to look back on.What a beautiful thread to start with.
I have lots of wonderful memories. When I was very young money was pretty tight at our house but Christmas was so beautiful and eagerly awaited all year. My Mum and Dad were great Santas and tried so very hard to give us kids amazing experiences. I remember making paper chains and lanterns with my Mum in the lead up to Christmas and helping her to bake wonderful goodies. Something we still enjoy doing. Christmas then was very simple and very magical, I had the best days growing up.
On the 14th December 1998 my Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, we knew that it would be the last Christmas with him.
We hurriedly got all the family together, (my brother lived a few states away) and we celebrated the last Christmas with my Dad. There were many photos taken and many stories told, too much food eaten and way too many presents but we had the best family Christmas, it was magic. Dad passed in June 1999.