I’m 36 years old and have spent every Christmas Eve of my life at my Grandmama’s house, until Tuesday night. This Christmas Eve was the first where my family didn’t gather in her small living room taking our customary “couch picture”, trying to not sit too close to the tree as to not to have to play Santa, telling stories we’ve all heard before, throwing trash at whomever is holding the garbage bag, unwrapping gifts one at a time (yes, we are a one at a time gift family lol), and for me wondering WHY that one picture on the wall has a different color matte. Our family did gather and we did most of the things listed above but we did them somewhere other than may Grandmama’s house. We started a new tradition.
Last Christmas as a family we decided it would be our last at Grandmama’s house. We knew it was a lot for her and that it would be easier to host somewhere else. We made plans and discussed how we would suggest doing Christmas Eve at my sister’s house and Christmas Day at our house. My sister and I talked about how we would be happy to skip our traditional lasagna dinner on Christmas Eve for grilling steaks and house the ham and turkey dinner was out Christmas Day, instead finger foods and hamburgers would be on the menu. I think, for me, after so many years of the same change, even something as small food choices, seemed somehow exciting. I even wondered if this would open the door for us to become a family that spends Christmas on vacation. Yes…I have 2 small children. I know how unrealistic this idea is.
As Christmas grew closer we came back to our more traditional roots. My sister decided to host a traditional ham dinner and I opted to skip making hamburger patties and GASP!! make lasagna. The ease of putting a lasagna together a day or so before and just baking it when you’re ready never occurred to me in the past. Things were different. We didn’t have my Grandmama for one and the old floral couch is gone forever, even though we did try and talk my sister into taking it when they cleaned out Grandmama’s house so we could still do the couch photo each year, but things were also comfortably the same. We even managed to discuss how that one picture on the wall had a different color matte when the first box I opened had the set of photos inside.
Regardless of how our Christmas changed and how most people would probably say it didn’t seem to change much at all, I’m happy to be part of a family who enjoys being together for Christmas and I’m looking forward to 36 more years of the “same ole thing”.