Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Reminiscing Christmas: Part I

Growing up in Cedar Creek, TX we never celebrated a white Christmas, but who needed snow when you had great family. As a boy, my brothers and I grew up with three neighbors, Ms. Boyd, Granny and Granddad (my dad’s parents). We were about three hundred yards from my grandparents house and for as long as I can remember we either walked or drove a 4-wheeler to their house and ducked between barbed wire lines to get there.

I have many memories of climbing around in the attic getting the Christmas tree, decorations and other Christmas paraphernalia for my Grandparents house. Sometime after Thanksgiving we would decorate their tree and house. Often times you would find my grandparents in the sitting room, granddad on the couch and granny in her chair. In the sitting room we would hang a gold bell that played a song when prompted by pulling the string. It was always fun to decorate and spend time with granny and granddad.

Christmas for my immediate family began on Christmas Eve, we either rode together as a family to Granny and Granddad’s or arrived via foot or 4-wheeler. It was usually an evening event, so family members would start arriving at 5pm. We would gather around, pray and eat the holiday meal; usually tamales and beans were part of the meal.

We would gather around the Christmas tree and pass gifts around. The party would break up about 10pm and we would all head home, awaiting Santa’s yearly visit.

On Christmas morning we would wake up and rush to the living room. I remember our 4 foot Christmas tree always being set on our coffee table and around it would be many gifts for our family. We never hung stockings, but on the hearth of the fireplace laid stockings full of goodies. Thinking back, I am not really sure why we always had a small tree on the coffee table, I will have to ask. Mom and Dad always made my siblings and I feel we had received the world.

In the back of our minds, we knew once we finished opening our gifts we were going to get dressed and go to Bastrop to celebrate with my mom’s parents (Mama and Papa). We would arrive and have lunch with them. Most of the Christmas’ in Bastrop were joined by my mother’s family. We would show off our new gifts with our cousins and enjoy the rest of the day spending time with family.

It was always a whirlwind of family and gifts, but I distinctly remember the family times more than I do the gifts. There was an expectancy to see aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. I think no gifts could have been given at all and we still would have had an amazing time.

Thanks for joining me on Reminiscing Christmas journey. Tune in later this week for Present Christmas and Future Christmas’.

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