Memories of Christmas' Past

Growing up, our family and my Uncle's family would head to Grandma's house for Christmas Eve. We'd load the car with the gifts we would exchange that evening and make the 30 minute drive. We'd have Hamburger Royales for dinner (a hamburger patty with a slice of cheese covered in chili and a sprinkling of oyster crackers - no hamburger bun, all in a bowl) and then gather around the Christmas tree and exchange gifts. There were four of us cousins most of the time, unless my Aunt was visiting that year with her family, and we were pretty close in age. At Grandma's house, we opened presents from everyone - cousins, parents, siblings, aunts, and uncles. We were pretty much guaranteed that one gift from Grandma would be new pajamas. We always tried them on and then wore them home so we could go straight from the car to bed. Once the gifts were all opened, we'd pile back in the car and head for home. On Christmas morning, the only gifts were those from Santa and whatever was in our stocking.

So imagine my surprise when as an adult I discovered that most people don't open presents on Christmas Eve, but wait until Christmas morning!! Luckily I've been surrounded by people that understood how hard this was to wait and allowed me to open one gift on Christmas Eve, but I am proud to say that I am past that now and have been for several years.

Now our Christmas Eve gift-giving consists of a White Elephant gift exchange. And let me tell you, it is a blast! We spend most of the year scouting the perfect gift. And truth be told, we have a pretty good stash of possible options, but still end up buying one or two as the exchange date approaches. And because it is family, the gifts tend to get a little crazier than those typically seen, but it provides stories to tell for months and years to come.

I wouldn't trade my childhood Christmas activities and I love what we do now. I guess it is good to grow up and try new things, as long as the memories of Christmas' past are around to enjoy.

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My posts are random. They cover a variety of subjects, but are mostly about things I enjoy, am inspired by, or catch my attention at that moment. I don't ever want to offend anyone by anything I write. This blog is a way to express myself and the interests I have. I hope you enjoy what I share.

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