On my mother’s side of the family Christmas Eve found the family members gathering at my cousin’s home. Everyone brings a Christmas treat while the host family supplies the main course. Presents are exchanged between closer family members and the children. It is like a small family reunion. Most of us have not seen each other in a year, so it is a time of visiting, food, and fun.
My husband’s family always celebrated on Christmas day. We would gather at his mother’s home and eat and eat and eat. Different family members would play games, while others visited. At dusk a bonfire was made and the fireworks began. It was always a bit sad to see the day come to an end. Family time is so enjoyable yet not always as lengthy as one would desire.
Three years ago a lady who was very used of God called me while I was out of town and told me to enjoy my Christmas that year. She had the sound of a warning in her voice. That particular year we had broke the family tradition and went to my daughter’s home in Mississippi. Little did I know then that it would be our last family Christmas together before my husband’s death. The next Christmas he was very, very ill and by the next he was no longer with us.
We have now started a new family tradition. It is a bit different from any that I have done before. Due to the loss of my parents and my husband, the relatives who live in or near Abbeville gather at my son’s home in Lafayette for a celebration the Saturday before Christmas. We did this the first year after my husband’s passing to help the holidays seem a bit more cheerful. It has now extended to my daughter’s boyfriend, his family, my daughter from Mississippi, a close family friend, a newcomer to our area, one of my sisters and her family, and all of the other relatives nearby. If it keeps growing, at the rate it is, we will no longer fit in anyone’s home.
We all bring pot luck so a wide variety of goodies are at hand. Gifts are bought for everyone from everyone. The floor is hardly seen because it is piled with gifts. The fire crackles from the inviting fireplace casting a shimmering glow into the room. The children are ecstatic while eagerly awaiting the opening of their presents. Conversation, food, and memory making is taking place.
Last year when my daughter and I arrived we sat in the driveway and cried missing our loved one. We wiped the tears quickly and entered the house with a smile as six grandchildren were awaiting Nana’s arrival. More Christmas memories and traditions were waiting to be made.
Christmas traditions are the making of memories. Family time is such an important time. With the hustle and bustle of life it is so nice to slow down and enjoy some time with one’s family. Traditions, isn’t it time to make some new ones for the family to remember?