When I was a kid, Christmas involved waking up, realizing it was THE MORNING, and running to get my parents out of bed. There was, after all, no present unwrapping until everyone was downstairs. This was a real drag when my brothers got up into high school and didn't want to wake up early. At some point my parents gave up waiting on them and let my sister and me start opening our presents in defiance of their ONE RULE. Oh, of course, we got to open up one present on Christmas eve, but we never wanted it to be our BIG present, because then what would you have left on Christmas morning but socks and books and bad sweaters from Aunt Helen?
But as we've gotten older, Christmas begins later and later. We didn't even arrive at my mother's until 1. Dinner was at 4. About 5:30 we started to think about opening presents. Also at 5:30, D-brother called and that took another 15 minutes. Oh, we finally got back to the task at hand. There were a lot of presents under that tree for only 4 people.
So this wasn't the Christmas of my childhood. But it was a lot of fun visiting and eating and swapping cookies. But I'm getting ahead of myself. There are a lot of traditions in the D-family Christmas celebration. First the guests arrive. There's D-Gram.
And D-sister. D-sister's dog, Chance isn't happy when D-sister goes out to empty the car. And after everyone arrives, we have to take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
Jake dislikes having his picture taken, but he is, at first, a good sport. Here he is showing off his new walrus toy. I believe he may have been disappointed because there was no squeaker.
Then we ate. We had ham, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, green beans, rolls, red wine, and cushaw pie for dessert. (These are cushaw for those not from the south.) We had cookies. And more cookies. Sugar cookies in Christmas shapes with green and red sprinkles. Cheddar crisps. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with walnuts. Ginger snaps. Peanut brittle. Peanut butter fudge. Chocolate fudge. Peanut butter truffles dipped in chocolate. Candy canes flavored like Life Savers. Fruit and shortbreads and nut mixes from Harry and David's. There was probably more, but I had to go to detox after all that candy.
But after we revived, we headed up to my Gram's to see her Christmas tree and visit there for a while. Isn't her tree grand? And the nativity set was purchased by my father when he was just a child as a present to his mother. She adores that nativity set, even though the baby Jesus is broken and one of the three kings sorta leans.
Our family is much smaller now. All the men are gone. D-nephew Lee spent the holiday with his father and is now heading to Pennsylvania for a visit with his high school friends. My aunt wasn't feeling up to it and didn't make it down. Nonetheless, I have really enjoyed my visit. It won't be easy heading back to the land of chemical ecology and lesson plans for spring.