Christmas, the big holiday my family goes nuts for. Christmas, the one holiday I get to see family members that are practically enigmas. Every year on Christmas Eve, December 24, my parents, little brother and I get ready for the roller coaster of a night. We get all of the gifts we got for our family, load them into our silver trailblazer, then drive to my grandmother’s house.
We normally arrive much sooner than most of the family. Since we arrive a lot sooner, we help set the table and sometimes “sample” the food and dessert that is set out. Most of the time the samples consist of rolls, pretzel reindeer and the famous mac’n’cheese my aunt is so good at making.
Before we start eating, we all hold hands and say a prayer. Afterwards, we dig in and enjoy all of the delicious cooking everyone brought for the feast. A lot of the time, there will be a dish of dessert that is shaped as a Santa, elf or reindeer. Sometimes, someone will have brought cheese. I always try to get to the cheese first and keep it for myself.
After we eat, most of us will find somewhere to relax. For the adults, they choose to sit by the stove. For us kids, we go back to a different room and chat. Sometimes, someone is trying to get away from their sibling. If we’re lucky, we’ll find fake snowballs, or something soft we can throw, and start a war against the adults. It normally ends up with a few kids getting tickled.
At the end of it all, when we have all used the extra energy given to us by our Christmas spirit, we all head home. Except for some of us. Some of us stay for the gifts. Since some of our family is a lot closer than others, we have a special gift giving we save for the end. Back to the gifts I talked about earlier, we all separate the gifts into smaller piles. Each pile is set in an area of the living room for someone.
When we all head to living room, our grandmother gets out her camera and takes some pictures for her scrapbook. For me, it’s always more fun to see what everyone else got. I always try to predict how they will use their gifts. Will my cousin use her new art supplies to make those gorgeous paintings of her’s? Or will my grandfather get a new pair of sturdy gloves? That is always my favorite part of the day.
Christmas, the family dinner where everyone gets to hang out and catch up. Even though I don’t always look forward to talking with some family members, it is the special way that we celebrate with family that makes it tolerable. December 24, Christmas Eve. My family get-together.