Christmas roundup with the family traditions explained
Hello America. Why yes I am behind on my Holidailies posts. I was spending time with my 80 year old grandma at my 80 year old grandma’s house. She’s not tech savvy enough to have internet access and even if she did, it would be that god awful dial up that would take ten thousand years to upload any pictures anyway. And well, 80 year old grandmas are a higher priority than some random internet meme. So there you go.
The annual Melissa family Christmas celebration goes like this.
We go to my Mom’s Mom’s house. Mom’s Dad died back in the late 70s. We spend Thanksgiving with Dad’s family. This was decided way back before I was even born. It makes sense really. Mom is one of two siblings. Dad is one of six.
Now we go to my Mom’s Mom’s house and on the 24th we have a baked ham. We make sandwiches with the baked ham. The sides include the lettuce and tomato and what you would consider toppings for a sandwich. Also, there is pimento and cheese. I don’t know if “pimento and cheese” is a Southern thing but there you go.
Besides the meal itself, there is a cornucopia of snack foods: cookies, Chex Mix, the summer sausage/cheese/spicy mustard combo, pecan brittle, etc.
Now the 24th, the family would open the presents and clean up the area around the tree so that when Santa came, he would have room to set up the toys on Christmas day. THis meant when the kids woke up, the toys were already assembled under the tree and ready to go. Yeah it was fun times.
Also, back in the day, every other family on the street (well it was all cousins) would open their presents on Christmas day. This would leave a whole bunch of people bored. They would come down to grandma’s house and have a helluva time. Back in the day, there was also a lot of liquor around. As the cousins got older and became grandparents on their own, that tradition sort of stopped.
But to this very day, we open our presents on Christmas eve. I guess this is preparing me for the god awful visitation arrangement with my future ex-husband and our future kids who will be floating between the families. Nobody ever said I wasn’t prepared.
On Christmas day, we have turkey, dressing, and the other traditional “Christmas foods.” Grandma’s dressing is a cornbread based dressing and it ends up really thick with a consistency similar to bread pudding. It also has quite a bit of sage in it. We eat around lunch time. There you go.
My family quit trying to buy me things for Christmas years ago. Usually they ask for a “Christmas list” where I list things I would like and they pick from that list. But lately, they’ve even dropped that pretext and I usually get a bunch of cash. Of course, cash is impersonal and so I usually get something small and “thoughtful” to go along with my money.
One year, I got a Tickle me Big Bird. I was twenty seven years old. One year, my Aunt got footie pajamas. I’m not even going to say how old she was because she will find this web post, hunt me down, and kill me.
So this year, I got a lovely dark purple faux reptile (or maybe real who knows) handbag, (seriously it’s something I will actually use), a Timex Ironman watch, a bunch of cash, a snuggie, and a shake weight.
That’s right kids. A SNUGGIE
and a SHAKE WEIGHT!
As you can see, not only did I get a snuggie. I got the most whacked out designed by a six year old girl on acid Snuggie in the world. Seriously, what the hell? I asked my mother and she replied, “I wanted to make sure you didn’t lose it”
No siree. Homeless people would slap me if I attempted to give them that monstrosity.
As far as the shake weight is concerned, I almost bought my Aunt a shake weight. It’s like the smart ass version of the Gift of the Magi at our house.
My Dad got a pistol and some CDs. My Mom got some cooking items. My grandma got an air compressor. My Aunt got a car vac. Everybody got watches from my grandma. Apparently, she went to an outlet mall watch store and stocked up.
My brother spent Christmas at one the family home of one of his roommates.
I spent a couple of days after the holiday hanging out with my grandma, watching goofy television. We went out to eat and hung out like girls. She has some random pain in her hip and doesn’t like to drive after dark so when someone comes to visit, she is all about having someone take her somewhere.
About a year and a half ago, she started experiencing pain. It turned out she had a slight curve in her spine that went untreated as a kid. As a result, the disc between one of the greatest curves has pretty much eroded away. It puts pressure on a nerve that makes it feel like her hip is hurting. Somehow it goes back to her back. This is the first time that she’s really felt like she can’t do anything. She’s feeling her age and she really hates it. It gets her down. Two years ago, her BFF Bud died. He used to come over every morning and drink coffee at her house. Now she doesn’t get nearly as many visitors. As a result, I try to spend as much time as I can with her.
I did. It was nice.