Said my grandad to my grandma. Christmas 1986.
"Is everybody who ought to be here, here ? "
"Reckon we're good to eat."
Everybody meant just that. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, neighbours and literally anyone who was at loose ends in our little community on Christmas Day was welcome to come break bread with us. In those days, before my generation scattered, there were so many of us that nobody's house would hold us all, so we had our Christmas meal each year on Christmas Day at the community hall, just down the street from my grandparent's house, and we filled it up with our presence and our laughter. Grandma would usually wind up at the piano, and we'd play, sing and eat all day long.
I couldn't imagine our Christmas tradition ever being any different then, but 1986 was the last in a long line of Christmases that my grandad would be able to say those words to grandma. From that day to this one has been a slow playing out of that family tradition as new families began their own Christmas rituals. Lest I sound sad about this, I believe that's as it should be, although I admit to some nostalgia for those days each year as I get older. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have tried to cram in even more fun that I had back then, and that is saying something !
Fast forward twenty four years and, except for chores and barring equine or livestock emergencies, I'll be looking forward to participating in Christmas dinner with my in-laws and their families, including Melissa's grandaddy who, at 94 will be making the trip up from Memphis in a few days. Christmas and the days surrounding it are part of the hand full of days that we completely close the farm to visiting clients; I admit to looking forward to a few day's grace on that front, too !
What are you doing for Christmas this year ? What are your family traditions ?
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