Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

Eve’s of Christmases Past

on December 25, 2009

Tradition.

It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot, especially between November and December. Everyone seems to have their favorite traditions for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Mine are disappearing.

For as long as I can remember, we celebrated Thanksgiving in Houston with my Grandmother. Many years, it was also with a considerable amount of cousins, but even when it wasn’t, Thanksgiving daymeant waking up early, driving down to Houston, and the yummy desserts my Grandmother made (and when she got to a point where she couldn’t, my mom). Then we’d watch football games with my uncle and return on Saturday or Sunday, depending on church commitments.

My grandmother died on November 2, 2o07. For three Thanksgivings, we’ve struggled with what to do and how to do it. For three years, we’ve celebrated with various members of my dad’s family. Don’t get me wrong, I love them — they’re just not who we celebrate Thanksgiving with.

My Christmas traditions have been going away too. Growing up, Christmas Eve was celebrated by eating a small snack around 4:30, then going to the 6:00 service, then over to our friend’s house for a Christmas Eve party. As kids, we would pile our plate high with desserts, get a cup of punch, and site in the game room watching the latest Disney movie. As we got older, we started talking in the front room, and our punch got a special “adult” ingredient in it, and we went to the party before the 11:00 service.

Now, the party is gone. The husband and wife who hosted it for so many years (has to be more 15+) don’t. The husband died a few years ago of cancer and the wife now travels to her out of state grandchildren for Christmas. Tonight we went to the 6:00 service, then home for dinner and television. A good, fun, night; but it’s not the same.

Even now, I’m reminded of a tradition from when I was a kid. My sister and I were never the best of friends, but on Christmas Eve, she would come into my room and we would play games until we got tired and then we would both sleep in my room. When we woke up super early, we would play games until Dad said we could come out. Now, my sister has to be dragged out of bed 5 minutes before we open presents (and she’d be thrilled if we would move present time from 8:30 to 11:30).

Some traditions haven’t died: My mom still makes the same Christmas morning brunch that she does every year. My sister and I still buy presents for each other after Christmas. My mom still hates that. My dad still wakes up super early on Christmas morning and my uncle still comes over Christmas morning to watch us open our gifts (even though we are 28 and 24).

4 years ago, my cousins Kara and Chris had a Christmas party for the DFW relatives, about 15 of us. We’ve had it every year since then, at rotating houses, and this year there was 30 of us at my parent’s. As some people left last Saturday, my mom told one of her cousins that next year was his year to host. A newcomer said, “Oh, are we going to have it again next year?”

Yes.

It’s tradition.

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