Photograph by Kris De Curtis, 2006
From now and until Christmas Eve I will be participating in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, 2015 Edition by Thomas MacEntee and the Geneabloggers. If you would like to join you or want to know more about it please see this link.
Today's Christmas memory is about Christmas Eve.
For me, Christmas Eve is all about family. This afternoon we will make our way to David and Cassie's where we will all hopefully fit into one car then we will head up to Greensboro to my the home of my parents. We will probably arrive while everyone is at the Children's Mass and celebrating the birth of Jesus. Once everyone arrives at Then we Momma and Daddy's we will settle in for dinner and gifts.
Every Christmas Eve, my Momma makes manicotti with a salad, rolls and big pot of sausage & peppers. However, before we can sit down to eat this wonderful meal we have to gather around the table in the kitchen (all 23 of us) to say grace which is usually said by my Dad. After dinner is the cleanup and in years past when we would use Momma's good china and silver we had to wash everything by hand. Fortunately, one of my sister's (Kathy, I think) finally convinced Momma that paper plates and regular flatware was just fine! Then it is time for presents.
We let the kids open their gifts first and they go in order from youngest to oldest. I think last year my nephew Walker got a rude awakening when he realized that Easton was now the youngest and would now get to go first. I am looking forward to seeing how Easton handles this Christmas Eve with all the kids and the adults this year. He is shy until he gets use to everyone, then watch out! The noise level alone when the kids open their presents is enough to make anyone deaf! After the kids are done they go to the den and watch tv or a Christmas movie or special then the adults get their turn!
My parents, siblings and their spouses, Tommy, David, Cassie and I do Dirty Santa gifts. My nephew TJ is also considered an adult now, once the grandchildren hit age 21 they get to play too! The rules are that the gift must cost no less than $20.00 but cannot cost more than $25.00. If you choose to play as couple than you get 1 pick on the other hand if a couple chooses to play as an individual then you get 2 picks. We draw numbers to decide what order we will start. Then the fun begins because if you are pick the # 1 you pick first but if someone else likes what you picked they can take it away from you and you have to pick another gift. Any gift can be swapped twice. Oh and did I mention alcohol is always involved? This year I am taking spiced apple cider and champagne for apple cider mimosa's for Christmas Eve. Last year was my nephew TJ's first year and he purchased a giant (64oz) white flask and I was the lucky one who got it. It has come in handy at our Parrot Head events.
This will be the first year that all 23 of us will be home for Christmas Eve. I have already told my Momma that we need to be sure we a group picture. We all try to be at all family events but it is not always possible. We also need a picture of her and Daddy with all of the grandchildren, which we did for years but for some reason last year we only took one only of all the grandchildren.
The Grand's: L-R Standing: Kaitlyn, TJ, Williams, and Jebb. L-R Sitting: Walker, JJ, my son David holding my grandson, Easton, Bryan and Gracie; personal collection
This Christmas Eve we will start 2 new traditions with David, Cassie and Easton. The first one is that Tommy and I will be spending the night with them so that we can be there Christmas morning to watch Easton open his gifts from Santa. The second tradition I start will be a secret but I will tell you on Christmas Day. I am really looking forward to Christmas morning!
Merry Christmas Eve Everyone!
Photo Credit: File: Christmas tree bauble.jpg, Wikimedia Commons, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Christmas_tree_bauble.jpg : downloaded 22 December 2015) image contributed by Kris De Curtis (own work) 3 December 2006; used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International; originally posted to Flickr ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/krisdecurtis/313881077/: 22 December 2015)