Christmas is a time of laughter and family gathering; at least it was for my family when I was under five feet. No matter what was happening through the cracks of our relationships, we’d set aside the drama for a smoked ham and a brutal game of dominoes at my grandma’s house on the hill.
Our dinner emulated the Who-ville feast. My mom would Bring pasta salads, chips, and dips. My aunt would bring beans and other vegetables for sides. My dad would make some sort of barbecue dish; and my uncle would just kind of be there. We’d arrive to an elaborate display of snacks my grandma baked up on a long counter, waiting for the rest of the goodies to fill in the blanks.
Needless to say, I gained a solid ten pounds every holiday season.
These times were blissful. What was probably about a three to four hour time span felt like eternity. Time stood still. I can still smell the honey smoke and warmth in the air. Laughter and obnoxiously loud adult talk filled the candle lit atmosphere while my brother, cousin, and I played with our toys and watched Rudolf on FOX.
I was so small that all of my grandma’s statues came to life and towered over me.
Now, they whimper in my presence. I tower over not only the statues, but everyone around me (I’m an amazonian woman, to say the least). It might have been the series of divorces my family endured; maybe it was the crippling depression. But there’s one thing for certain, Christmas is not the same anymore.
Tradition is a value that I cherish. It not only instills consistency, but brings about pride and dignity. I am proud to hold those childhood memories so dearly. They bring honor to my family when I speak about them; they fill my heart with love.
It’s incredibly easy to take for granted the little things. Thinking back to “the Dark Age”, no one really talked to each other, peacefully at least.
The Christmas’s after my mom and aunt’s divorces were empty, and drunk. In the past, they would set plans to make cookies with their mom, a three day process which entitled a sleepover and carols. I haven’t seen them all three together since. My aunt lived up the road, but it was as if she lived states away.
This year, I spend Christmas in Florida with my mom, dad, and brother. The thought of the two, who would spit in each other’s faces figuratively and literally, in the same room didn’t even exist up until recently. We’ve come a long way in the eight years that have past.
My mom and I made Christmas cookies on our own, even picked up a small ham at the grocery store up the road. Tonight, after a small feast, we’re going to rip each other’s head off over another brutal game of dominoes. I can feel myself filling with a brand new kind of love; I feel almost brand new.
via Daily Prompt: Cherish