If you celebrate Christmas the same way twice, you have the makings of a Christmas “tradition”. In Hills-ville our Christmas traditions keep changing as life changes. Gone are the days when Mom would always cap off our food and fun celebration at my sister E’s home with the declaration, “BEST Christmas EVER!”. I don’ remember the details of each gathering but Mom was probably right on target. It just doesn’t get any better than having the family together in one place!
Traditions change a little when life changes.After Mom and Daddy died in a car wreck in March, ’91, the next Christmas just was’t the same. We gathered, we ate, we gifted, we laughed remembering Mom’s, “BEST Christmas EVER” but we really missed Mom’s excitement and Daddy giving out Eisenhower silver dollars.
Each Christmas the traditional gathering continued basically as normal until I got the idea for a new twist to liven things up. I come from a family of shoppers and collectors (pickers) so I decided to mix up the gift-giving thing a little. My family has wide tastes so I gathered “stuff” (mostly new but some vintage deals) all year long for “Honest John and Honest Judy’s Christmas Store” where everything is free!
Most continued to swap gifts as usual and E prepared a feast as always, but for our part we opened up the store at the end of the evening. At the “Country Store” everybody went shopping through the odd mix and took home some treasures.
Each Christmas after that, the store grew from one table to several and later added a separate room for the “vintage stuff”. We also welcomed our other sister Nancy (and Frank) from Florida into the store if they happened to be in town.
After the death of Judy’s dad, tradition abruptly changed for Judy and me. The rest of the family gathered as usual at my sister’s (and still does) but we now spent the holiday with Mema in Wilson and the day after with Susan, Kevin and the grand kids in Gates County.
More time passed and traditions have adjusted along the way. Judy’s mom died, Susan, Kevin and the grand kids moved to Charlotte. Now the grand kids are grown and we have welcomed Gavin and Lawsen into the family. So as you might expect, we spend Christmas in Charlotte.
I really like hearing about how you do Christmas. I hope your tradition includes family and friends. For Mom, each Christmas was “The Best Ever!”. I pray that is true for you. Merry Christmas from “Hill’s-ville” North!
Papa John (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Baby Grace and Haylee Grace
P.S. Just got word my sister has moved the traditional gathering at her home to Christmas Eve so we can celebrate two traditions! After being closed all these years, how about the Country Store? Is it out of business for good? I don’t have a clue–but as the politicians say, “I’ll get back to you on that.”
My better half Judy gave me the greatest ‘human’ gift in 1987 when she said “I do”. Don’t try to reconcile the math, but I have 3 teen age grandchildren now. Hannah, the oldest gave me the name “Papa John” and was disappointed when she found out that all those pizza places were not mine.
MON-FRI 7P-MIDNIGHT, SAT 6P-10P