Christmas Eve, 1968
Me, playing with my cousin, Patty
Today's prompt is Christmas Eve Memories and I have many memories that revolve around this special night. It's interesting to note how many Christmas Eve "traditions" have evolved as I have grown older. When I was very young, up until I was about 10 years old, we spent each and every Christmas Eve with my mother's side of the family. The best thing about those nights was the fact that there were so many of us at the party. My mother had 4 brothers and 1 sister and they were all married with families as well, so when we got together, we were a formidible bunch! The age range between the cousins was such that there was almost always someone else around that was close to your own age, so there were plenty of others to play with. It was wonderful! As the years went by and the children grew, the family "tradition" changed and those celebrations ended as the attention turned towards the individual families and their schedules, etc.. When I was 10 years old, my oldest brother was engaged and for a few years we spent Christmas Eve with the family of my sister-in-law. This time the tradition was held at our home and after some simple sandwiches and present opening, we would all head to church for the Christmas Eve services. After a few years of our blended family get-togethers, we spent a couple of Christmas Eve nights at home with just my parents, my brother, and my grandmother and we even opened all of our gifts on the night before Christmas once. This was a change in the tradition that we decided we did not like at all since it took away all the anticipation of Christmas morning. The year after my graduation from high school, I was married and of course, the question of how we would spend our Christmas was of extreme importance to us. We decided to host my husband's family at our home that Christmas Eve and and we would spend Christmas Day with my family. Thus began a tradition that continues to this day. I'm sure that one day this tradition will also change, but if and when it does, it will certainly be replaced by another; just as sweet and just as cherished. Merry Christmas to all and may we carry the spirit of Christmas in our hearts throughout the New Year!