Sherry Stocking Kline
December 7th, 2009
Christmas Parties? My first thought when I read the challenge was “We didn’t go to Christmas parties when I was a kid.” Then I read Randy Seaver’s Christmas Party Challenge at Genea-Musings and realized, well, maybe we did. (And by the way, Congratulations to Randy for his much deserved “Genea-Speak Award.”
Below, from Thomas MacEntee’s Geneabloggers website is today’s challenge! What did/do you and your family do to celebrate Christmas?
Did your family throw a holiday party each year? Do you remember attending any holiday parties?
We didn’t do parties, we had “Christmas”…
We didn’t do parties, we had “Christmas”. When I was very young, we used to get together with the aunts and uncles who lived close enough to drive home and draw names to exchange gifts. I’m not sure why and when that stopped, but it may have simply been the result of the next generation marrying, moving further away for jobs, and it becoming too difficult to find a date when all could attend.
Later, it was our own family who gathered as my brother’s grew up, married, and had families. We gathered on Christmas Eve to eat supper (we called it supper then) and exchange gifts. And because my oldest nephew was just two and a half years younger than me, and they stair-stepped down at two year intervals till I had five nephews and nieces, I had ‘partners-in-crime’ to shake packages and impatiently try to hurry the adults up!
I can’t for the life of me remember what we ate on those nights! As a child, it wasn’t about the food, it was about the gifts, and it seemed unbelievable that the adults could think about food when there were so many surprises waiting for them (and more importantly for us) in the other room under the tree.
They actually ate dessert before they let us open the packages, and I think maybe they prolonged the dessert eating just to torture us!
Can you imagine?
Finally, they declared we had waited long enough…
Finally, they declared we had waited long enough, and everyone gathered in our tiny little living room and my Dad began to hand out packages to everyone. He didn’t dress up like Santa, but his Christmas spirit is something that I remember today.
Dad was all about giving the gift and watching the recipient while they opened it. Their enjoyment was the gift that gave him the most joy each Christmas.
After Dad passed away when I was just shy of thirteen, there was something important missing from our Christmas gatherings each year and I didn’t even come close to finding it again till my own children were born.