originally posted on Live Journal

I am remembering what Christmas was like a few, no well a lot, of years back in my life. My mom put on one helluva Christmas. She started shopping the day after Christmas…for the next one. We used to tease her for that, but on the other hand we never turned anyone away from our house on Christmas without a gift.

Christmas Eve was my Mom’s one BIG PARTY of the year. I can’t remember too many other parties at any other time of year. When we were very small we’d go to grandma’s for Christmas, but sometime during my elementary school years we started having THE PARTY at our house. For years and years we could count on everyone in the family and a fair number of friends showing up. Usually friends would say, “Oh we can only stay a little while.” and inevitably they would be there for the duration.

Food! Oh lord there was food! And then the big event–presents. We had a number of kids in the family so there was always plenty of whining and pleading for the presents to be opened, and that was just from the adults! The orgy of unwrapping was a frenzied, loud and exciting affair. Now it seems all too materialistic, and we certainly didn’t need all that stuff. But it sure was fun.

Now that Mom’s passed away it doesn’t seem the same at all. Things started winding down a few years ago. Actually, ever since Mom and Dad moved to Tucson. Being here in Colorado, we only made it out to the big gathering every couple of years. But since we’ve all grown older, and our children have all grown up we are even less likely to get together. We adults don’t exchange gifts anymore. And “ahemm” there just aren’t that many grand babies these days.

Now it wasn’t all sweetness and light. Mom would always complain (to anyone who’d listen) that SHE was the one that HAD to host the party every year. And yet, with great anticipation she go into a frenzy of cooking, and housecleaning at least a week in advance. This meant of course anyone in the vicinity was drafted in service. My kids knowing what a clean freak she was can certainly appreciate what that was like!

On the other hand We all knew that this was Mom’s big night–she really dug doing the Christmas Eve Party thing. I think I can speak for all of her kids and grandkids when I say we miss her doing it.