Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Memories of Christmas Past

Christmas Day was sort of a blast from the past for me.  For the first time in almost 25 years, my mom's side of the family gathered at my grandma's house to celebrate the holiday.

We haven't had Christmas in this house since 1988 when it was decided that the house where my mom and her 5 siblings grew up had become too small for the rapidly expanding family.  Family size in 1988: 11 adults, 5 children.  I think I'm the only one of my cousins who can actually remember having Christmas at Grandma's!

This year, 17 adults (1 aunt/her husband and 3 cousins/1 cousin's spouse weren't able to join us) and 2 dogs crammed into the 984 sq. ft. house that has been home to our family since it was built in 1953 for what is likely the last time since Grandma passed away last month.  I think my mom and her siblings wanted to 'go home for Christmas' one more time before the house is sold.  Seems perfectly reasonable to me.  Sure, we were packed in like sardines and it was a little weird being in the house without Grandma there, but it brought back so many memories and really illustrated how much the family has changed since 1988!

Some things haven't changed - like Grandma's collection of spoon rests on the wall above the stove.

And Grandma & Grandpa's wedding photo:

 Other things have changed - like the addition of my mother-in-law's amazing Christmas cookies (a fixture every year since I met The Husband).

Seriously...the woman is one chromosome away from being Martha Stewart (but much nicer).

Due to the immense size of the family (22 people all told), we did away with a gift exchange long ago, so imagine my surprise when each of Grandma's grandchildren received one last Christmas gift from her.  When I opened my box, I found this:

This music box is one of my earliest memories of Grandma's house.  It used to sit atop the stereo in the living room - right at a little girl's eye level.  Every time I was at Grandma's house, either she or Grandpa would wind it up and let me pull the little pin on the side to make it play - over and over.  I've always loved this music box and I'm so happy it was entrusted to me. (I would have added a video of it playing, but it refuses to upload properly!)

After the gifts were opened; dessert was had, football was watched and then we all departed - for likely the last time.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

1 comment:

April said...

Isn't it the little things that we cherish the most? Your music box is like my rolling pin. After she quit cooking my Granny gave me the rolling pin she had made biscuits with for since she had been married. I keep it with the metal ladle that was my great-granny's; the one we used to dip drinks of water out of the water pail (no they didn't have running water).