Jill at Follow Your Bliss is hosting a Christmas Traditions event on her blog. She asked if we would share the traditions we hold near and dear. After much thought, I realized that I don't have many traditions. Oh sure, I have a few... white lights on the Christmas tree because a dear family friend who I adored as a child (and still do) had them on her tree, opening one Christmas present on Christmas eve as I did as a child, did with my children, and now do with my grandchildren. There are actually a few, but the thing that most gives me that ol' Christmas feeling are the memories I have of Christmas' past...
Most of my childhood Christmas' were spent at my Grandparents house. They lived a few hours outside of the city. Each year as Christmas neared my Mother packed the car, two small girls, a few gifts, and out to the country we drove. Their house was a home Grandad built and raised his children in, including my own Dad. It wasn't large, or filled with lavish, expensive gifts. Theirs was a warm home, filled with laughter, and love, and the two people I cherished most in the world. Grandma made the curtains, as well as the quilts on snug beds, Grandad made much of the furniture though you'd never know to look at it. She cooked, taught my sister every card game she knew, and told stories of days gone by growing up in Kansas one of 11 children. He spent his days outdoors gardening, caring for the small livestock they raised, and regularly watched The Lawrence Welk Show. I followed them both closely soaking in all I could. I stirred pots for Grandma, and floated stick people down the irrigation ditch as I followed Grandad outside. We learned to drive tractors, rode the neighbors horses, played cards, and performed singing and dancing acts to entertain these two people we so loved. I always considered their house "home". It wasn't only that small house that welcomed me with open arms, but my two favorite people who lived there. Much of who I am today I learned through watching them.
They have both been gone many years now; Grandad 22 years and Grandma 1o. I'm so glad my children knew Christmas' with them as well, and my Grandmother shared secret words of wisdom with my husband. They really aren't so far away, as e.e. cummings so perfectly penned, I carry their hearts in mine. I guess the tradition I hope to carry on is to give my Grandchildren the gifts my Grandparents gave me. I think it's the greatest gift of all, and certainly the one's I cherish the most this time of year.
Merry Christmas Grandma & Grandad. Merry Christmas everyone.