Leaves on this Family Tree

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Traditions

I wonder if it is the same for people with children. On Christmas Eve do they remember the traditions that were practiced when they were growing up in their home on Christmas or are they too busy with their adult life, children and grandchildren?

I ALWAYS remember, and hope that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO MY MIND I will always remember, the Christmas Eve traditions Mom and Dad perfected for Lee and I.

We would get cleaned up in the early evening and get ready for our 1st stop of the evening . . .Dolores and Eddies'. We would stay there until they left for Midnight Mass.Did you know that Catholics get their gifts before they go to Midnight Mass? Well, Kackee, Tom and Steve did. Santa would ALWAYS stop by their house when they were getting cleaned up for mass. SO, by the time we got there, their Christmas presents were all opened and we got to play with them.

Eddie was such a kid himself. When we were really young, he would always organize us into a group and we would put on a play for Dolores, Mom, Dad, and anyone else who was there.   Then, oh,, I can remember this SO WELL, he would go to the window and say  he saw Santa flying through the sky!

Well, of course, Lee and I wanted to go straight home, but alas, we would leave there and head to Herbie and Kaddy's.

As a child, I know I must have driven Jack, Rick and Lee nuts. I know I was so much ornerier than any of them.When I got older I actually read my 1st Playboy at their house. Mom and Dad said nothing. I guess they figured it was time I learned about "men's" magazines. We didn't have any in our house so this was a first.. Actually, it was no big deal. I was old enough to understand the humor in "Little Annie Fanny" so I guess I was old enough to understand the "concept" of the magazine.

I can still remember driving through town, back to our house . . .the streets deserted (it must have been around 1 am when we would get home) and I would lean up over the front seat between my parents and gaze out the front window wondering if I would see Santa like Eddie had.

When we got home, it was off to bed. I ALWAYS stayed up and listened for the "little hoof beats" on the roof. But would fall asleep before I heard them.

Then, on Christmas morning, in the little living room (front parlor) would be a Christmas tree, left by Santa . . all decorated with presents under it. That Santa was sure magical. Now, as an adult, I am amazed that Mom and Dad put up the tree and decorated it after Lee and I had gone to bed and I never heard them.  AND, if there was anything that needed put together (doll house . . tin slot A into slot B which wouldn't always work out) Dad had that to do too. All was done after partaking of the "spirits of Christmas" at both of their stops.

God Bless you, Mom and Dad for keeping the Magic of Christmas alive until I was old enough to help decorate the tree . . . then, Santa only had to bring the presents . . . I was saving him time so he could put up other trees for other little children.

 Oh, I forgot . . one year I went down the stairs and their, on a table that sat by the wall at the foot of the stairs, was a "bundle of switches" all tied up with a red bow. It was from Santa to my brother, reminding him to behave better the next year, or else. (See, Mom had a warped sense of humor too.  ROFLMAO @ what Lee must have thought.)

We did spent Christmas Eve at the homes of Mom & Dad's BFF's every year until Dolores and Eddy moved to Ohio. Then, it was just Herbie & Kaddy's house. One Christmas, when I was in college, I partook of the Christmas Punch a little too much and had the 1st, and only, hangover I have ever had . . man, it was SO GOOD . . fruit punches, rum and vodka!! ! ! !

We went their until Kaddy died. I was probably in my early 30's because I remember she was dying of cancer and was in our local hospital. I picked some flowers from my garden and dropped them off in her room before I went to work. Mom was so surprised that Kaddy let me  see her without her wig on . I told her I didn't  give her a chance to do anything . . just dropped in , dropped the vase off and left for work.

After that, Christmas Eve was just Mom, Dad and I. Then, Dad died and It was just Mom and I. When Mom died, it was going to b e a rough Christmas. Then Joyce, my BFF,invited me to spend Christmas night at her house with her family . . her mom, 4 siblings and all of their kids. It was great . . a new tradition.

Now, it's Gene and I, Indy, Abby, Marcus, Matthew and Nosey. here in Western New York. We got home just a little while ago from our Christmas Eve tradition. I've made and bagged Scrabble and Gene has baked and baked cookies. Today, Gene got the cookie platters ready, I "zipped" the curling ribbon. Then, we delivered Christmas Goodies to Mike, Denise, Cassie and Mason who live behind us, Maggie (the English Bulldog) got Gene's home made Snickerpoodles and Dog Bone treats and Michele (her mom) got human treats. The Mayor, who lives next to Maggie and Mom gt Scrabble as a Thank You for plowing out or driveway and sidewalk when it snows and finally to Alicia, Jared and Aiden's house to drop off their Christmas Treats. I just LOVE doing this when people aren't home . . and everyone of them was gone when we delivered . . . we Elves work in mysterious ways, don't we?

So, here I am, watching Christmas Cartoons and writing a blog entry on Christmas Traditions. Now, if  the original Babes in Toyland, with Annette Funnicello , Frankie Avelon and Keenan Wynn would be on, instead of the newer (1996?) version with Drew Barrymore and Pat Morita, it would be a PERFECT Christmas Eve.

Hoping You and Yours have (or had if the case may be) a Blessed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

A Real Traditionalist At Heart


  1. Paula, what a straight from the heart post! I really enjoyed reading about your traditions and can relate to a lot of them. I grew up Catholic too but we did not partake in midnight mass but went to early morning Christmas mass. We always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve though and I absolutely loved it. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New year too!

  2. LOL The one thing that always confused me was that dad would insist we leave Santa rum balls and scotch instead of cookies and milk. I understood the first time I had to assemble a Barbie house.

    Merry Christmas.

  3. Merry Christmas Paula! I hope you and Gene have a wonderful day!


Reading your comments inspires me to blog more.