Family get together for us as usual. I always look forward to it. Several years back there was twelve of us. Some of my family members passed away several years ago, one went back to her country of birth, another got divorced, and one that we don’t talk to anymore. Mum and my aunt used to serve up a three course meal. My dad and uncle always demanded pasta, we had soup and a roasted meat with vegetables. There are seven of us now that get together at birthdays and the festive seasons. My sister and I do most of the cooking. This year it’s a roast turkey, salads and a pavlova. I recently purchased a Weber Q, best roast I’ve ever tasted.
I stopped traveling to my family’s place for Christmas because it was too stressful, expensive and cold. So we do virtual Christmas.
This year, my oldest/bestest friend is coming to see me. She flies in Christmas Day. I’m super excited.
I like that Christmas brings time with family and friends, even if it’s virtual, over the phone or sending a card.
We’ve experienced the family contraction Lori’s talking about, but ours left us with a tiny core group. Back in the day, my cousins who lived in Colorado and Arizona used to come to Albuquerque for Thanksgiving at my mom’s house; at one point, we routinely had 23 people for the holiday. Christmas was always smaller, and we’d gather at Kelly’s parents house with our two kids, my brother, his brother, and my mom. When my dad lived in New Mexico, he and my stepmother would also come, and a couple of my in-laws’ friends who didn’t have family nearby.
Now that all of the older generation and Kelly’s brother are gone and our older daughter Melissa and her husband are in Michigan (they alternate holidays with the parents, and we had them for Thanksgiving), we’re left with just the three of us and my brother. We used to do a whole-day celebration, starting with a breakfast, then present-opening, then dinner, but since 2020 (when we all stayed in our own houses), my brother hasn’t wanted to get together for all of that. So we’ll do the morning at home, then we’ll go to his house for dinner with four total. It’s a lot easier nowadays, but I do get a little wistful about the changes.
When my kids were little they were super excited about putting up the Christmas tree, I would put it up and leave it bare for them to decorate. That changed one year when they just turned teenagers. I waited for them to decorate it but it didn’t happen, so hung a note on the bare tree that said if they didn’t help decorate it next year they will get bugger all for Christmas, and I signed it “from Santa”. My daughter lives in her own place now, but my son still lives with us, I don’t think he ever forgot that note, come late November every year - “Mum can I put up the Christmas tree soon?”
This is our Christmas tree.
No plans at present. Since my parents’ passed in the 90’s we sometimes get together at other relatives’ residences but as you might imagine, that fell by the wayside during the pandemic. Most of my immediate relatives aren’t into celebrating Christmas anyway, it’s mainly because of the younger ones, of which there is only one at this point (my great niece). I don’t mind celebrating Christmas but do agree with some that Thanksgiving can be less stressful as it involves just getting together for a nice meal. There’s none of the stress of having to buy a gift for everyone. It could very well turnout that there will be no getting together for Christmas this year. If so, I will admittedly be disappointed because I haven’t seen my brother and my niece (his daughter) in over two years. Hopefully, that won’t turn out to be the case though.