Happy Day Six of the 12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge. I took a day to decompress and relax before finals. I am back now, ready to share a fond childhood Christmas memory. Well, sort of.
Every year my family gets together on Christmas Eve and we have dinner, open gifts, and share dessert. Although I have many amazing Christmas memories from my childhood, there is always one thing in common… the memories were made with my extended family.
It would take many blog posts for me to share my favorite childhood memories from Christmas. Choosing just one would be too hard also. Instead, I decided to just describe what it is like at a Baione family Christmas. All I need to do is see my wonderful cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and family friend to be transported back to a time filled with laughter and joy.
We all meet at my Auntie Edye’s gorgeous home that is decorated in the most amazing way imaginable. Picture one of the famous Macy’s windows, but throughout the entire home. It is truly spectacular. As you twist open the door knob and step inside, you hear bells jingle, dogs barking, and laughter two rooms over.
Every person who enters the home stumbles through the door carrying gifts and food items. When they make their way into the kitchen, you hear an entire group of people yell, “HEYYYY!!!” Any troubles you may have been dealing with before stepping foot into the home instantly vanishes.
You slowly work the room with hugs, kisses, and quick conversations to say hello. Once you finally make it to the family room, you see the Christmas tree, presents scattered along the floor, and most (if not all) the cousins hanging out, watching a movie, and catching up. This is where I spent most of my time. All of the cousins eventually snuggle up on the couch to rest after chowing down on a tasty meal before opening presents.
Eventually, with age, the number of cousins in the room begins to shrink. As we all get older, we tend to find ourselves lingering in the kitchen, discussing our lives and futures, and sipping on our favorite glass of wine. Our space to chat may change as we continue to grow, but we always end up sticking together.
After dinner and resting a bit, we begin playing our Christmas present exchange, White Elephant. You can always count on someone beginning a chant when it is someone’s turn to open a gift. For example, if it is my cousin Tara’s turn, the entire room will chant, “TARA! TARA! TARA!” It can get loud…
Once the presents are opened and the game has finished, we run to get dessert. It is usually around this time that people begin to head home. Especially those with young children who need to get tucked into bed before Santa arrives. In most cases, it takes a LONG time for my portion of the family to get out of the house and into the car.
Every year this is the normal routine. Not much has changed in a long time. The biggest changes were the losses and gains each year. We miss Grandpa, Grandma, Stephen, some of the pups, and more. But we are grateful to have gained new members of the family, children and spouses. Even if we cannot see a person, we know they are there laughing with us in spirit. Beautiful Christmas memories are so easily made each year with my family. I am a lucky lady.
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