Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Keeping Tradition

There's been a Christmas Eve party at my parents' house nearly every year for four decades now.  I missed quite a few while living in Hawaii and California, but the party went on.  It morphed over the years from my grandparents, some aunts and uncles and cousins, to now just my brothers and sisters and their families, with the occasional in-law visitors or extended family (just the kids, spouses and grandkids, plus one great-grandma, makes dinner nearly 40 people).  There weren't a lot of absolute traditions--some years, there would be a nativity, in recent years a Chinese auction-type gift exchange has been had amongst the adults--but it was a given that there would be turkey, large quantities of sugar in various forms, and Christmas Eve packages containing new PJs.

We were headed this way for that party when our trip came to an abrupt halt.  Mom suggested that maybe we could move the cousin get-together to another day.  My sister I think put it best when she said that even if we did the party another day, she'd still head to my parents' on Christmas Eve, even if it was just her and the kids eating pizza with mom and dad, because she was pretty sure that if she told her kids that they weren't going to Yaya and Papa's on Christmas Eve, they'd think she cancelled Christmas.

I completely know what she means.  Thankfully, my big sister came and picked us up today, and my parents offered to take us home sometime later.  So, despite the car trouble this week, the tradition will continue as it has.  I'm glad for that.  We'll spend Christmas Eve with the extended family, exchange presents with cousins, eat too much, open pajamas, probably laugh a lot, and then, when everyone else heads home, I will spend Christmas Eve night and Christmas morning in my parents house for the first time since I was 18.  That seems like a pretty good way to spent Christmas this year.

I'm up way too late, but the presents are all wrapped, we've got everything we need, and Santa knows where to find us. 

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