Happy Christmas and Christmas Traditions
When I was younger my family was all very close in distance as well as emotion. Our traditions for Christmas would always mean that we would venture out to my father’s parents on Christmas Eve to have dinner and Christmas with his family – there was always turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, creamed corn and gravy. My father’s parents were farmers so there was never an absence of vegetables, the smell of coffee or rock candy. We would all pull names from my grandfathers straw hat on Thanksgiving to know who we would all buy Christmas presents for, which meant that with 19 of us – the tree was pretty well packed. The earth’s climate hadn’t changed so much so having a white Christmas in Michigan was almost a given. I remember riding in the car and watching the scenery change from houses to trees and always with a cover of snow. We as kids still found it more fun to play in my grandfather’s barn and make tunnels and forks out of his bales of hay, than to stay inside with the grownups as the chatted or played cards. It all seemed so easy and I hate to say this – but down home. Rather rich with the simple pleasures of the holiday with little real fuss. Nothing over the top and filled with the real need to gather as a family.
Christmas Day was much of the same, just at my mother’s parent’s house. Which for some reason seemed to be a bit more on the commercial side. And of course as a kid – that was much more appealing. The Christmas packages that filled out to most of the room, leaving little space to sit on the floor. The Christmas Day celebration was much like Christmas Eve with dinner and treats through the day, minus of course the rock candy. My grandmother opted for hard store bought candy especially the raspberry filled jellies, which I continue to buy to this day. As an adult you can see now that each set of grandparents were just trying to show their way of bringing their families together and leave a memory in their children and grandchildren’s mind of who they were and how much they loved them.
This tradition lasted well into the time when my siblings started to have families of their own and our time for the holidays was stretched even more. Sometimes the day only was able to include a gift exchange or just dinner, but we always tried to make it if we could.
My family now is spread much further and much harder to get together. Most holidays we can only hope for a text message or phone call. Especially now with the virus hanging over all of our heads. The thought now looks to 2021 to turn this around and bring us back to some form of normal life. Even though that may be now gone forever.
At that moment that I was traveling from one grandparents house to the next I would have never considered being an author or for that matter what I seriously hoped to be when I grew up. But here we are. Me, at 58, almost 59, with 6 books under my belt, numbers 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 in separate files on my computer and a publishing company to run. Like the professor from Frosty the Snowman – I’m busy – busy – busy. Our Christmas Day plans, David and I, will be to spend the day with each other – possibly hit up the nearest movie theater to watch the latest Wonder Woman movie. I suspect we’ll be watching Christmas movies throughout the day and I’ll be sitting with my pen and paper to get something done on these books. The wish for going to grandma’s house is now over. My children are all well over three hours away and they now have their own families and Christmas traditions. A Zoom call I’m sure will be our seasonal communication this year.
My reasoning for telling you all of this and bringing it to the forefront is to say. Whatever memories you have, or whatever traditions you continue to keep alive. May you have a wonderful and joyful holiday season. David and I, as well as the staff at Breaking Rules Publishing wish you all a Happy Christmas.
Be safe and well,
Author Christopher Clawson
My thoughts and feelings.