Monday, November 16, 2009

A tale of the incredible shrinking family....

It seems to me that every year our family gets smaller and smaller at Christmas time. Either some one passes, or some one gets a divorce, or goes somewhere else for dinner. I am thinking back to the good ol' days when Mom started the tradition of everyone gathering at our house at Christmas Eve for a BIG dinner. After dinner, we would all help clean up, then exchange gifts, then mingle and listen to Christmas songs. By the time everyone finally went home, it was midnight. Mom, Dad and I spent weeks preparing for this event. Mom did all the cooking and baking, and dad and I decorated in and out! Granted, there was always fighting and bickering, but it was priceless. My sister would always come over and help Mom bake. I remember the year my dad was laid off work, and we didn't have a whole lot of money, she baked one thousand nut-rolls for some lady in Florida and had them shipped there. She was amazing. Still is! There are so many memories of Christmas's that I could sit here for hours reminicing,(and probably bore you to death). But now, since my Grandparents, and sister and brother-in-law passed, and my brother and one niece will not be here this year, they are both in jail and will be together!!??? My other niece is married and has her new family to tend to. My sister-in-law (who has always been like a sister to me) divorced my brother after way too many years of abuse and alcohol and drug use, will not be here either. It's so sad to think that just four years ago, my family was all together sitting around my dining room table on Christmas Eve saying "Grace" before a wonderful meal. This year, it's just me, my mom, dad and my little brood. I guess that's what they mean by when they say, "You start your own traditions". Because it's a something I never want to forget and something I want to carry over to my son and daughter. So Mom, I promise: Every Christmas Eve, no matter what, I will put dinner on my table for my family, in dedication of you and all those years you gave to us... Thank you for thise wonder ful memories... I love you! Shannon

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