As a child this was the night of the family gathering including my Mom and Dad's sisters and their families. Granny Chandler and Grandma Rogers would be at our home, too. Food would be eaten. Suzie, Margaret or Aunt Billie would sit at the old Gulbransen upright piano and begin to play. All would gather round to sing Christmas music and carols. Next it would be time for the kids to pile in the car and go looking for Santa. Every child would pile in the car with not a seat belt or child seat in sight.
I remember peering out the window of the car to catch a glimpse of the sleigh. Maybe that red light was Rudolph leading the other reindeer to our house! Other nights I knew it was a plane heading toward Love Field in Dallas. But that really does not matter to a child in the throes of Santa Watch on Christmas Eve. Eventually Daddy would turn the car back to our house. Sure enough, Santa had stopped by and we just missed seeing him.
As a mother Christmas Eve many a year was spent driving to Texas. Our business would stay open to late afternoon on Christmas Eve. We would go to Husband's parents for a meal of salmon soup. Christmas music would be on the huge stereo in the living room. After opening the gifts under the cedar Christmas tree we would load into another car. Off we would go with a trunk full of gifts and Christmas music blaring from the radio.
Tonight I am sitting watching "It's A Wonderful Life" while the dough is rising for Christmas morning cinnamon rolls. Only a single recipe as there are no new neighbors that we have met with whom to share the flavors and love. I have done very little decorating. I did not want to have to drag it all out after having unpacked so many boxes already.
There will be no car ride to look for Santa. No salmon soup at the folks home. No jumping in the car to head for my folks house in Texas. There are just two people who are the Grandpa and Grandma sitting in comfortable chairs. Watching an old black and white movie. Keeping it simple this year. As we should so the focus stays on the celebration of The Birth.
May we each have a Blessed Christmas.