Christmas is over for another year. The gifts have been opened and the meals have been eaten.
I hope all the family liked their gifts. This is the first year we gave some homemade presents and limited the number of gifts we purchased each person. No one gave any inclination that they weren't enjoying their gifts.
With ten grand kids and two extras holidays can be a bit chaotic around here. There's a lot of noise and a lot of running around. We usually do one big meal in the middle of the day.
However this year was different. because of my recent surgery I was unable to cook the meal. One son-in law wanted to start traditions within their family and the other DD and DSIL have to visit myriad relatives on his side of the family on Christmas Day. They wanted to bring Christmas supper.
My sons wanted the traditional Christmas lunch. DS and fiancee showed up with ham, mashed potatoes,gravy, green beans, corn, broccoli salad and rolls. They brought tapioca pudding for dessert. My oldest DS and his two teenage children plus his girl friend and her two young children joined us for lunch. They brought the drinks.
We had a nice meal, good conversation, lots of pictures. The children were able to go outside and play which helped. We had a fun time opening the gifts and oohing and aahing.
The girls brought turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, deviled eggs and macaroni and cheese. Again we had a lovely meal.
It was great to see the little ones all dressed up. However Christmas Day is a long day for little children. Our 4yrld GD started screaming the minute her mother tried to put her down. She proceeded to hit her 2yrold sister who also began screaming.
My poor husband cannot stand to hear children screaming.
And of course when children are exhausted they behave in a trying manner.
Traditions are very important to me. It meant so much to spend Christmas Day at my grandmas house. My grandparents had little money. They lived simply in a small three room house.
Yet our entire family gathered there for Christmas Day. We had a big meal. My grandmother set the table four times so everyone could sit down and eat. She kept the plates washed up and the food hot. For dessert there was always four kinds of pie and a big applesauce cake.
My grandparents always cut a big cedar tree. We decorated it with popcorn strings and helped hang the icicles. Granddaddy took care of the lights and Aunt Doris hung the breakables.
There was always a present or two for each of us. If the weather was nice we played outside some or we played quietly inside. We would no more think of screaming or hitting one another than we would sprouting wings and flying,
The grown ups played music some times and we would sing.
I so wanted to give my grands that same experience. But I don't think I can handle another evening like this past one. I know it's time to reevaluate the traditions and to see if something else would work better fr us.
Would it be better to go visit each of their homes on Christmas Day? We could breakfast with one, lunch with another, do an afternoon coffee and yet another for supper.
How do I reconcile this with my boys wanting to come home for Christmas? Do we have our family celebration another day and just enjoy whomever wants to drop in?
I don't know what the answer is but I hope next year we have a better handle on it.