Tuesday, December 24, 2013
It's a typical Christmas Eve at the house of Pace. Dad is baking way too many pies, mom is wrapping every gift she bought, there's a Christmas movie playing in the TV. There are a few that have been a bit different, although I don't think mom has ever wrapped a single gift before Christmas Eve, it's her thing, it's quite amusing! As soon as she's done, she will pick out "two packages" that bobby and I get to open, if I were a betting woman, I would put all my money on those packages being pajamas. The movie is different every year, occasionally dad throws in a new pie or a cake. I have found myself reflecting on many different Christmases today. I have a few memories of spending the holiday with my Nanny in Lubbock, with my aunt Dee and cousins Duke and Nicole. I remember many where we just stayed at home and Bernetta and/or Nanny would come over. Up until just a few years ago, I remember being ridiculously, indescribably excited about waking up Christmas Eve. Now that there are no small children in the house, I'm not nearly as excited, but I am almost ALWAYS the first one up on Christmas. Many things are always the same on Christmas morning. First thing is to open your stocking and discover what was in it, usually we would then put everything back and wake up mom and dad and do that part all over again. Then while we explored those new gifts that mysteriously appeared, mom and dad make pancakes. After we have partaken in the best Christmas breakfast ever, fast, easy and everyone likes it, we pass put gifts for the people present and open gifts as a family. No one opens anything until it's all passed out and then it is a free for all. Pausing here and there for the "BIG GIFTS" and the ensuing reaction. Then mom and dad get some cooking done while the kids are distracted and we wait for the arrival of the next group of family. Nowadays it's my sister and her kids, but it has been many people over the years. Then after more opening, more cooking and maybe some game playing, we eat lunch around one or two. Then napping, movie watching, game playing and more eating. Tonight, however, for the first time in MANY years, I will not be attending midnight mass. As a child, we always attended midnight mass. There were a few when bobby was younger that we went to the children's mass. I love St. Mary's midnight mass, mostly for Jim Rauscher's performance of the Proclamation, I'll try to post a link later. This year, we attended children's mass with my niece and nephews at St. Mary's. Seeing that we were almost always with my grandma for Christmas, there's usually a time, and it's often during the Our Father that I can "feel" her, or something like it. This year, it happened whilst singing songs with my niece standing in front of me singing away, nephews a few people down belting out a tune and of course my mom, dad and brother also singing right along. It was like one of those weird feelings like a door had been opened to the future and past and I was experiencing all of my former Christmas memories, and thinking about ones that haven't happened yet. Christmases that I would share my family traditions with my children and my niece and brother and everyone would be there to help. I think I was already feeling a bit nostalgic after the drive to church, Bobby and I were singing some Christmas tunes in the car. And this may sound a bit crazy or make you roll your eyes. But I want to take note of a few things, none of my memories are of the gifts that I have received or the ones I gave. Don't put so much pressure on the gifts. If you know the person, you know what the enjoy doing and can buy something to speaks to that. That's all people want, really. Or at least I think that's what we should teach our children. It's not about getting the best, newest exciting thing out there. It's about showing the ones you love that you notice them and reminding them that they aren't alone in this crazy, ridiculous, often scary world. Also, I've often said that thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I think I've done that for a few reasons:1) if you say Christmas is your favorite holiday, people usually think your greedy or something. 2) thanksgiving is very similar to Christmas but without the added pressure of gift giving. 3) if you don't say that Jesus's birth is the reason you love Christmas, also makes you sound a little unchristian. In conclusion, I'll stick to my old standby, "I don't choose favorites." :) Merry Christmas to you and yours!