There are sweets, corny Christmas carols and the gifts, but there’s also tradition, love and memories.
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I remember my grandma’s sweet potato pie and how she always made an extra one for my cousin the pie thief.
I remember the year I got Barbie and the Rockers collection and listening to the “the band’s” tape for the first time. The doll would be half-bald by spring, but still rocked.
There was the time my brother and I got up super early to catch Santa Claus. We crawled like snakes under my mother’s multi-colored beaded curtains, careful not to make them jingle. We didn’t wake our mother, but somehow missed catching everyone’s favorite pleasantly plump elf at work.
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There were early morning calls to my zillion cousins to see what they got. After the wrapping paper was in the can, we’d all meet up at our grandparents’ house where selected gifts would be tested and/or accidentally broken.
My granddad gleefully accepting yet another sweater or the millionth coffee cup. He was the “World’s Greatest Grandfather” and had all those sweaters and coffee cups to prove it.
Sliding around the floor in my socks as Mabel Scott’s “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” plays will always mean Christmas to me.
“The boogie woogie Santa will boogie all your blues away …”
The realization that people are supposed to kiss under mistletoe made me giggle then and it makes me giggle now, even though I’ve done it.
Seeing me open my first and only Cabbage Patch Kid gave my mom great joy. Hearing how she had to fight some lady to get it for me did the same for me.
There were all the times we got yelled at for playing with my grandmother’s wise men. Barbies needed boyfriends.
I’ll never forget the year my brother gave me a head lamp and white Russian cossack-style hat he clearly wanted for himself. It could only be topped by the Christmas years later he gave me a “dogs playing poker” light-up poster and a cupid whiskey dispenser. Imagine where the whiskey was dispensed from.
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These days he only wants money or gift cards, but I was the best auntie in the world the year I gave my youngest nephew a Tickle Me Elmo.
I was a proud auntie the year his older sister realized giving isn’t a one-way thing and she gave me body spray from the dollar store.
There can never be enough Christmas Day family sing-offs using karaoke machine mics or Scattergories tournaments. Somehow we always end up playing cards.
Here's to enjoying the memories, love and tradition even if you don't get the perfect mix of sweets, carols or gifts.
Let nice and lovely happen, if only for one day.