Monday, December 21, 2009

Longing for a Traditional Christmas

It's true: I only devote the very last smidgen of brain cells to writing the posts in this blog. That is all you get. That and sometimes cute pictures. Now...
When I was a kid we spent 95% of our Christmas Days at my maternal grandmother's mobile home in Chatsworth, CA. It wasn't a tacky mobile home park like the stereotype would have you think; it was pretty, well-organized and well-preserved, kinda like Grandma, herself, when she was alive, at least. Gosh, she's been dead for almost 12 years! She passed away at the young age of 70, right before my 20th birthday. She didn't deserve to die like that, from Cancer, I mean. Isn't it strange, for lack of a better word, when someone who has lived a healthy, low-salt, low-cholesterol, low-fat life, dies a horrible death like that? I don't understand.
I am thinking of those old Christmasses. I miss them very much. Back then I took it for granted that it would always be that way. The adults had their table and the kids (me, my siblings and cousins) had their table. The adults drank boxed wine and maybe some had whiskey with 7-up. After dinner the kids would retreat to the guest bedroom where grandma kept a few toys for us to play with and we'd laugh up a storm the rest of the day/night. Of course after we opened presents we'd have a lot more to play with and when that was out of the way the adults would gather around the table again for all kinds of card games and more drinking, which made for lots of funny noises us kids would laugh at from the other room. "Shh--Listen! Our parents are so dumb when they're drunk! HAhahaha....!" When it came time to leave, I'm sure we cried and tried to sneak into each others' cars to go home with our cousins instead of plain-home. And it was always a kind of slap in the face how ready our parents were to get the Hell out of there when the night came to an end--they'd had enough, which I now understand as I have wild children of my own and I, too, am older and less spirited, just like those adults seemed to me back then.
We were Catholic and Scotch-Irish-English. That's how it went down. And we loved it.
Another slap in the face was going home to our dachsunds having gotten their revenge for being left home alone--our new Christmas gifts were sometimes chewed to shreds or at least slightly mangled. Thinking back on this is comedy.


Iris said...

Oooh I think about this too. This is why I want to help create good memories for Eddie. I am sure you are working on good ones for Raquel and Maxine too. :) What do you have planned for them to remember? What do they already seem to like about the holidays?
I love your memories. I can relate in one way or another.

Sarah Jane said...

Thanks, Iris.
We have traditions set it place already, nothing out of the ordinary though--I mean, I'd eventually like to have a tradition that we invented, that is uniquely our own. So far our traditions are making cookies and decorating them, putting lights on the house, spending Christmas Eve with Jose's family and Christmas Day with my family, opening some presents on Eve and most on Day and that's about it. I'm not sure what our 'unique' tradition is going to be yet!

Cafe Pasadena said...

Hope y'all had a Happy Festivus today!