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A blended Christmas holiday

27 December 2013

I love Christmas!  But I’m also a family time and traditions junkie. In essence, those 48 hours of Christmas Eve through Christmas Day are my favorite time of the year!

I can’t help but reflect on how Christmas has changed in my short little lifetime as it morphs with the subtraction or addition of members to a family. My maternal grandparents always hosted the Christmas Eve feast. Traditional Sicilian seafood dishes [we don’t eat red meat on Christmas Eve] and Polish pierogi filled the house. Even for our little family of 9, people bustled in and out of rooms moving chairs and tables. Presents were stacked heavily under the tree. Family from all over town would make their way to grandma’s house on Christmas Eve. Under candlelight we would cram ourselves around her dining room table and rub elbows constantly as we cut our food. I loved it. It was all I ever knew. After a short blessing, which my grandpa would force me to say even as a child, we would dig in and go back for seconds. This was the type of meal my grandma has prepared weeks in advance and so too would those eating. We would stay a little extra hungry on Christmas Eve in anticipation to fill our bellies with the foods we only got once a year.

But the Christmas that I used to know has disappeared. My grandparents passed away, first grandma and then grandpa followed four years later. Then the other family members have gone on their own way. Family friends will sometimes join in but the core four remains the same: Mr. Collier and myself and my parents. I wonder if this is how my grandparents felt before they started hosting Christmas.

As a dating couple, Mr. Collier and I have a split Christmas spending Christmas Eve in Chicago and Christmas Day in Florida. That puts us in two states for about 48 hours per state. Talk about exhausting! We've done this for 4 solid years but this year…we are tried something revolutionary!

This year we were all in one place. Yup! The Colliers and the Parkers got together in Mr. Collier's home town for a combined Christmas holiday. And it was a blast! I love having my entire family under one roof. I'm even more excited that they like each other as much as they do! My parents drove in from Chicago on Christmas Eve and we've been playing cards and making new dishes out of left-overs ever since! 

How does Christmas compare now that you are married or have a significant other as compared to when you were growing up?

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