This once was my most favorite time of the year. I started humming Christmas music by December 15. I shopped for my nieces, sisters, parents, friends, co-workers and for the main squeeze in my life. I always ended up buying way more than what I’d planned on. I kept lists in my pocket and kept adding stuff to the lists I checked way more than twice.
I was happy and thrilled for the entire period even if it did require some extensive diplomatic negotiations between my mom, my dad, and my boyfriend’s family. But one thing always remained untouchable – Christmas Eve at my mother’s. That was the golden rule. We ALL gathered at Mimi’s in our childhood house with its memories and creepy basement. We started mixing drinks as soon we we walked in.
It was a big event. Eating and drinking by 2 pm non stop until around 2 am. A 12-hour marathon I tell ya! Thrown into this fiesta was a 1-hour visit to the church (stealing the good spots from the regulars who looked down on our giggling drunkenness – oh well it only happens once a year!) The opening (or should I say shredding-tearing-mess-mucking of the wrapping paper) was like a hurricane in the living room.
We shared stories, jokes and teased each other and then mixed another shaker full of Cosmos. Me and my family? We’re tight.
I think i was the one who instilled this golden rule: Christmas Eve at Mimi’s. And I think I was the first to break the rule. And the first to keep breaking it repeatedly. Every year I skip out on X-Mas at Mimi’s is as simple as this: No X-Mas at Mimi’s = No X-Mas at all. Now the tradition has changed. Our family Christmas now takes place at my sister’s cabin. Which sounds much better since it’s up in the ski hills, 2 hours away from town. Everybody HAS to sleep over. My sister’s cabin is the shits.
And I’m envious of their new tradition. But, what overpowers that feeling of envy is the fact that I cannot wait until next year when I will most definitely join them in what will become OUR new tradition…
Merry Christmas – or should I say “Merry best time of the year”
p.s. When my mom became a grandmother, she decided to rename herself Mimi – rather than being called Grandma. So now we pretty much all call her Mimi!