Another Christmas Eve is here, which means another visit from the ghost of Christmas Eve Past.
He comes every year, and brings me back to the Christmas Eve's of my youth.
Back to the late 60's and early 70's, when Christmas looked alot like this...
(now this could easily be my mom or one of my aunt's, but it isn't...it's a photo from google)
It was always at our house, on Grant Street, and everyone came- cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, second cousins and great aunts and uncles- the house seemed it would burst at it's seams! The tradional Italian Christmas feast would take place but I can never seem to remember what the main dish was. There were too many sweets around to be tempted by, penuchi fudge, Mom's mincemeat squares, Aunt Emma pizzelles, always dusted with powdered sugar...
I only remember filling up on Nana's brightly frosted sugar cookies- it was the one night of the year you could get away with such a meal!
But the most memorable and meaningful part of the night was what took place after the feast- we all got bundled up and paraded up and down the street visiting each neighbor's front lawn to sing Christmas Carols.
No matter the weather (and this was New England so there was usually snow) we went carolling every Christmas Eve. Off we'd go, this large group of young and old, with mittens and song sheets in hand, door to door and house to house.
I remember it all...we sang at the Brennan's, the Hjerpes, the Dion's, the Tinkham's and we never missed Mrs. McCrettons, where she'd always invite us inside for hot chocolate and another song around her piano! I remember it all as if it was yesterday, and remeber it with great joy. It's a lost custom today and I only wish that I could travel back there with my children and share this vision with them, I know they'd love it!
As I take this trip down memory lane today, it makes me thankful and sets the mood for the day. To be ever grateful for the memories the holidays season makes, memories with family and friends- because no matter what is, or what isn't- 'under the tree', what means the most and will stay with us forever is what's 'around' the tree- our families.
Wishing you all a safe and warm Christmas with the ones you love!