Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone had a warm and wonderful holiday season this year. I'd like to share what Christmas means to me..
Christmas to me has always meant family. Of course I didn't realize that until I got older and was alone. Most of my family has passed; my mom and dad, brothers and sisters. This day is bittersweet indeed.
Christmas as a child was magic! It meant the hunt for the biggest white flocked Christmas tree that my dad could get a deal on. Lol! We went to the same tree lot every year, at the corner of Moorpark and Woodman. During some really high-dollar years when those trees would be about $150, and back then in the 60's and 70's, that was A LOT of money, it would mean waiting for Christmas eve when the tree lots would be trying to get rid of their last ones. Even then they'd still be about $65, but he'd buy it anyway, grumbling the whole time. We'd tie it to the top of the car and drive it home, wrestle it into the house, flocking would be everywhere! and turn it all around to make sure we got the fullest side facing forward. My brother Phillippe was in charge of putting on the lights. I got to decorate with all the bulbs. Sometimes tinsel too. After it was decorated, I can remember sitting on the living room floor with just the lights of the tree on, how beautiful it was, and how magical...I still have all the family ornaments....
Once the tree was up, as the gifts were wrapped, my mom would put them under the tree. I think I was the only one who'd sneak to try to see what I got. Shaking each box and shifting around the contents to see if you could guess what it was. Sometimes I'd know just by the shape of the box, like when my mom bought me the Kabala fortune-telling game that I wanted so bad! It came in this weird shaped box so I knew that's what it was!
But the best gift I ever got was my Schwinn Slick Chick Stingray bicycle! It was magenta, my favorite color, with a silver glitter banana seat and a sissy bar. I LOVED that bike more than anything. Another favorite gift was a pair of ice skates I wanted so bad. My mom bought them 2 sizes too big, and even when I got older, they were always too big. LOL!
Christmas of course included our big holiday dinner. It'd be at 1:00. There were 6 of us kids, plus my mom and dad, so it was a full house every year. As we got older, there'd be husbands or wives brought along, or maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend. My dad was a chef and so he'd make most of the meal. Always a turkey, and then either a ham or a prime rib. We'd have turnips cooked with bacon fat (takes the bitterness out), baked potatoes, baked yams or sweet potatoes, THE best gravy in the entire world, green beans sauteed in butter, butter flake rolls and cranberry sauce. For dessert there'd be an assortment of pies; apple and of course pumpkin, and my dad would make plum pudding with hard sauce for my sister Yvonne. We'd have wine and champagne, and coffee with dessert. Family dinners were the heart and soul of our holidays and I think it's that tradition I miss most of all; to have my family all gathered around the dining room table.
After my dad past in 1990, there were no more holidays together as a family. A couple of times I flew down to Los Angeles to have dinner with my one remaining brother and his wife and her family, but it's not the same. My dad was the glue that held our family together. Not a day or a holiday goes by when I don't miss him, or my brothers and sisters.
So on this most special of days, Christmas, always remember that the best present you can have will always be your family. Merry Christmas!