Parker Family Christmas Traditions

Every year at Christmas time my family gets together. We fit anywhere up to thirty six people into my grandmothers trailer. A tradition that’s been going on since my aunt and uncle married and started having kids, many years before I was even born.

Each Christmas Eve my mother and I, and sometimes my sisters, spend the day at my grandmothers house. Usually starting around noon and not leaving until after dark. We cook and clean and spend time together getting everything ready for Christmas dinner.

We make the same things every year, as they are every ones favorites. We make our cream cheese fruit salad, lemon jello cream cheese salad, and I make the apple and cherry pies, while my aunt makes the pumpkins. Sometimes other family members choose to bring something new to try, or something they bring every year.

You would think those few things wouldn’t take all day but we tend to get distracted. We stay for dinner, one of us cooking for my grandmother. And at some point during the day I’m usually wrapping gifts for the family from her. At the end of the day before we go home we toast, with a temperamental toaster, and break up bread for the stuffing to be made in the morning.

On Christmas morning we wake early, depending on the size of the turkey my mother may got out to my grandmothers first to get it in the oven. Other times we open our gifts at home before going out to her house.

Before every one arrives we prep the potatoes and sweet potatoes getting them ready to cook. After that most of the morning is almost done we set up the tables and chairs and set the table. The food is placed, and we all squeeze in. Sometimes, most times actually, putting people on the couch and a card table in the hall. We eat and laugh together.

When we are done many of the family members who didn’t cook, clean up, doing dishes and taking down tables, while my one aunt and uncle take their kids and grandchildren back up to their house, it;s right next door, to open their gifts. When everyone is back together we all gather around, taking up the living room and kitchen, to pass out gifts. Everyone receiving one from my grandmother and she getting one from everyone. The kids are also givin an extra bag of gifts and goodies from those who wish to add to it.

Every year the adults do a gift exchange usually a hand made item or cookies depending on what we decide to do the year before. Then it’s on to the games, some for the kids, some for adults it varies every year. As things wind down people head home stuffed with good food and presents.

This is how my family celebrates each and every year. It’s something I look forward to come this time of year. Making new memories weather they be close to the same or completely different, we’re always together, always family.

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