I love Christmas. And I am a stickler for traditions. As a kid, Christmas Eve was always spent at my grandparents' house. We always had pork sandwiches (we call them porkies) and macaroni and cheese. The house was full of people and the proliferation of presents was amazing.
As we grandkids got older and started our own families, we didn't always do Christmas Eve at Nana's, but there was always a celebration at her house some time before Christmas...whenever we could all get together. Christmas Eve 2010 was the last time for the tradition of Nana's house. It turned out that it was a blessing that my family, my parents, my sister's family, and my brother's family could all be together one more time. It was a special day, but we didn't know how special until the next day.
Christmas 2010 was the worst Christmas ever. First my sweet G woke in the night sicker than she had been in a long time. The poor thing was puking every hour and then after a couple of hours, it was my turn. I called my dad to come and pick up the other two girls (Lili and Gab) for Christmas dinner at mom and dad's house (another tradition.) An hour later, he called back to say that mom wouldn't be cooking dinner. Nana, who had been diagnosed with lymphoma for quite some time, was rapidly declining. Mom was staying by her side.
Nana passed away later than evening. It was a terrible Christmas.
This year I decided to take over for Nana. Christmas Eve is going to be at my house. I have a pork roast in the oven for the porkies. Genevieve made Nana's Chex Mix...she used to make gallons of it and everyone got to take home a huge bag full. Mom is bringing my brother's favorite corn beef dip. And G made pumpkin pies all by herself.
And the Noel/Leon train is all ready for my brother. :)
So we carry on old traditions in a new way and we will be thinking about the precious people in our lives who began these traditions that we are lucky enough to carry on.