Tuesday, December 18, 2007

girlfriend reminisces

It was tradition. Every Christmas Eve was spent the same way for this family. First they would visit Grandma V. Grandma V. was a widow and lived in a small apartment. She would cook the evening's dinner containing the German favorites of the family. The girlfriend didn't really care for the cuisine, but what could she do but politely accept what was put in front of her. She would eat as little as possible without making it look obvious that she didn't like it.

Then it was time to open the exchanged gifts. Of course, that is what the kids were there for in the first place. Grandma worked in a big department store, so most of the gifts she gave to her family were from the store, which was fine and usually very nice. A little more conversation was batted back and forth before it was time to say farewell - until the next day, Christmas, when the family would see her again at their home.

From there, the family and the girlfriend would travel across town to Grandpa and Grandma T's home. There, that whole side of the family would be gathered. The contrasts between the two visits were deep and wide. Quiet, subdued, and somewhat uncomfortable to loud, crowded, and fun.

It was a large family and the girlfriend loved this. Along with grandma and grandpa, there were aunts and uncles, and cousins galore. Girlfriend didn't have any cousins so this was something she had never experienced. She loved watching the interaction and the closeness of everyone. And it was a good thing they all got along because there were so many crammed into grandma and grandpa's living room, they were practically sitting on each other's laps. Once everyone had arrived, the gifts were exchanged - and it got even chaotic in that little room.

As the conversations flowed, so did the love. Even though the girlfriend wasn't a member of this family, she not only felt accepted, but a part of this large, loving family. She felt that way the first time she took part in this Christmas Eve tradition, and it only grew more so with every year after that.

to be continued...

link of the day:


Lori said...

Neat story.

My Dad's side of the family is German so we eat lots of German things at Christmas: dumplings, sauerkruat, kuchen, german nut pudding. They all are delicous.

Sad thing is we aren't having Christmas this year with Dad's side this year, because we were all just together for the funeral and everyone is exhausted. My mom has pnemonia and dad has a cold/cough.

Melissa said...

Isn't it amazing how different each family can be? I love getting together with my Mom's side of the family, but not as much as my Dad's. My Mom's family are all very athletic. So, we get together, we eat and then almost everyone goes somewhere to play football or basketball. My Dad's family stays together visiting and playing games as a group. We are missing that this year :S

jennifer said...

I think that this is wonderful and a great continuing story.

The traditions that families have are so unique so amazing and all so important.

Diana I love this....I feel like I am at each house experiencing the day's activities as I read it!!!!

I can't wait for the rest....

Momma Roar said...

Totally LOL at today's quote of the day - I can so relate!!

I can't wait to hear the continuation and find out who the girlfriend is!! I enjoy hearing about other's traditions too!

Penless Thoughts said...

Lovingtis story, and totally engrosse, Diana!!!

Lynne said...

My Father's family is mostly German and I never cared much for the cuisine either. I guess my Italian Mother spoiled me with her cooking!

Interesting story-now who could that girlfriend be?

Barb said...

i enjoyed reading the "girlfriend" story, waiting for the next installment.

I have lots of warm memories of Christmas and traditions with my folks, my dad's family, and Opal & Jess.