As a child, I lived with my grandparents until I was five. My cousins lived in the same time and they were close to my age. I was an only child, so it was as a gift of temporary siblings. One Christmas I remember going back to my grandparents for a large family celebration.
My grandparents had a camper, and us kids spent the night there… giggling and trying to keep each other awake so we could see Santa sneak into the house. The cookies and milk had been set out and we all had opinions as to which ones he’d like the best. My grandma’s tree was live and the house was full of the pine scent. Back then there was no such thing as ‘artifical’ trees. The lights were huge round balls of various colors, and the ornaments were shiny and bright, reflecting the glow. Already wrapped packages tucked under the limbs and overflowed out into the room… all of us scolded at one time or another during the evening not to dare touch the presents. Of course, there were always the adults that would go by and pick up a random package and shake it, making dire predictions as to what the package held.
How our eyes shone with wonder as we flocked in the house on Christmas morning, our jammie feet covered with snow we were too much in a hurry to brush off. My girl cousins and I got beautiful dolls with gowns and flowing hair… just right for brushing and brushing and brushing. My boy cousins got cowboy hats and cap pistols. (Before everyone became so p.c.)
Dinner was only a momentary pause for us kids between playing our new games and making the adults play with us one day out of the year. They were full and most of them would rather play games with the kids than clear the table and do the dishes. This was before dishwashers, too.
By evening the house would be full of tired, cranky kids and even more tired cranky adults. Everyone anxious to get home to their own beds and some peace and quiet. Another Christmas come and gone… at least one toy or doll broken already. Home, to dream of another year of wishes.