Comments Of A Distracted Mind: Celebrating The Season

Comments Of A Distracted Mind: Celebrating The SeasonWhen asked what the holidays mean to me, the first thought that comes to mind is spending time with friends and family. Christmas Eve has been my favourite part of the Season from the time I was old enough to look past the glitz and glimmer of gaily wrapped packages to the meaning behind the holiday. Growing up, the night before Christmas found the family gathered round the first fire of the year. Mom would light the oil lamps she inherited from her grandmother and the living room would become a haven of comfort, warmed by the fire, bathed in the rosy glow of lanterns and the softly twinkly lights of the Christmas tree.
We would kick off the festivities by ordering pizza with (my personal favourite) After Eight mints for dessert. Inevitably Dad or, later, Allan, would joke that we shouldn’t open the mints as it wasn’t “after eight” yet, to which my sister or I would reply “It’s after 8:00am”. We would sit around the table, fashioning origami from the After 8 wrappers and enjoying each other’s company before heading to the living room to partake in the time-honoured tradition of trying to find “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” on T.V. After all, it just wasn’t Christmas without Chevy Chase’s over-the-top, but oh-so-relatable, and hilarious antics. We eventually bought the movie because we were tired of all the commercials. Besides, some of the best scenes were cut to make room for said commercials. My siblings and I will still randomly quote the movie at any given time and are guaranteed an appropriate quote in response.
We would indulge in a smorgasbord of Christmas cookies, Red Delicious Apples, meat, cheese and cracker trays, Candy Canes, and chicken bones all washed down with the hot chocolate or pop. I still think of Christmas when I taste Ginger Ale – it’s really the only time we ever had it in the house. As we grew older, the activities and treats remained the same, but the family grew as we welcomed friends, girlfriends, boyfriends and later spouses and grandchildren to our home. Kevin and I have continued the tradition of sharing the night with our favourite people, whether joining the Crealock’s for the Christmas Eve service or spending the evening with my Mom and Jim.
Now, as our family has been blessed with the addition of our daughter, I hope to be able to create the same memories of warmth, family and contentment for our miracle baby.