I have been one that has always loved the holidays. My maternal grandmother and I always did. It was the cooking, gathering of family, the memories created, and the movie watching. I loved every minute of it, from the hugs on the way in the door to the talks about life, and the aroma of Mommu’s place (this is what we called my maternal grandmother). My family has always been movie watchers. So after holiday eating came a few movies and lots and lots of conversation and laughter. The cooking traditions that have come together with some of us cooking together the night before or watching Claymation animation with my nephews and seeing their faces light up. Visiting with my Munchkin the night before Santa came to visit and to see her bright eyed and overly ecstatic as her mom used to be about the visit from Saint Nick. The holidays bring families together that haven’t seen each other as much as they would like, close the gap between ages, and leads to stories that now you can only laugh at. Oh, how the times have changed. My cousin, brother, and youngest aunt are now the ones spilling stories our parents knew nothing about. #priceless.
The holidays bring on so many things for so many people. As we enjoy the living parties of our families, we normally still have to reflect on the angels we have lost. However, in speaking of them the event still carries on without a damper or sadness, but rather moments to reflect on all they did and their character. I miss having these events at Mommu’s and Daddo’s (this is what we called my maternal grandfather) or even making sure I knew where my dad would be so I can come by or cook something he wanted to drop by with and spend time with him. We all have loved ones that are no longer with us. Keep in mind that it is ok to keep their memory alive during this time and share wonderful stories, photos, make a dish they loved, etc. I feel these things help us not to forget our past loved ones, but a way to include them in a joyful way.
This time of year brings on different things for so many people. Most are trying to figure out where to spend their time or how to split it amongst families, how to allocate funds, and deciding to travel or not travel. I personally have not ever had to figure out the traveling piece too often as my immediate family is in the Dallas, TX area. I haven’t had to figure out how to split time in years since my last serious relationship and we attended family holidays together. We tended to get lucky on some holidays as most his family lived out of state, but would come here normally every other year to celebrate. This helped us be able to split the day so we could be with both families on those years versus having to choose which family we would be with. However, for those of you that have… how do you decide? Do you do Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other? Do you travel every year or tend to be home and travel for other events?
As much as many of us love the holidays, the shopping factor can bring on some stress. The grocery stores are overly packed unless you can go during nonpeak times. If you are anything like me, in the middle of cooking or starting stuff, you realize you forgot a few items. I believe this year for Thanksgiving, I went to the store three times and I actually had a list in hand and still forgot stuff. SMH, I can be a little sidetracked at times. The grocery store is normally just the start as it is followed by big shopping days on the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving. Man… I have had my share of Black Friday shopping woes. I was in high school when I experienced my first one. My mom sent me to the mall to pick up a Spanish speaking Furby for my cousin. As she really wanted this Furby and they were on high demand so my mom did not want them to run out. The better thing about that was because I didn’t have my car at the time, I had to get up and take her to work at like God knows what time and then head to another side of town to stand in a part of the mall, I didn’t even know existed. I recall looking and hearing all these adults that seemed so anxious, I was just sleepy. In my head I was thinking, I sure hope she loves this thing as I am losing sleep to pick it up. Lol. I love her like a sister so it was fine, but that early morning I was cold and a tad grumpy if I may add. As I got a little older my girls and I would get out in the madness for their kids and our nieces and nephews. I recall one night staying with two of my girls that lived together and going to Walmart. My first experience with that madness, it was surreal. People running through the store, still in pajamas, hair wrapped, slippers, people cussing at one another, us all going to different post to try and get stuff. For those of yall that know me, know I am non-confrontational for the most part and can be a little scary or uneasy in some situations. I was like these people are crazy, there was no way I was about to cuss, fight, or be a fool in a store over a toy or electronic. Now, that could be a different note with horrible customer service or someone attempting to cut in front of me in line. I wouldn’t just jump to acting like a fool, but politely correct or try first. My cousin and I went out a few years back to a Best Buy sale the night of Thanksgiving. I recall us getting there around 10 PM and bundled up. We saw people with tents that said they had been there for days. My thought… a few days, where do you use the restroom, shower, brush your teeth and what the hell is in here that is that much of a deal that you are spending days camping in front of this store. I may have just never have had that big of a need or want for anything that was on the list for Black Friday. I can say that all those wonderful experience make for great stories and laughs, but I haven’t really gotten involved in this in sometime. Do you find that those lines or hours of waiting are beneficial to your financial bottom line as most sales carry on and some are even better after Black Friday?
What’s your holiday dynamic? Traditions yearly or different every year? Do you and your family gather for holidays? Do you guys go out to eat or cook?