This I Believe
Every year around October I get this warmth that goes through my body. My favorite holiday is fast approaching. Christmas with my family is the best time of year for me.
Every year is always the same, but yet so many new memories are made. I love everything that comes along with Christmas- the lights, music, and decorations, but the one thing that makes each Christmas truly magical for me is having all of my family together in one room. I believe in the togetherness of family.
On Christmas Eve we all crowd into my grandmothers house. It’s not a big house, but there always seem to be just enough room for everyone to fit comfortably. It doesn’t matter if two of us sit close and share the chair that was made for one. Its fine that there is one person too many in the kitchen checking to see if the turkey is done. It’s ok because we are all there together smiling, laughing, and having a great time. I love watching my aunt in the kitchen every year cooking dinner, telling everyone to stay out of her pots. My mom says every time “I’m not going in that kitchen for anything,” but like clockwork she goes in telling my aunt to add more sage to the stuffing. The rest of us watch and laugh at the same scene every year. We all knew that she would not stay out of the kitchen. The music is playing in the background as my uncle drinks eggnog and tells stories all night of everyone when they were younger. I love hearing those stories. I love my uncle. No one can tell stories better than him. My cousins come in from out of town. Every year they want to surprise us and tell us that they may not make it. We all know they will be here. They always come through the door carrying a load of gifts yelling, “surprise”! Every time we act surprised as if we didn’t know they were coming. My aunt Julia who sings beautifully in the church choir sings loudly and off key as she asks us to join her singing Christmas songs. So we all join her singling loudly and off key. I spend most of the night playfully arguing with my younger cousin, who is as big as a football player and towers over me, reminding him that I can still beat him up just as I did when we were kids. I love all of these moments because we are all together, in one room.
Every year at midnight we all say that we will open one gift and save the rest for tomorrow morning. Of course that never works out. We all tear into the gifts as if we were all five years old. My aunt goes to wake my children up. They were only pretending to be asleep. They have long ago stopped believing in Santa but they love hearing my grandma tell them that Santa won’t come unless they are asleep. So they lay down because they know that my aunt will wake them at midnight. I watch my grandmother as she sits in her chair watching everyone opening their gifts. She has a peaceful look on her face. She has all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren together. We open the gifts and hug each person as we open the gift that they specially picked for us. We give thanks and tell each other that we love them. It does not matter what is inside the wrapping paper with the beautiful red bow on it. The real gift is our family together, in one room.
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