Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

December 24 - Christmas Eve
How did you and your family spend Christmas Eve?

When I was growing up Christmas Eve was usually a long boring day. If there was snow we'd go sledding down the side yard. (Our house was built into the side of a small hill.) If there wasn't snow we'd watch TV or read. In the evening we'd make sure that our stockings were all set and leave out a plate of cookies and glass of milk for Santa.

In later years I'd either hang out with friends and maybe go to Mass with them or else I was working.

John's family had a tradition of celebrating Christmas together on Christmas Eve. Everyone made sure that they had the day off and they all gathered at the home of his sister, Ann. John has three siblings and each family had three kids plus his step-mother and her mother for a total of 22 plus anyone else that may have been brought along. Everyone bought for all of their nieces and nephews and the women exchanged Christmas ornaments.

We'd see my family either later Christmas Eve or on Christmas day depending on the visitation schedule with my ex.

In 1989 we moved to Akron but we still came back every year for Christmas Eve. In 1994 everything changed. We moved back to CNY but my brother and two of John's siblings moved out of state. Two of Ann's kids moved away about that time too. Christmas Eve was moved to my sister-in-law, Marie's house. It was about that time that my mother and sister started joining us on Christmas Eve with John's family. I'm not certain which year Christmas Eve moved to our house but we hosted for several years. At some point our best friends started joining us. They are family to us. 2001 was the last year that we saw the extended family at Christmas time. Ann had moved back to CNY and several of the nieces and nephews were able to come home for the holiday. I think that year was the best steal bingo year we ever had.

Christmas 2001 with extended family, Liverpool, NY

We found ourselves transfered again in 2002. Amazingly, my sister, mother and all of our kids and grandchildren came out to spend Christmas Eve with us. Some stayed over and others traveled down and back the same day.
Christmas 2002, Akron, NY

In 2003 we all traveled to my sister's in Ellisburg and we had a great time! The weather cooperated so we didn't get snowed in. We all love to party at Country Girl's but it can be a long, miserable drive in winter.
Christmas 2003, Ellisburg, NY

We moved back to CNY in 2004, and as there are just the two us we bought a small house. Christmas Eve was at our house and although everyone had a great time things were a bit cramped. So the last two years we had our party at PJ and Jae's. It has gotten progressively harder to find a time when everyone can be together. In 2006 the Christmas party was held together with the big birthday party on the 16th so Christmas Eve was a bit sad for me last year.
Christmas 2005, Pennellville, NY

Christmas 2006, Pennellville, NY

This year PJ & Jae have separated. Bean and Country Girl both offered to host but I decided it might be easier if I just hosted an open house this year. BJ has to work and PJ probably does too. He and Jae will be sharing the girls so this way we can be sure to see them. Country Girl and Mom can come early if the forecast for lake-effect doesn't change. Bean can work around the kids nap times. And if everyone shows up at the same time that will be OK too.

An Advent Calendar count down
to Christmas!

Who else is participating?

Visit Thomas at
Destination: Austin Family
and get the details!


TheGeneticGenealogist said...


What a small world! I was born and raised in Ellisburg, NY (and I currently live in Liverpool NY)!


I hope you had a nice Christmas.
Ours was a bit different, thus
my blog about black sheep in the
family tree. Oh well you can't please them all, nor would I try!
Kudos! Looking forward to your
genealogy blogging.....Jewelgirl

Lee said...

As you may guess, I love the idea of exchanging ornaments. I wish either of our families had had that tradition.