Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Eve

As a child, my family spent Christmas Eve with my dad's side. My mom spent the morning finishing cooking a few things and putting together a platter of homemade Christmas candy, which she then loaded into our arms and sent us trotting out the back door, through the gate that connected our yards, and up to Nanny's house next door.
Why yes, her house is painted like an American flag. Nanny was born in Scotland, raised in England, and is the proudest American citizen I know.
Nanny is my great-aunt and she lived next to us with my great-uncle, whom we fondly called Ginkle, and her rascally youngest son, Winston, who lived to torment us kids. He's a lot of fun, though, and even gave me my very own record - Footloose.

Nanny's tiny house would soon be full of people. My Granny and Uncle Harold. My cousins and first-cousins-once-removed and my second cousins that were my playmates (henceforth they shall all just be called "cousins"). There wasn't a whole lot of expensive gifts or fancy foods, but it was always a lot of fun.

Since I got married and moved away, I haven't been back to Nanny's for Christmas Eve often, but we made a point to go this year. The kids of past years are grown up with kids of our own. My "cousin", Annie, has two kids that are close in age to mine. As soon as presents were opened and our two little girls discovered they had both gotten tiny dogs, they became instant best friends. Kylie and L came running to me at one point asking if they could *please* have a playdate. Even K and her "cousin" Jacob were having fun by the end of the afternoon.

Mr. at Home doesn't know this side of my family very well. He sat quietly most of the afternoon, until some of my "cousins" started talking bluegrass music. You see, Mr. at Home has a long-standing desire to learn to play the banjo and he soon found out that Anthony has two banjos. Before I knew what was going on, banjos and guitars had sprouted out of thin air along with picks and method books. There was much twanging and laughing and Mr. at Home had found some new friends. My "cousin" even insisted that we take one of his banjos back to NC with the stipulation that Mr. at Home must be able to play it before we bring it back sometime next year.It was a fantastic Christmas Eve for everyone.

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