Christmas is here, and I remember when I was a young kid and celebrating this joyous holiday with my family, having a ball hanging with so many cousins, aunts and uncles, and my grandparents.
Christmas Eve was the night when all of my Mom’s family would gather to celebrate.
She was one of seven children, five sisters and two brothers, and with their respective kids, other relatives, friends and my grandparents, they filled my grandparents’ apartment with two to three dozen people.
It was loud and hot, and the smell of all the food was great, but the most important thing to the kids back then was the mountain of gifts that was stacked up all over the place, divided by family.
My grandfather would then get everyone’s attention and give his blessing to the family, giving thanks for our health and for being together as one family. I’ll always remember his deep and powerful voice that exclaimed his love and pride for everyone there.
Then he would hand over the ceremonies to one of the uncles or older cousins to announce and distribute the gifts to one family at a time. They would read the tags and we would cheer and carry on with love and good humor. The best, of course, was that the young kids would always be first and receive a gift that was a toy.
Oh the joy of Christmas!