Growing up, the one thing that we always had no matter what was family. Both my Mom and my Grandparents made sure of this. I was extremely blessed in the fact that I either lived with my Grandparents or lived right next door to my Grandparents my entire life.
Some of the time it was just me and my sister and my Grandparents, but most of the time it was the rest of my family as well. Every event was a huge deal for my family. It wasn't just holidays and birthdays, it was any random weekend when people would just show up. There was always plenty of food in fridge, snacks on the counter and pop in the basement.
Growing up we would play countless hour of wiffle ball in the backyard. If you missed the ball, it would hit the garage siding and my Grandpa would get so mad at us. But you knew as soon as he turned around, he was laughing as he walked away. We would ride the little motorcycle around the yard until there started to be tracks, cause then Grandpa got mad.
We would skate back and forth in the basement and create these little plays and then make the adults come down and watch us. Now when I am down in their basement, I look around and wonder how we ever had so many people down there putting on our "show" that we put on.
Birthday parties were always (and still are) the best. Growing up (and still today) I was the only one with a September birthday, so I never had to share my Sunday birthday party. Truth be told, I was always jealous of my cousin Afton because she got to share with my Grandpa. Now, the March/April birthday's are like half the family!! We all sit down in the living room and open our presents and cards. We have to pass the cards around for everyone to read. My Grandma loves to read every single card. She keeps every card that she has even been given also. My Grandpa always had his Maytag Camera that he got for I beleive 35 years of service. My Grandma would make him take pictures of everything. Then we go up to the table and we put the candles in. We sing happy birthday to everyone. No matter how many people there are, the candles get re lit and everyone gets their special birthday song. if you are 27, 2 candles get put on one side and 7 on the other. My Grandpa would always get so mad, he said we were going to burn down the house! Having all the memories swarm through my head, I always think about how riduclious some of these things sound. My Grandma has all of these little ways that she does things. They are non-negotiable, and to be honest, I wouldn't want them any other way.
Christmas is just as riduclious. Let me tell you what, if you want to see something that is reality TV worthy, you should come to my families house for Christmas. First off, the hours that would go into my Grandma shopping and wrapping each present for us, I cant even imagine. Then the perfect way that they would each be under the Christmas tree to make it all look like a puzzle. When Christmas morning game, my sister and I would have to sit on the bottom of our stairs until my Grandparents would come over, Then we could run out and see what Santa brought us (you see, I come from a family where Santa did not wrap the presents). Then once we opened our presents at our house, we would go over to my Grandparents. My cousins would be arriving at this time. We would all sit on this white couch that my Grandparents have in their family room. I always sat next to the tree, as I always hand out the presents. I would have to hand out one present to each person. Once they all got their present, I could start unwrapping mine, I would have to say who it was from. I then have to take off the ribbons and the bows and the name tags. Now, Ashley and Nick take these. (You see, my Grandma saves all of these and uses them year after year. Some name tags are ones that we wrote clear back when we were 5 or 6 years old). Yes, it is riduclious as it sounds. But it is our Family Christmas, and I love it.
This blog is getting a lot longer then I wanted it to. I guess my whole point of writing this is that I cant wait to start my own family traditions. The fun part is that we will get to take traditions from my family and traditions from Nathan's family and create our own. I think about cooking my family Thanksgiving dinner and having my kids get to eat "cherry shit" for Christmas breakfast. I love everything about joining our lives together, and creating traditions might be my favorite part!