Christmas Eve

May 16, 2008
By
Every Christmas Eve my mom's side of the family always goes to my Aunt Jean's house. Of course, no one really cared about the family time when we were younger; it was all about opening presents. Those were the days, but overtime everything has completely changed, and, unfortunately, it won’t ever be the same.

The preparation for Aunt Jeans was always exciting. Getting dressed in gorgeous black velvet Christmas dresses, curling my hair, and putting on my Moms lipstick was always the highlight of the day before actually leaving for Aunt Jeans. On the way there my Mom, Dad, Grammy, Papa (died in 1999), brother and I were all packed in our car like sardines in a can. It was always my Grammy and Mom in their Mink fur coats and my Dad and Papa in their pristine sport coats. I used to think they looked so fancy! The presents in the back seat were always stacked so neatly, so they would not spill on the food. The only sounds were the radio playing Christmas songs, and the peaceful whisper of the snow falling from the sky.
Smells of Aunt Jean’s perfume, the yummy cornflake potatoes baking in the oven, and the crisp smell of the evergreen Christmas tree, were always blanketed in the air. Year after year it was always the same people. My cousins oldest to youngest would always greet us with huge hugs. The adults would be drinking their cocktails in the basement, and the youngest cousin, Chloe, would be screaming and running away from my brother and Harry; they sure did enjoy those Nerf guns! Kelly, Kelsey and I would usually pretend we were very mature, and sit and talk about boys. The oldest two, Adam and Kyle, would usually be out drifting in Adams car, or Adam would be working at Retro Bistro, and Kyle would be left alone to play with none other than the dreaded Nerf guns. Matt would just float around, avoiding us out of fear. Kelsey, Kelly and I were the only ones who knew the truth about why he feared us.
When Matt, Kelly and I were five, Kelsey was four, Kelly and I told Matt to get in a toy box. Gullible as he was, he got in it! Then, we directed Kelsey to sit on it and ran, leaving a screaming Matt and a laughing Kelsey in the room alone. Finally, after about a half hour, my Uncle ran upstairs and realized that Matt was in the toy box, with Kelsey still on top. Kelsey got blamed and Kelly and I pretended to be shocked! It is still today one of my favorite memories.
Slowly the sounds of the cracking of the fire in the fireplace, the robotic noise of the walking snowman, and the sounds of glasses being filled, died down over the next four years. My cousin Matt moved to Georgia, and my Aunt Nanci and Uncle Jim got another divorce, so my Aunt brought her boyfriend and his little Asian daughter. It was awkward for the whole family. Christmas was never the same after that year. Though my Aunt and Uncle are married now, again, a lot has changed. My sophomore year we held Christmas Eve at my house. Everyone was there, though the atmosphere was totally different. The smells of the scrumptious cornflake potatoes and Aunt Jeans perfume seemed like they just disappeared. Adam had to work late; I didn’t even get to see him on his last Christmas Eve, and Kyle left early to go to another party with his new girlfriend. It just wasn’t the same. The usual pep of our family was unusually mellowed out. Little did I know, but the mood depicted the events to come.
Six days later my great Aunt Libby passed away. No one in the family really knew her, but it was still a shock. Exactly a month later my cousin, Adam, was killed in a motorcycle accident. That shook our whole family. We all gathered at Aunt Jeans, but for a cry fest instead of a joyful gathering. It was probably the darkest time for my family in my life. The pain and grief were unbearable. He was only twenty-three. My other great Aunt Verge passed away the following December. Three deaths in one year seemed like an impossible feat to overcome, but we stayed strong.
That year, my Aunt Nanci had Christmas Eve at her house. The mood was very somber. I looked around and saw Adams firefighter helmet and a bunch of pictures of him on a table. It was an amazing Christmas Eve, but it was one filled with broken hearts. This past year was at my Aunt Nanci and Uncle Jims house once again. My Aunt Sherri, wasn’t able to attend for other reasons, and won’t be there for another three years. At this point our family has gotten used to having so many sudden changes. We’ve lost eight people due to many different reasons. It’s changed, and will never be the same.
A hurricane has blown through our family and injured us in many different ways. However, we are a strong family, and we have overcome many things. The familiar smells, sounds, and excitement will never be there again. There will be no more Aunt Jean’s house, or multiple hugs from many cousins. Even the younger kids have put down their Nerf guns and are now into burning napkins in the basement. Kelly, Kelsey, Kyle and I were trying to rebel this year, and go to a party, but the parents caught us sneaking out. If we had done it ten years ago, they wouldn’t have cared because they were partying themselves. I hope that one day I will smell the cornflake potatoes baking in the oven and smell Aunt Jeans perfume again. I will miss the sounds, smells, and sights, but I will always keep the good times in my heart and the wonderful memories in my mind.





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vashtiesunshine said...
Oct. 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm
that draft was so great,good and i love it. and thanks to the person who wrote is thank you very much
 
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