The holidays are fast approaching and it is a busy time of year for us. Shopping, food, family and presents, the things holidays are made of help the cold winter months pass by in the Midwest. What are some of the things I remember most as a kid?
We really did not have any holiday traditions, unless you count every Christmas we had to sleep in the basement and my parents slept at the top of the stairs to keep us from opening presents at 4 in the morning. We'd also open up everyone else's presents that weren't up. You can see where this created problems.
I don’t think that anyone had to go to the hospital during the holidays, either(they knew us by name in the ER). My mom was stabbed with a knife once. Apparently, someone was messing around with a sibling(NO idea who!) had a knife in their hand, turned around and stabbed mom in the shoulder. She was not hurt, just a little mad and walloped the accused.
Poor Mom. Did I mention there are 8 kids, 5 of those boys? She would get up at 5am and work hard to make sure the food was ready. We all helped finish when we got up; skinning the potatoes, cutting up the cranberry sauce that was still in the shape of the can, boiling the gizzard, liver and heart for gravy.
Mom and Dad always showed us they loved us. One thing I remember now we did as a family was a 'battle royal'. Everyone wrestled against my dad and he would win. It was a great way to bond! We were not a wealthy family but we had sufficient means for our needs. I love my them and would not give them up for anything in the world.
Now I am the dad and each year my wife and I figure out new things to do in our own family. I really enjoy going to the midnight candlelight service Christmas Eve. My wife loves decorating the house for Christmas and going with the kids to pick out new ornaments. My hope is that my wife and children will one day look back on all the holidays we will have had and laugh, just as I do remembering the sweet memories of my family growing up. I strive to be as good a father as my dad is and was. Maybe I will start the wrestling tradition for my family this year. My wife is going to love that...