A week from now we’ll be packing up the car in Granny’s driveway. Leftovers in Tupperware and a few gifts will be placed in the back floorboards and I’ll be thinking of something else, anything else, to say to Granny before finally committing to leaving.
Christmas Eve at Granny and Papa’s has always been magical. Granny’s tree has multicolor lights, the most beautiful vintage ornaments, and a pearl garland, but has never been huge or overstated. She has a small village but otherwise always just decorated with the many Christmas cards that came to her and Papa.
Mom always leaves some rolls unbuttered for my brother. My aunt always asks for pepper before trying her cream corn and Granny “gets on to her” for not trying it first. After dinner we have pie...pineapple or chocolate...and they have those perfect “coca cola drops” on the fluffy meringue. After pie we sit patiently while the dishes are washed...then we can open presents.
Granny’s packages are always wrapped so beautifully with perfect bows. It is the one time of year we sit in Granny’s living room instead of the den. We slowly unwrap presents and throw the paper at a trash bag in the center of the room, but the bows and boxes get slid to the coffee table because you gotta save the bows and boxes. We probably still have 20+ year old bows and boxes in rotation.
Papa always gave Granny a piece of jewelry that Mom helped pick out. It was always the last gift of the night.
Snapped this picture in 2010. The lights reflected off the record player so beautifully....the new one that mom, my aunt and I searched hours and days for one Christmas cause it had to meet Granny’s exact requirements. It was to replace the big ol’ record player cabinet that had gone out. Granny can be picky but the woman knows exactly what she wants. It makes her hard to buy for but some of my most vivid Christmas memories are searching high and low for something so particularly simple Granny asked for. I’ll never forget when we got her the George Foreman grill that sat on her dryer in “the back room” for the next 15 years because Granny wasn’t about to cook chicken in anything other than a skillet.
I’m glad I got this picture that day, as well as some of Papa and Granny in front of the unfinished Christmas tree. Papa loved Christmas. It was the only time other than church or funerals that I remember him wearing dress pants and his signature plaid shirt. The rest of the days it was Pointer brand overalls.
The crowd has gotten smaller and the presents fewer. We eat off Chinet plates now and the tree has downsized to a tabletop tree. But the love, y’all...the love is bigger and grander than ever. We’ll sit in that living room and Granny will still get the last gift of the night.
I don’t know how many more Christmas Eves we’ll have at Granny’s but I do know that next Monday night we’ll make more memories to add to our story. I can’t wait to cherish every minute of it.
PS: pray Granny likes my gift.