Thursday , 26 April 2018

Christmas Memories: Family, Tamales and a Magical, Early Morning Walk

TSB’s Michele Bernard shares a vivid holiday memory as part of our seasonal series.

Family is at the core of everything I hold dear.  My house is the most centrally located to my large extended family, therefore, it has become holiday headquarters, the place we gather each Saturday before Christmas to celebrate.  What a pleasure it is to stand back and watch.  While my parents, aunts and uncles laugh and reminisce, my cousins, siblings and I do the same.  Meanwhile, our children, the elementary aged kids zoom in and out like little whirling dervishes, while the teens text and sigh, and the college students try to decide if being in the grown up gift exchange is all it’s cracked up to be.  I keep photos of my grandparents and great-grandparents on a shelf in my big yellow kitchen.  I like to think they watch over us, and are together with us as well.

On Christmas Eve, my husband and I gather with our children and close family friends to eat tamales.  Later, we attend the midnight service at church.  We live within walking distance of our place of worship.  There’s something magical about that quiet walk home in the wee hours of Christmas morning.  If we listen closely, we can hear the angels singing and the sleigh bells ringing.

After such late hours, even when our children were boys, Christmas Day unfolds gently and at its own pace.  It starts with homemade cinnamon rolls, courtesy of our sweet neighbor Martha, who still makes it her business to treat my now grown sons to this tasty treat.  For the rest of the day, and sometimes into the next several days, time is spent with family.  For me, there is no greater gift.

So, I guess, I really don’t have a favorite Christmas memory, as every year seems to find a special place to live in my heart. 

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