Christmas in this family is all about traditions and memories ... telling and listening to stories. It's impossible to decorate the Christmas tree, for instance, without telling a story about each and every ornament that's being hung. It's a long procedure.
When I was a child, I remember making the present delivery runs just before Christmas. My mom would have wrapped all the gifts for the cousins and we traveled what seemed a long, long distance (20-30 miles maybe) to deliver them to my cousins in Clinton and Oxford and Dudley … all little Massachusetts towns … where members of the extensive Lacoste family resided. We'd just show up … no reservations required. The adults would have coffee and chat. The kids stayed out of the adults' purview and sneaked peeks at gifts under the tree.
My Aunt Jeannette's house was always a favorite stop. My seven cousins always seemed to have so much more fun than we did. After all, they had bubble lights on their tree and when we arrived, Uncle Henry would let us turn them on! We would all lie on the floor with our heads underneath their tree, looking up and watching the bubbles ... totally mesmerized … and mentally preparing ourselves, I guess, for the lava lamps that were to come in the next decade.
After listening to my sister recount the bubble light story for the umpteenth time, our cousins, Mark and Julia, ran across the nostalgic lights at a shop in Vermont and bought them for her. What a delight as she strung them with the greenery on the mantle. Since arriving, we've spent several evenings trying to unwind by watching the bubbles do their thing. We've discovered that a glass or two of wine tends to enhance the experience.
It's Christmas Eve. We're heading to friends for some Christmas cheer and then to a candlelight Christmas service at Lin's historic and beautiful UU church in Milton, Massachusetts. How are you spending your Christmas Eve?