Maggie Pill

The Most Entertaining Cozy Author You Never Heard Of!


Saturday, November 28, 2015

30 Days of Christmas-Day Four

Barb's Christmas Memories

I remember Christmas. We always went to our grandparents’ house for dinner. The times I remember best were when Faye and I were around eight and nine. Our cousins were all boys, and they lived in faraway Muskegon, so we seldom saw them. They were rough-and-tumble types, and I never enjoyed their company much, though Faye was always willing to play Monkey in the Middle or King of the Hill with them.

Dad and Uncle Marv, the sons-in-law, sat in the living room, smoking and swapping stories with Grandpa Lemmon. Mom, Aunt Marilyn, and Grandma worked together in the kitchen, each preparing her signature dishes. Grandma cooked the turkey, filling it with spicy stuffing and making delicious gravy from the drippings. Mom liked to do the salads, and I would help her clean and slice vegetables for tossed salad, pasta salad, potato salad, broccoli salad, and fruit salad. Aunt Mar was the side dish expert, and she’d bring a squash to roast, her famous brown-sugar beans, and some new recipe she’d gotten from her recipe-card club.

I remember bits and pieces of the men's conversations, mostly about agriculture or the hunting season just completed. The women talked of their children and the small irritations of mice in the house and stains on the linen tablecloth. Mom encouraged me to join in, but I preferred to listen, peering into the world of adults. I could never see my future as one of them, cooking for a dozen people and chatting about curtains.

Did I despise their small-town lives and homey talk? Never. I loved feeling part of those dinners, though I knew even then it was not be the life for me. I didn’t feel they were wrong. I was the one who was different, because I didn’t long for a kitchen to cook in or children to tend. Still, I loved watching them. They knew who they were. They knew what they were. Christmas was my chance to observe, though it often felt as if I were watching an alien species.


2 comments:

  1. I'm more like Faye than Barb when it comes to loving to cooking for my family. But I'm more like Barb in how i think about most things and being a Grammar Nazi. I really enjoy being with family at holiday gatherings but i also enjoy my alone time.

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  2. I had a cousin tell me not too long ago that she can't believe we're related, since I no longer cook--ever. I used to like doing the big meals at holidays when we were a big family. Now I let my husband enjoy that great feeling. :)

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