What a lot of places we’ve been for Christmas over the years. Many with relatives and friends; one incredibly lonely time when I was sort of stranded in London rather then being where I was supposed to be, but that’s definitely for another post.
Growing up in Louisiana, my maternal grandparents and much of that side of the family lived 30 minutes west. The tradition was big Christmas Eve at their house with grown-ups having drawn names for presents and all the kids getting a bulging stocking from Mamaw and Papaw which included lots of fireworks. It wasn’t a meal as that took place the following day back at their house again. For some reason, one year my mother decided we should open all our presents when we returned Christmas Eve because having the traditional opening and prepping everything to take for the Christmas meal was admittedly a bit hectic. On the other hand, Christmas morning without opening presents just wasn’t the same and we didn’t repeat that. Of course, in a one-income, working middle class family, there weren’t that many presents to unwrap and stockings tended to be things like maybe some new socks, plus tangerines because those only came into the small town groceries part of the year. It seems we went up to Arkansas to be with paternal side of the family occasionally, although I don’t recall how often.
Moving on to when I was single and mostly away in the Army, there was usually a family that drew in “the orphans” either as individuals or groups and Hubby and I did the while we were in Maryland and Virginia. I’ve posted before about Christmases in Maine which periodically meant the 26th or 27th as “late Christmas”; never longer than two days after. I’ve also explained the kids have Christmas in Virginia and we bring them down the 27th or 28th depending on their Jan start date back to work/school. They’re exhausted with lead-up to and performances of Nutcracker so a few days of relative quiet before tackling airports at holiday time is important. Fortunately, it is a non-stop, little over two hours flight time which does help. We’ll go over late afternoon today for the big meal with friends. And yes, I will be having candy at breakfast.