Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Day

This morning we were having breakfast at Oasis when a couple came in and sat down across from us.  The lady looked over and smiled a big grin at me and I just smiled back, then I remembered, I was in my usual holiday festive dress, green shirt, with red scarf, giant green lightbulb earrings and since I didn't do my hair yet, a Christmas headband. 

If you know me, or even have read this blog lately you know I am quite festive.  I just finished a batch of chocolate chip cookies, I have overdosed on Hallmark and ABC Family movies, wrapped all the presents and am ready for the Holiday to begin.  But there is one thing you might not know.  I don't really like Christmas.

I love what it stands for, the Baby Jesus, God's everlasting gift to us.  I enjoy church, and it is because of this that I make it through the holidays.  You see, as a child the holidays were glossy on the outside but inside not so much.  I couldn't understand as a little child what was going on.  Christmas was quite the party at my Grandparent's house where I grew up.  It was full of people Christmas Night and later on Christmas Day.  Every year I did the same thing Christmas morning, creeping down the stairs  really, really slow and then I would see it.  All the toys.  Mine were never wrapped, they were out displayed like a store.  I would look at everything, usually by myself.  No one every got up to much much later. 

As I watch Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase last night, I realized that's more of what Christmas was like at my house.  Every Christmas eve I would hear fighting and shouting when I was little and in bed.  One year there was a lot of cursing, I wanted to come down to see what was going on, but my Grandmother made me go back to bed.  She said my grandfather had just cut himself.  Yeah, on my stove and kitchen set for Christmas.  You know it was made of metal back then, not the nice plastic of today.  When I got older and stayed up later, I found the fighting and shouting was real fighting and shouting.  It seemed to me, that if you combine Christmas, family and lot of beer, that's what you get. 

Gee, I was cute, notice the metal kitchen set to my right
There were some memorable moments.   The year I got a plastic guitar that my Grandfather thought he could play and ended up cutting himself up horribly and bleeding everywhere.  The year my Grandmother pulled a butcher knife on my Aunt's boyfriend.  Actually that's a fond memory, still makes me laugh, he said to her - go ahead I'll piss on your grave when you dead, ah the joy of Christmas Spirit. There was the year I woke up to find a relative asleep next to my presents, found out later she was thrown out of her house Christmas Eve, lots of fighting there to.    When I got older I learned to leave Christmas eve. 

One special Christmas Eve, I got engaged.  Bless Big Bob, he did make it special, it was a scavenger hunt all over his house ending with an engagement ring during the annual Werner Christmas Party.  What a special and happy night it was,  that is until I got home.  My grandmother (already two sheets to the wind)  accused me of having a planned engagement party at the Werner's and then promptly took a ring I had been wearing that she gave me for graduation, saying I didn't need it now.  I always say that I got nothing for my 13th & 16th birthdays, Confirmation and Graduation, because she took it all back whenever she was mad at me.  I got the last laugh though, I got most of it back after she died.

Speaking of that, a few years ago we discovered that my Grandmother was sick on Thanksgiving.  I told my cousin Sandy at the time, watch she will die on Christmas just to spite me.  Well, you guessed it she died on Christmas Eve and don't tell me she didn't plan it that way.  Just kidding I know she didn't well maybe I don't.

I know my bff,  Cathy,  is saying right now, Bev get over it, and I do after Christmas, and there are good memories to of this day.  I am blessed with wonderful Grandchildren - two of which were born 3 days after my grandmother died, making a sad time bright.  And even though I always feel a terrible foreboding this day I shove it back, and deck the hall with boughs of holly.   I wear the santa hat and read the Night Before Christmas.

But I know, most of all, that I am loved, and their is a light that shines bright in the darkness of the night this night even more than most, and that is the Baby Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate.  And I will tear up during Silent Night this year as I do every year and Christmas Spirit will fill my heart and make all the hurt just a memory again. 

So Merry Christmas, and if you have bad memories of this day, shove them back and make some good ones, Lord knows I try, and so should you and that's another day in Catasauqua.