Celebrating Christmas has changed through the years. It is interesting to remember Christmas celebrations past.
About 18 years ago, Dad remarried right before Christmas. That Christmas was the first to meet the step family. There were a lot of little kids from our side. Someone gave the two grandsons cap guns. The little girls were chasing a new step uncle around the house chanting his name. They left a trail of candy wrappers everywhere they went. My little big brother was busy setting Christmas pudding on fire, much to the delight of K and L. I'm guessing some of the family were annoyed, but we all smiled and endured. I don't remember anyone scolding or grousing.
Yeah. It was one of THOSE Christmas celebrations. The pictures of the stunned faces of the new step siblings are priceless. They got the "real" version of the family craziness. It's a wonder they continued to come for family celebrations. (Little did we know that they would sometimes add to the chaos as much as the little ones.)
We still celebrate, but it is much quieter--and in some ways not near as much fun. I miss the flaming desserts. I miss the excitement of the little kids. As teens and college students I doubt they feel like they can be themselves with the abandonment that they did when they were little. We get the subdued version of them these days. They've probably been scolded one too many times about excess noise, being on their best behavior, eating healthier, and remembering their table manners.
A couple of years ago we had a wonderful snow. We could be outside for the wild hilarity of sled rides behind the four wheeler. The kids didn't have to be quiet and well mannered. Even the older "kids" were screaming with laughter. There was noise and craziness. And for a bit we recaptured that first Christmas when we were all together.
I think that says something about the Christmas celebrations we remember the most vividly. It isn't about the table manners, gifts, quiet conversation, or what we eat. (Though that flaming pudding was pretty cool, even if it wasn't my favorite dessert.)
What do we remember about our family celebrations? The sheer joy of being together. The laughter. The silly, unexpected moments of energetic fun.