Memories of a Yule Tradition

This is my first entry of this blog. Welcome. I have had my blog account set up for well over a month now, but my muse has yet to strike until now, and although I know what this blog entry will be about, I am still unsure as to how to begin and where it will lead. I guess I shall start with an introduction. I was born and raised in the south. A small town girl, I am, and I will be honest in saying that blueberries and tomatoes in the summer time are and have always been my favorite thing about living in the south. The weather here sucks and even though it is mid December, just 2 days ago I was able to walk around in a t-shirt and jeans comfortably without the slightest chill.
December has always been one of my favorite months. I love cold weather and everything that compliments it. Hot tea, warm fires, a good book, and a cozy sweater; what’s not to love? If I am cold, I can always add more layers. There is only so much I can take off when I am hot before someone takes offense.
Growing up, some of my favorite memories were at Christmas time. December was full of traditions for my family. Mom would get a JC Penny’s Wishlist Catalog and let us cut out pictures of what we wanted for Christmas and we would paste them to our own little homemade wishlist.
My maternal great-grandmother Golmon lived behind us, and every Christmas Eve was a time of gathering and celebration at her house. I come from a large extended family and every one of us would gather in my Mawmaw Golmons 2 bedroom cottage and make merry on the Eve of Yule. I remember the aroma of the house and the energy in the air as if I were standing in the midst of it right now. Pine needles from the Christmas tree, fruit cake, and bananas. Her house always smelled of bananas and there were always bananas on the kitchen table. Aside from my uncles annual Halloween party and the fall family reunion, Christmas Eve was the only other time I really remember being able to see distant cousins and their immediate families, and it was exciting. When bedtime came, we could hardly sleep because we were so excited about what Santa would leave us in our stockings and under the tree. After unwrapping and exchanging gifts, we would get dressed in our new clothes and shoes, and walk up to my grandparents house for Christmas dinner. I know everyone says that their grandma is the best cook in the world, but my Mawmaw Betty truly makes the absolute best dressing in the world, and I don’t believe I shall ever be convinced otherwise.
One thing that stands out in my mind is that my mom always seemed to be the last to arrive at Mawmaw and Pawpaws. By the time she arrived, the Macy’s Christmas parade would be over and us kids would have already stuffed our faces full of turkey, dressing and pecan pie so that we could hand out gifts.
These days, Christmas just doesn’t feel the same for me as it did when I was a kid. My great grandmother and my Grandpa Dude have passed away, and Mawmaw Bettys house just doesn’t feel as lively as it once did. I have a little family of my own now, and although I still spend Christmas afternoon with my grandma, I feel as if it is time to make Christmas traditions of my own now. I hope the traditions that my household and I create will leave memories as fond and as inspirational as the traditions that my childhood left me with.
I wish all of you a pleasant month and I pray that you will always be surrounded with loved ones and light. Blessings to all,