One year it was tougher than most others. We were squeezing to get the juice out of everything, pinching pennies Momma called it. The best part of that Christmas was the soul-food Momma made and the tree. There were just four gifts under there Christmas morning and each was meant to be shared. Those gifts - two skateboards and two small TVs. Momma said you girls share and you boys share. And that was Christmas. Sharing.
I never rode that skateboard even once. The tree was pretty.
One year many years later we bought my son and daughter skateboards. They were more advanced now, wide, decorative, fast, great wheels. Those boards were amongst many many many gifts under the tree. The boards nearly overshadowed by the excess.
They rode those beautiful boards maybe once, twice in threat of a spanking. I think we had three trees that year. That was one of the last times we celebrated Christmas with physical gifts. Santa pretty much knows. They do it differently at their house.
So our family has our own tradition and it does not include a tree, or gift exchanges for ourselves. Our tradition has become about spending time together wherever we may go. This might be Australia, Vietnam, Paris, the Amazon, the Caribbean, Colorado or home in Georgia. Our Christmas is about creating the gift of lasting memories, bonds and connection.
There are no wish lists, no milk and cookies, no naughty or nice.
There is only laughter and tasting double dares and discussions about why we are put here. There are occasional souvenir finds, but on the whole, our Christmas morning is spent with our family being just that, family!
I nearly always find a way to cook.
And this bond, this sharing is the best tradition I can offer. Momma would be proud.