When i was a kid, Christmas was somehow different. it wasn't that i was the one getting all the gifts instead of giving them...it was a feeling. It was the family.
Way back then, there were obviously less of us. The 6 "grandchildren" were kids , so that takes out the extra husbands and wives as well as the "great-grand kids" so that's 14 people of our "little group" who didn't exist yet, at least in our world.
Every year we would go to one of the 3 "kids" houses, my mom's or one of her brother's homes. We'd go and have a big Christmas lunch, turkey and dressing, ham and potato salad, green bean casserole, and all the other sides you can imagine.
The Grandchildren were always keyed up wanting to see and hear what Santa had brought the others. Not so patiently waiting to open Christmas gifts after lunch.
As the grandchildren grew older we began to realize that the aunts and uncles weren't getting gifts and we didn't like that one bit! We decided that WE would buy small gifts for them. I can remember purchasing everything from aftershave to golf balls to Christmas shaped blocks of Cheddar! It's the thought that counts, right?
We also would usually gather, the entire family around and play a game. If someone got a new game that year we'd try it out or go with the old stand by of Trivial Pursuit. It was awesome to have the whole family broken into two groups, working together to beat the other group! Talk about family fun!
One of the things that is universally missed now, is the eating of the leftovers for dinner. We'd all pile up another plate of our favorites to reheat for dinner as we played our game in the evening. Now, we don't get together until late afternoon, and our meal is dinner...so there is no time for leftovers. A number of things have changed over the years, but one thing remains the same, we are all, always together to celebrate Christmas as a family!