Christmas Eve has always been my favorite day of the year. When I was younger, it was the only time where my entire family was together at one house. I have 13 cousins. My mom is one of 7 kids. To say the least Christmas Eve was always rather chaotic. It was a WONDERFUL chaotic. Us kids probably drove our parents nuts. With 14 grandchildren the the floor around the tree was covered with gifts from our grandparents, aunts and uncles. We would
complain wait patiently through dinner to open gifts....a process that destroyed the living room in about 10 minutes flat and then be told by the grown ups to go play. My best memories are from the years when I was probably between 8-12. My cousin L and I would do whatever we could to avoid our little sisters because clearly THEY were the most annoying people to walk the earth. We would find some area in the house to try and hide which was usually would not last too long before moms would make us include those darn little sisters. Fast forward a few years and there was a new baby cousin to love and fight over....L and I always tried to snatch her up and again....hide from those little sisters. The older we got the more the dynamic changed....some older cousins moved away and we did not see them on Christmas Eve. It was always still so much fun. Fast forward a few more years...I would be home from college for Christmas Eve.... once again a totally new dynamic....my cousin L who I love so much had made some bad choices in her life and she was not around to avoid those little (teen aged) sisters with. In the last few years things have taken an entirely new direction. 14 cousins no longer celebrate Christmas Eve together because we have mostly all grown and started our own families....that baby I used to cart around will be turning 18 in a few months. Now the presents are around my mom's tree for HER grandchildren. My son is the one who will be avoiding his little sister on Christmas Eve....after he suffers the TORTURE of being forced to eat dinner before opening presents and being shooed away. Now there are 5 cousins who hopefully will grow up to know that Christmas Eve is the one night they can always count on being together and making those same memories that I had growing up. I really hope that it means as much to them as it did to me.