Well, Thanksgiving 2014 is a little more than a week away… as it approaches we start to feel the buzz of the Christmas spirit. This time of year is filled with many fond memories from my childhood.
This weekend, EverSoLightly and I dug out the Christmas decorations and put them up.. which also means we got to listen to our favorite christmas songs! EverSolightly use to tease me about the music I listen to during the holiday season… I listen to a lot of the typical Christmas music, but also a few that were favorites of my Grandma Graham. Grandma had 10 kids, and a bajillion and a half grand children. I kid… Sorta… in reality she had 40something grandchildren and 20 something great grandchildren at the time of her passing in 2003. We have a huge family which always lead to lots of people crammed into her small house in Portland. As a kid, it never ever seemed crowded. Thanksgiving (and Christmas Eve) we’d show up, eat tons of food, spend time with family and go home fat-er and happier.
With such a large family, a lot of my cousins didn’t have the opportunity to get to know Grandma as well as I did. Part of that was the distance, but a lot of it was my mom. Being a single parent she had to take us kids with her just about everywhere. Every errand she took Grandma on, I went with. If she needed a babysitter, Grandma was there.
During the holiday season, when we’d take Grandma to her appointments, or Christmas shopping, she’d always ask us to play one of two tapes. Christmas by the Oak Ridge Boys and John Denver, Christmas Like a Lullaby.
The song I posted above was by far her favorite. Christmas Carol. A song about a woman who would sing christmas songs year around, and collect money from those that passed by. Supposedly, in the song, she takes that money and buys presents for the homes that have children in the town. Grandma always loved listening to that song, and I have so many fond memories tied to listening to it this time of year.
The first Christmas we spent without her, my mom put the cassette in and we listened to that song on repeat while we laughed and cried together over memories with Grandma. She was the only actual grandparent that I knew… I had other “adopted” grandparents of sorts but Grandma Graham was my only blood related grandparent.
When she would babysit me, I’d come over, eat sugar-free candy, butter on crackers (sounds nasty, and maybe it is
but I loved it as a kid..) She’d save her scraps from sewing, and put them in a bag by her couch… She’d turn on Matlock, and start sewing… I’d sit on the floor by her feet and glue fabric scraps to a piece of paper and she’d hang every single one up once I was done.
I am so grateful for the memories I have with her, and though at the time I may have found Grandma Graham’s house boring at times (she was a little on the grumpy side) I’m happy to be able to look back at the holidays and remember the years spent having wrapping paper wars, and sneaking my favorite treats before dinner.
Though the Graham Family isn’t quite the same without Grandma, EverSoLightly and I have started our own traditions, such as Wine Thanksgiving (5 years and counting!!) and our Murder Mystery party to name a few. 🙂