One of my favorite memories is going to grandma's house on Christmas Eve. If there was snow then the night was perfect. I can't remember any specific food item but I do recall that Grandma was a good cook. For Christmas Eve she always had a "relish plate", we never had that any other time. She had a special platter that came out just for the pickles and olives and another special platter that came out for the Christmas cookies.
There were six of us kids and Grandma would have a present for each of us. After the gifts then the kids got to watch a special on TV while the adults might play a little euchre. Candle light service at church then home to wait for Santa.
When I was a kid our house had a coal furnace, so, by the time we got home from Grandma's and church, our house was darn cold. Dad would go down to stoke up the few hot coals that were left in the furnace but it would take awhile for the house to get warm again. The cold was good enough reason for us kids to scurry off to our beds to try to get warm.
Only gravity heated the upstairs of the house so the bedroom windows were quite frosty. Last thing before we closed our eyes was to breathe on the windows and scratch out a peep hole so we could look for Santa flying across the sky. Once one of us confirmed that we had surely seen him, then we could close our peepers and wait until morning.
We got toys, but, like Grandma's food, I don't particularly remember any specific gifts or toys. My parents had to work hard for what we got. There was always an orange in the toe of a stocking. There were socks and underwear and new pajamas. They loved us and provided well for us.
Our parents loved us. Grandma loved us. Special food platters and time together and warm houses and new socks were demonstrations of love. Simple, but, lovely love.
So raise a glass to toast the memories and may your Christmas be blessed with much love.
Sheryl, the winemaker's mom