A week or two before Christmas, my father would take us to Belk’s in Cordele, which was about 45 minutes away, to choose Christmas gifts for my mother from him. We usually picked out an outfit, complete with shoes and jewelry, and he always picked out a bottle of perfume, usually by Estee Lauder. We would take everything to be gift-wrapped in paper chosen by my sisters and me. When we arrived home, we would place those beautiful packages under the Christmas tree to wait until Christmas morning. Mama usually wore her new outfit on Christmas Day, or to church the following Sunday. Either way, she would spritz her perfume on her wrist and neck as soon as she opened the bottle.
December 23 was my Grandma and Granddaddy Tucker’s anniversary, so we would celebrate Christmas with the Tuckers on that evening. Grandma would always have a feast of seafood, including oyster dressing, fried and boiled shrimp, scallops, hushpuppies, and all the fixings. Great-grandma Tucker presented each of the great-grandchildren with $1 bills - nearly a fortune for her. I didn’t appreciate her sacrifice enough as a child, or the fact that I had a living great-grandparent.
On Christmas Eve, my sisters and I would open gifts of new pajamas from our parents. I don’t remember many of the pajamas, but one year the four of us received matching candy-cane striped footie pajamas in four different colors! I think the idea was for us to have cute pjs for cute Christmas morning pictures, but that doesn’t help with bedhead or ridiculously huge glasses! My sisters and I love this tradition so much, we are continuing to do it with our own children.
I love having such wonderful Christmas memories. Celebrating with family during the holidays makes the time so special. I am grateful for the family I grew up with and the family I am building now; for the memories I have and for the memories I am creating. We would love to hear your favorite Christmas traditions and memories!