I hope that everyone had a good Christmas this year and that you were able to have some sort of celebration that brought joy and peace to you and your family.

Over the years, my Christmases have changed. They have evolved over time. 

I was working on a Christmas present for my mom and my aunt and uncle this year and that made me think back to Christmases in the past.

I was the only kid in the family for quite a while. The only niece and grandchild until I think I was around 12. I was very very lucky to have spent a lot of my childhood hanging around my aunts and uncles, grandparents and extended family. I have memories of times and people that my cousins don’t have. I treasure those memories and remember all of the fun Christmases with my family (and getting LOTS of gifts, of course).

Later, Christmases at my mom’s included my six cousins and then a birthday breakfast the next day for the twins. Over the years, things changed and I haven’t seen my cousins at Christmases because they are older, married and live farther away. 

I started visiting some family friends on Christmas Eve – dear friends who were actually the parents of a friend I worked with. They became part of our family and passed away quite a while ago from cancer. So I replaced that tradition with visiting one of my best friends, her mom and their family on Christmas night.

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I am at my mom’s most Christmases and my husband stays with his daughter and that allows us time to run around and see everyone. I usually still get to see my two aunts and two uncles at my mom’s house if the weather is good.

During my time at my mom’s, I try to see my best friend and her family and go to the Live Nativity at the church that’s been going on since I was a little kid. I also like to go to the old fashioned dime store in Mason and we usually drive around looking at Christmas lights.

Which brings me to other Christmases…. there were plenty that me and my husband didn’t make it to (or we were late) because of weather. 

We lived in Nashville, Tennessee for quite a while and now we live in Northern Lower Michigan. Getting to the Lansing, Michigan area doesn’t always work in blizzards, fogs and ice. 

There was also one Christmas when my mom was in the hospital. She had gone in the night before so I spent most of Christmas Day sleeping. 

I have learned not to get too upset if things don’t work out for the actual day of Christmas. I just hope to be able to see some family and do some traditions sometime around Christmas if possible (or by Spring!)

This year, we stayed at my step-daughter’s house because my mom is cautious about the pandemic. I don’t blame her. She has a heart condition and some other health issues. Her boyfriend is in remission from lung cancer and has COPD.

Spending time at my step-daughters was fun and relaxing and we had a delicious steak dinner. I also got to see two of my grand-kids and my great-grandson. I got to watch the beginning of “It’s a Wonderful Life” but went to sleep before it was over. It’s one of many movies I have never watched all the way through.

I also picked up my Kia, which was one of the main reasons for the trip. My son-in-law saved me more than a thousand dollars fixing my brakes instead of me having to take them to the car repair thieves up here in Northern Lower Michigan.

I went to my mom’s on the way home to drop off Christmas presents and I was allowed in the house with a mask which was a treat. So I got to spend about an hour with her and my “step-dad” opening presents. And I got to see how she decorated the house for Christmas this year and see my favorite Nativity scene that she bought a long time ago (this year with the added Shetland Sheepdog which looks suspiciously like my fur-dog-brother BB).

I also got to see my aunt and uncle for about five minutes. They had pulled into my mom’s driveway right behind me when I got there and I didn’t even recognize them because they had masks on. They didn’t stay long, but wanted to see my mom and drop off gifts to her.

So no Live Nativity or visit to the craft store this year. No visit to my friend’s house and no driving around looking at lights. And unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see my other step-daughter who I am close to because she came over after I left.

There were no hugs all weekend but I was grateful to at least see some family and the weather cooperated for a change.

This year, more than ever, we have all learned how important family is.

And we have learned how to adapt to changing conditions and have had to change our behavior, plans and traditions all year.

In the middle of a pandemic, I feel grateful to have been able to celebrate the holidays with some of my family – even though the leftists tried to scare us all out of doing it.

And as a belated Christmas present to all of you, here is the recipe for George Washington’s eggnog

“One quart cream, one quart milk, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one pint brandy, pint rye whiskey, pint Jamaica rum, pint sherry — mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of 12 eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.”