December 26, 2010
On Christmas Eve, we gathered in my parents’ living room: on the couch, on chairs dragged in from the kitchen, on the floor. Since the little kids who used to fit nicely on laps have become adults, it was a tight fit. I brought the box of candles we’ve used for years and began handing them out. Some of the candles are burned down to stubs, and I supplemented this year by buying some new long candles, which led to inappropriate jokes from the males in the family.
Our tradition is to turn out all the lights, and then begin by lighting one candle. We pass the flame from person to person, each of us saying something we’re thankful for as we light our candles, until everyone’s candle is lit. Then we sing, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” I think we settled on that song because it’s the one that the cartoon characters sing a the end of the Charlie Brown Christmas special. (We didn’t watch much television as kids so I think we were disproportionately influenced by the shows we did watch.) I always try to sit next to Tie-Dye Brother-in-law during the song since he’s the only one in the family who hasn’t noticed yet that I can’t carry a tune.
One of my nieces said, as she lit her candle, “This week at work, so many people were complaining about having to spend time with their families over the holidays. I’m thankful I’ve got a family I like spending time with.”
Posted by jo(e)