Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmastime in Quincy

It's Christmastime in Quincy, Massachusetts. We have all eaten our fill and then some. I have eaten way too many of the cream puffs that Nana has made especially for me. When I was younger I commented on how much I really liked them; now they are a Christmas staple.
The Secret Santa gifts have been distributed. I share a laugh with Uncle Tommy and Aunt Liz, who are still laughing over the gift of hot massage oil that was given to his sister, the nun. I played that up for many laughs.
For years, I have been the Master of Ceremonies for the gift distribution. Apparently my family (and even my Nana) thought that my gift for double-entendre and wild sarcasm made for a good time during the holidays and I never wanted to disappoint them. Hot massage oil and a nun made for a wildly good time.
I have long since graduated from the kids room and now sit out among the adults. The conversation flows freely. I have done this for a long time. I only see some of these relatives once a year and at this party and still I remember them all. I am not the only wit in the room. My Uncle Tom can shoot from the hip with the best of them. Mom's cousin Louie has a biting sense of humor, too. Case in point: He never got along with his in-law, Frank. One Christmas party found us discussing how tall we each were. Louis asked Frank how tall he was, After Frank told us he was six feet tall, Louis replied "Gee, I didn't think it was possible to pile shit that high."
This year my cousin Scott has brought along his keyboard. Between the flowing beverages and the fact that we can both be hams, we have begun a duet of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." This appalled my Nana, who before one word was even sung declared the song profane. Scott sat in Grampa's old wing back chair and I sat on a dining room chair next to him.
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas Eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me an' Grandpa, we believe.
Nana is sitting on the sofa, shaking her head. We continued on.
She'd been drinking too much eggnog,
And we begged her not to go.
But she forgot her medication,
And she staggered out the door into the snow.
Laughter comes from the relatives. Nana starts to chuckle then catches herself. Scott and I see that she's wavering so we add even more flourish to this ludicrous song.
When we found her Christmas morning,
At the scene of the attack
She had hoof prints on her forehead,
And incriminating Claus marks on her back.
And so it went.
Nana tried to be righteously indignant about it for a few verses but, finally, she could contain her mirth no longer. Nana laughed until she cried. After the song was over she proclaimed that Scott and I were "rotten kids".
"No they aren't," Uncle Eddie replied."They're rotten adults."
Yes we were.
To this day I remember how hard Nana was laughing at this song.
Christmas parties at Nana's house were always full of good food, laughter and love. There was plenty of each to go around for everyone.
Now, I feast only on the memories of these parties at Nana's house. But, when Christmas bells ring once more, I can taste the cream puffs and hear the laughter and feel the love.


Blogger Fox In Detox said...

I agree...and oh how I miss them.

8:29 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Bridget said...

Ahhh...looking back on Christmases long past. Things I haven't thought about in years. Thanks for jogging my memory.

* stringing popcorn and cranberries for the tree
* baking cookies
* trying to sleep one Christmas Eve at my grandparents in FL while listening to the cuckoo clock go off every half hour
* slipping a small jar of maraschino cherries into my grandmother's stocking because she loved them so
* sleeping under the dining room table at the grandparents house listening to XMAS music on the radio while my parents could be heard bustling around putting prezzies under the tree
* going on a scavenger hunt around the house with clues to lead me to the potter's wheel my dad made for me
* my grandfather laughing to tears while trying to get "Noise Putty" back into its canister
* lots and lots of music and singing

Cherish the memories of old and look forward to the new. You have to believe that the best is yet to come.

1:04 PM, December 17, 2008  

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