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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: It’s Christmas Day (in the present or living memory) (11/27/08)

TITLE: Traditions....
By Christopher Mabbitt
12/02/08


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Every year on December 24th we gathered at my grandparents’ house. The funniest thing I remember about this particular Christmas was my younger brother. He had a bad habit of wanting to know what he was getting, almost to the point of annoyance. My Aunt Sally had told him that they were getting him a doll. I along with most everyone else had thought this to be a joke. I apologize I am getting ahead of myself. Once everyone arrived and reheated what they had brought to eat in my grandmothers’ oven the food was set out in the living room. The table where everyone sat was in the family room, which was much bigger than the living room. My grandfather being a quiet man did not have to speak loud to be heard. He lived by the philosophy “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. He quietly said “Thank-You all for being here, let us pray. He prayed “Our Father, we thank you today for the birth of your Son that those who do not know you can come to know you and to serve you, we thank you for everyones safe travel here and I pray for their safe travel home tonight I pray that you bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies, in Jesus name Amen.” At that everyone said “Amen”. Everyone then proceeded to pick a place to sit, picked up a plate and headed to the living room to fill their plates, and start with the filling of their bellies. If I were to guess I would say it was about an hour that we “ate”. I say that because many, myself included ate, until full then spent the rest of the time talking with aunts and uncles and playing with cousins. After everyone had their fill of food and conversation, the table would be pushed back toward the wall to make room for chairs to be pushed back against it, to make room for the next generation to sit on the floor to collect their “bounty”.
Once everyone had a seat my grandfather, or Uncle Dave, would announce that “It is now time to read the story of Christs Birth. Some years they would ask for volunteers to read, others The Bible would be passed around the room. The version in Luke 2 was what we read from. I personally value and treasure this time because too many people take for granted the “Reason For The Season” Some think its just about family, others that it is just about presents. Once the story was read in its entirety then the time would come to pass out the presents. Some years my aunts and uncles would do the passing out, more recently it is my cousins; more often than not they need someone to read the tag to them. The way things were done before everyone would buy for everyone, but with the growing of the family, that got to be rather pricey, so from, I would guess 2006 or so names were drawn and whatever name you drew is who you buy for. What followed was many quickly shouted thank-you's and a flurry of wrapping paper. My Aunt Sally had discreetly gotten my attention and nodded her head in the direction of my younger brother. My younger brother saved the smallest package for last. He quickly opened the small parcel and the look on his face was absolutely priceless! He quickly and almost angrily threw the small box across the room. My mother sternly called him by his full name, telling him to go pick it up and apologize. He did as he was told, my Aunt Sally reached behind the tree and pulled out a medium sized box and gave it to him. Then the paper would slowly make its way into a trash bag once all the paper was cleaned up, dessert was served. This would follow with more conversation, while relatives slowly disappeared, until it was my mom and Aunt Diane helping with the last of the cleanup. We would then leave and head home, my parents would get us to bed quickly so that they could wrap the last of the presents, and get to bed themselves.


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Jan Ackerson 12/04/08
Your family traditions are very similar to mine, so this was pleasant to read.

Think about putting in more paragraph breaks...it's easier on the eyes.