Christmas Dinner

By Mandy Michelle

When I think back to Christmases past, I think of my Gran.

Every year on Christmas, after we would open gifts, we would all pile into the car and head to the other side of town to have Christmas dinner at my Gran’s house. The rule was that we had to be there for one o’clock.

I don’t think our family ever made it to one of the annual Christmas lunches on time. Our tardiness was never intentional, but four people and one small bathroom made for a bit of hecticness. Never fail, every year, we were teased by our aunts and uncles and cousins, for being late, but we brought the epic, 1980s jelly mold in the shape of a snowman, so no one could complain. It was a family favorite.

(For the record, we still have that jelly mold and still make it for Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving dinners. What can I say, we are a retro kind of family.)

Dinner at Gran’s was always turkey and mashed potatoes, canned corn and jellied cranberry sauce. As a rule, I had to bring my own can of cranberries every year, as apparently one can was enough for fourteen people, and the other was for me. I like to live without limits.

We weren’t a close family by any means, and only saw one another three times each year at Gran’s dinners, but it was tradition, and it made my Gran happy to have the whole family together.

Gran recently lost her sight due to macular degeneration, so the dinners were cancelled. Instead, Gran takes turns eating at our houses, now. Until the pandemic. Dropping off meals and waving from the car just doesn’t have the same warm feeling as sharing meals used to but keeping those memories of what used to be is what really matters.

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