A Childhood Christmas

Author Brigitte Gauthier

Christmas was hosted at my grandparents’ house. They had 7 children, the youngest only 2 years older than me. We saw each other frequently and we played the same games. My brother and I are the eldest grandchildren, but we were followed every year (12 years) by a new cousin. The house was just big enough for men to gather in the living room and women in the kitchen or the dining room. Children would run between the living room and the dining room. sometimes the parents tried to calm them to relieve the grandparents. The anecdotes, the news, the confessions, the confidences and the jokes made us laugh and feel the complicity. We were happy to see each other and seek sharing with others.

Grandma cooked so well … She prepared us meat pie, stew, turkey, salad soup, raw vegetables and pickles. Everything was homemade. For dessert, we were entitled to everything. Christmas log, sugar pie, raisin pie, galette (cookies stuffed with jam), sugar cream, donuts (home-made!), Fruit cake, date squares.

When we had finished tasting all the desserts, the men returned to the living room and the women were busy washing and putting away the dishes. The complicity of women, the joy in which we worked was the most beautiful part of the party. I would not have swapped the dishes for anything. Laughter was coming from all sides. It was love in action. We were happy to help and if we had to make an extra effort, it was with the greatest pleasure.

There was a tree in a corner of the dining room. Full of gifts underneath. After the meal, Grandma announced to whom they were destined. Everyone had one. Abundance in everything, joy everywhere. Everything was perfect. Grandma amazed us.

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