Favorite Family Holiday

Dec 9, 2019

Favorite holiday. I think like everybody else, Thanksgiving and Christmas, because at those times that’s when all the families get together. Everybody gets together, and we have lots of family. Our family live all over. Everybody comes from one general area; we get to meet everybody talk to everybody. Everybody cooks about the same as everybody else. Everybody cooks who can cook. Those who can’t cook, we make them do something else. Bring the paper plates, you know, you can’t cook. We can’t have nasty stuff in here. Everybody cook, everybody has fun, the kids all play together and those are the opportunities that we had to meet all our relatives in the South and those of us who came here to New York, we get to meet everybody. It’s long days. They usually last two, three days, so if they must sleep on the floor, pajama parties, no room, people on the floors, just for everybody to stay together.

Christmas has really been one of my best holidays. When we were younger, our parents couldn’t afford to get gifts for us, only for the little ones, and we understood that. That’s how we found out there’s no Santa Claus. Mommy and Daddy are Santa Claus. They couldn’t afford to get me and my older sister gifts, so all the younger kids got gifts. There’s eight of us, but with the promise that when the summer comes and our father gets his bonuses, we would get our gifts in the summer. Unfortunately for me, he bought gifts for my older sister, I never got anything.

Did it hurt my feelings? Yes. One summer he brought her a whole console with the TV, the record player, the radio. I thought it was for both of us. “Do not touch”. Fine, so you get through that. My mother would buy me little things when she was able to knit needles and stuff like that, try them out. That’s how it turned out to be a blessing because I got to learn a lot of things that maybe my other siblings didn’t get to learn with the artwork, the needlework, everything, so it worked out better in the long run for me. We don’t realize. Sometimes things happen in our lives for a reason and there’s something better that’s more lasting than a toy that’s going to break up in two or three days. My knitting work and things like that are still available? Now, my all my family has my worked, so I’ve done a lot.

Then it was helpful to go to school and use all your skills to do your best at everything and even in school sometimes we couldn’t have too much of the holidays off because in the nursing classes you had to go to school all the time. That’s the hours you put in, so we had Christmas parties at the school. At Clara Barton for the nursing students. Those turned out to be good. We exchange gifts and that was nice. Then as we get older, now I’m working. I figured it was my job to make Christmas really Christmas in my household, so I start shopping in June. It’s a lot of family. I only get two pay checks a month, I go shopping in June for everybody.

And blessings always come. For some reason I started getting double checks. Look at the check, said to the supervisor, “That’s not mine”. He said, “yes, it is”. “It’s not mine, I don’t make that much money.” He said, “Do something special with it.” Next payday, it happened again, “That’s not mine”. Now I’m trembling. They going to kick me out for spending all that money. He said, “Do something you need to go do.” So, I took the money and bought my typewriter and everything I need. I was getting ready to go to college so I could get my RN. I was 17 getting ready to go to college. I’m working the midnight shift at the hospital as the LPN and the money is flowing in like nobody’s business. See, God has a way of blessing you when you endure.

So, the things I had to endure as a child, were not as harsh as they really seem, but the time when a child, it makes you feel bad.

I figured now it was my time to get back and I did. Unfortunately, my cousin, and everybody down South, figure the girl is a nurse now she can afford anything she wants. I’m getting letters, cousins who have kids and grandkids. They want this. We need this. I said, well mother, you better go talk to your family cause they going to get on my nerves. They get on my nerves. What they think? They didn’t send me anything. They didn’t send me anything too a joy. They wrote me letters on what they want to enjoy.

I said, mommy, don’t make me have to take care of them. I said, my mouth can be rude, but they come here. They send the younger ones up to butter me up and then, Oh, this one’s sent you a letter. I said, “Doggone”. They finally understood, you’re older than me. You should be working for yourself and sending me something. You don’t have to send me anything. Say hello and goodbye. Gave the letters to my mother.

Christmas always turned out to be the best because I understand now. It’s not about getting, it’s about giving and I’m still that way. I’m at the point where I really don’t know how to receive gifts. Oh no, no. I don’t need that. Somebody bought me my first birthday gift they gave it to me yesterday. My birthday is coming up. It was my daughter’s birthday yesterday. She was supposed to be born on my birthday. But she came early she didn’t like to do her birthday with mommy.

Our holidays are just like everybody else’s. Everybody getting together and we need wide open spaces because we have more than 40 people at Thanksgiving. The adults alone are 50 or more, and then there’s the kids’ room with their table. What a great time! I love a big family.

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