Thursday, December 18, 2008

Family Dinners, Holidays, and Elvis.

For every year of my entire life (only 44 of them, despite my son's assertions that I was around for the invention of dirt)... we've spent Christmas Day at my grandmother's house. My mom's parents both died before I was ten, so my memories of them are a little hazy, and my other grandfather died when my dad was five, so no chance for memories there. I never really gave much thought to not having more than one grandparent...Gran more than made up for the other three. Anyhow... she's 92 now, and had a stroke in July. Still rehabbing, and making progress, and we're hoping to have her home by early February, but it means no Christmas at Gran's house this year. Weird. A month or so, one of my uncles emailed and suggested we all have dinner out, and tonight was the night suggested... okay...doable but still.... weird.

So... tonight we went out to eat. The Home Place in the great metropolis of Catawba, Virginia. Fantastic home cooked foods, served homestyle (you know, big bowls that keep miraculously being refilled). I drove down with my mom and my son (I might devote a whole blog page to that little trek). Rain and fog made for an interesting ride. Once we got there, I enjoyed being around my uncles,aunts and cousins... only my brother, one cousin and one cousin's spouse were MIA. Nice night...just not really Christmas, yanno?

Both my son and I are working Christmas Eve, and John also has to work Christmas night. I had been pretty cheerful about the holidays until tonight, and something about this dinner just sucked all the merry right out of me. Maybe I'm just whiny. Time will tell.

There was one little bright spot earlier in the week... One of my nurse friends has the MOST entertaining niece and nephew in the history of the universe. I look forward to seeing her after she's spent some time with just never know what they'll do or say next. This past weekend was a case in point. The kids were at their Grandma's, and Mattie says to her grandmother, "Hey Grandma, we've got to go to the concert this Sunday at 7pm."

Grandma of course has no clue what Mattie's referring to.... and says, "What concert?!".

Mattie's reply took Grandma aback..." ELVIS, GRANDMA! He's gonna be in concert here!"

Grandma (being of a certain generation, ADORES Elvis, and still listens to his music enough that Mattie recognizes him) very gently tries to tell the little girl that Elvis is uhm....dead.

Mattie says, "Well, that might be, but he's gonna be in concert Sunday night at 7pm." Nothing anyone said could sway her, and no one could figure out WHY she was so sure.

Later on, she pointed the sign for the concert out to her mom... Turns out, one of the local churches was having their Christmas pageant that Sunday night... the name of the pageant was

"The King Is Coming To Town".

who knows...maybe Mattie was right? Puts a whole new twist on the Christmas Story doesnt it?

Anyhow, it made me smile.... and i think it made me feel better to share the story.


  1. What an un-Christmas like dinner. Tradition went out the window years ago with my family. My dad's parents are both deceased (both died within the last 10 years). My mom's parents are both still around and kicking. I don't have much contact with my dad's family, so no big deal in the no celebration with them. But my mom's family is very much into celebrating at every chance they can. Only problem is who is where and at what time. One aunt comes into town before Christmas and then leaves on Christmas morning. Another aunt and family arrive the day after Christmas and usually stay 2 or 3 days at the most. The other aunt (and family) come and go all the time, even though they just moved from Louisiana to New Jersey. I live 30 miles away from the grandparents, so I am expected to pop in every time somebody stops by. This year, I am planning on staying home and doing nothing. I might go to my grandparents for a nice quiet dinner if no other family members are there!

  2. The King in Concert. I LOVE it.

    When I was a kid, Art Linkletter did a section on his show about "Kids Say the Darndest Things", and later wrote a book of the same name. It's because of things like this that segment was so popular.