As a child, Thanksgiving was always a big family holiday for me, as all the local cousins and aunts and uncles gathered for a huge meal. Easter meant all my distant family members congregated in one place to eat and sleep in tents and hunt for the Golden and Silver eggs. New Years meant visiting our Aunt and her son in a big old house in Pasadena, to sleep along the Rose Parade route (I took my first skateboard ride there). Christmas Eve was spent with my dad’s parents, followed by midnight mass at church. Christmas Day meant my dad’s parents and The Great Aunts sitting in our living room, watching the four girls opening presents.
Things are different now. We are grown-ups. Our kids are grown-ups. Our extended family is scattered around the world (New Zealand, Australia, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Georgia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maine) and holidays are quite solitary. I am so glad I have my memories to help decorate and give texture to my life.