Favorite Time of Year

A Little Christmas Dinner Christmas is the time of year renowned for bringing families together in a way no other holiday can quite muster up to. Family togetherness feels like a cup of hot chocolate on the first cold night of the year; heart warming. That magical day when relatives flock from all over to be in one house, at one table, and to eat one meal, nothing is more special than a little Christmas dinner. Christmas is known for coming quicker and quicker each passing year.
Many people begin to silently panic as soon as they hear the first Christmas song on the radio. To me it strikes into my head that our yearly family Christmas dinner is ever so close. As a child I enjoyed the Christmas dinner but not for the wholesome heart warming reasons that echo through my words now, but for the greedy natured presents. Admittedly the presents still are a highlight of the Christmas dinner, but after a few seasoned years of learning that Christmas is not about materialistic items I now feel that the Christmas dinner is the best part of this day.
Every year we have the dinner at my grand parent’s quant house in the country. It takes a few hours to get there, but the country ride is more mesmerizing than any movie that I have ever seen. The twists and turns on a single lane road surrounded by tree’s help set the tone for what the day will bring. Every year I am always the first one there to help my grandparents to set up. The first thing I always remember to do is hug each one of them for as long as I can, thankful for another year to take in their open arms.

After the greetings I always help Grandpa with the yard, raking up the final of the fall leaves and stringing up a few lights on top of the house because the little cousins always look forward to it. Grandpa is a hard working man that refuses to retire and knows his best working days are behind him. It seemed like yesterday all of this work he could have done with his eyes closed. Knowing how much sense of pride he gets on his hard work and watching him stand there helpless unable to do any of the work reminds me cherish the moments we have together.
Soon Grandpa would be too tired to do much more and I would hustle back into the house to find Grandma hard at work. She has just as much work ethic as Grandpa but is ten years younger so she still has that fire that seems to burn deep in all of the Little family. She is hustling away baking cakes and cooking the ham. Watching how hard she works gives me a greater sense of joy than any present that I could possibly receive on this day. The other family members begin to arrive group by group.
The food is still not done and the cake still needs to be frosted, but I believe Grandma sets it up like that so my four and five year old cousins can lick the spoon. Everyone pitches in to help on the final sides and setting the table while having casual conversation. And just as fast as Christmas seemed to come it was time to sit down and enjoy the famous Little Christmas Dinner. We all gather around the large mahogany table and join hands and pray. My Grandpa always leads us into a wonderful prayer that always seems to summarize how we as a family feel.
After the prayer we all line up from youngest to oldest to gather a plate load of the best food we will have the rest of year. Everyone hurry’s to get a big helping of Grandma’s mashed potatoes because she always seems to never cook enough. After we have all placed as much food that our little styrofoam plates can handle the food disappears almost as quickly as it was put on the plate. As soon as the food seems to settle into everyone’s system that is when the true Christmas spirit seems to have hit. The joy on everyone’s face echoes my sentiments that this Little Christmas Dinner is what life is truly about.

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