Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I have always, always loved Christmas. This year I haven't exactly been a Scrooge, but I haven't gotten into as much as usual. Our family and friends have certainly had a tough year. I'm sure next year will be different.
I still love Christmas, though. One of my favorite Christmas traditions as a child was going to Money and Mac's house. Money and Mac were an older couple who lived in a beautiful old 3 story "mansion" in an older part of Birmingham. They invited our family over every Christmas eve.
Money and Mac were friends of my mom and dad. When my mom had first moved to Birmingham in the 1950's as a young, single woman, she leased a room in their home.
Their old house had such mystery and appeal for me. That's probably a big reason as to why I still love older homes. They had a basement that my brother and I really wanted to see. Mac told us we couldn't go down there because that is where the alligators were kept. We didn't believe him . . . really. Although, sometimes we wondered. Mom told me when I was an adult that maybe he wouldn't let us down there because he may have had a still down there. Well, now, that's a different take on it.
Their house had the tall ceilings, hardwood floors and a beautiful old staircase and a lovely veranda - - not a wrap around porch, but an actual veranda. :)
Money and Mac always had a spread of food on their dining room table. That dining room must have been 25 feet by 25 feet. My favorite unusual food Money and Mac had were the smoked oysters.
They had an old piano and I would play Silent Night a million times and add little flourishes here and there. When I wasn't playing the piano, Money would put music on the victrola. I remember her playing The Andrews Sisters. I would roll my eyes and wonder how anyone could listen to music like that. They weren't nearly as good as the Beatles, I thought.
As other guests would arrive, my parents would start making gestures that it was time to leave. My brother, Bobby, and I were always ready to leave as we didn't want to be out too late. We didn't want to be passed over by Santa if we weren't home.
The ride home was always eventful..usually at least one or two sightings by my daddy of Santa and Rudolph leading the way.
Christmas Eve was one night my parents didn't have to fuss with us about going to bed. We were always ready to hit the hay but not as able to sleep.
I'm so thankful for these good memories. I see today how some of those early childhood memories have shaped me...except of course the part about the still.