Christmas in my family has slowly been evolving over the past years. We still keep the same traditions and all, and maybe it's just because I've been getting older, but I've started to see things change a little bit. For the better, of course ^_^
At about 7, my dad came to wake me up because, unlike my brothers, I hadn't gotten up at five in the morning to stare at the Christmas tree and the gifts leaking out from underneath. As I rose sleepily, Dad commented, "You must be turning into a grownup. You're tired on Christmas morning!"
I trudged up the stares and took my place on the living room couch, where my parents started to divvy up the presents. I already knew what part of my gift would be because every year I get a doll, usually porcelain, to add to my collection downstairs. In years past, I've received little girls riding ponies and princesses with their dresses all pretty. This year it was a gothic pirate girl holding a skull with a blade clamped between its teeth. My other gifts were similar. A Jack Skellington jacket, and a hoodie that reads "Pink Goth" across the front. Oh yeah. Change is good.
After a quick clean up, it was off to Grandma's. There, the gifts weren't quite as dark, but they were all just as wonderful. My one big gift was a keyboard that I had been asking for since September!! WOO HOO!!! As a thank you, I tinkered around on it, playing carols until the rest of the family arrived.
I love Christmas at my grandparents house because it's always such a loving environment. That much has always stayed the same. Sounds of cooking came from the kitchen as the rest of the adults set the table for breakfast, and Gareth sat in the living room playing with his two Godzilla toys which he has named "Triangle Godzilla" and "Godzilla House".....don't ask me why.
Another thing that stays the same every Christmas is the tradition of ebleskivers. Ebleskivers, if you don't know, are a little pancake balls usually filled with some kind of treat like peanut butter, cherries, or bananas. In recent years, Grandma has added another filling to the list. A nickel. Obviously, no one eats the nickel, but whoever is lucky enough to find it gets five dollars. It adds a little friendly competition to breakfast, and it makes sure that there won't be many left overs. All of us dived into the two platters as soon as they touched the table. We also partook of the other dishes, of course, because that's part of the rules. You have to eat the other food, too.
After a long time of competitive face-stuffing, Grandma reveled that the nickel was in the tray on my side of the table. Everyone suddenly became hungry again. Finally, with only a handful of ebleskivers left on the tray, there were only two people who weren't too stuffed to eat them: Rowan and my cousin Leah. Rowan just grabbed five of them randomly and started eating, but Leah and I, deciding to work together, took another rout. I took a clean spoon and gently used it to turn every ebleskiver on the tray, looking for some sign of a filling. Any that had one were pushed aside. One of them, though, didn't have any peanut butter or cherry juice leaking out the side...and it looked strangely flat. I tossed it onto Leah's plate, and as she cut it open, the silver of a nickel poked up through the dough. We had won! That's what you get for teamwork, I suppose. ^_^
The final change, probably the best, was a game. Grandma had suggested that Dad bring the game "Life Stories" along so we could play it after breakfast. The game has four stacks of cards, each with different kinds of questions on them, but all of them ask you to dig into your past and recall, as the game says, your life stories. I didn't know that there was so much about my family that I didn't know. It was absolutely amazing some of the things they had to say. I'm thinking that this should definitely become a tradition.