When we arrived at their house, Grandpa, or "Bumpa" as he was affectionately known as by his grandkids, would greet us with the biggest hugs and kisses, and Grandma would soon follow with her greetings and love too. Then we would find our aunts, uncles, and cousins all throughout the house, talking, playing, and munching on various foods. Somehow, we kids always found the mixed nuts that were still in their shells and had to be cracked open to eat. It was always a fun game to see who could get them opened first! Of course, we also had plenty of cookies and candy canes to go around as well.
All of the grandkids would talk together in hushed tones, every one of us mesmerized by the sparkling tree, covered with colored ornaments and practically smothered – and I mean nearly literally suffocated – in tinsel. We knew there were presents under that tree for all of us, but also knew that getting close enough to see the names on the tags would certainly get a reprimand from one of the grown-ups. So we would sit... and wait... and talk about... the magical time for presents to be passed around and opened.
When every last gift was opened and all the words had been spoken, Mom and Dad would bundle us kids up and take us home to our beds where we would lie awake, unable to fall asleep because we knew in a few short hours, Santa would be coming to bring us each a very special gift that we would discover under our tree come Christmas morning.
Peace, Love, & Cider Mugs...