24 December 2006

Two Twos and a Five

The blogging world is rather quiet at the moment. We're all busy with different sorts of festivities and just general recharging of the mental energies before the onslaught of the rest of the school year. I, too, have been enjoying reading for fun, going out with friends, getting in the midst of the frisson of shoppers, and doing some small projects around the house. (Hey, Hedgetoad...I've appropriated your idea for the kitchen door.)

When I was a wee goddess, Christmas Eve was spent at the home of my only great grandmother---a petite Scottish woman with a thick brogue and bright red hair. She insisted that everyone call her "Mom," although she constantly complained that the family was too big. Her five children (four of whom had spouses) would attend, but my adad was the only grandchild (out of three) who was there---and I was certainly the only great-grandchild. The family event consisted of a terrible buffet (Mom wasn't much of a cook...or shopper) and a gift exchange of "two twos and a five." For the exchange, each adult was to bring three wrapped packages: two $2 gifts and one $5 gift. Many times, the gifts were of the white elephant/gag variety. I was always assigned to help my great-uncle number the packages and then the adults drew numbers. They opened the gifts and then spent a lot of time trying to convince one another to trade items. Beyond that, I don't remember much. I usually fell asleep as I was already up far past my bed time (and Santa would be arriving soon).

Mrs. Bluebird was recently commenting on her current holiday traditions. Seems like many of us have our own way of doing things---and in a very un-Norman Rockwell sort of fashion. Times do change. Many of those involved in the "two twos and a five" days are long gone and it makes no sense to keep up such a tradition, no matter how nostalgic it feels to remember it. There are new ways to celebrate and find joy in the holiday season that are just as exciting as in previous years. Go out and revel!

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