This is probably my favorite day of the year. Even when I was a little girl I liked Christmas Eve with my grandparents, parents and brother. Since my grandfather was co-owner of a men's clothing store and always worked on Christmas Eve, my parents, brother and I would go to Bryan, TX to stay with my grandparents. It was just the six of us.
Usually we arrived on Christmas Eve Eve. They rarely had their Christmas tree decorated, so we would do that first. On Christmas Eve, Daddy (who was an only child) and my brother would often go to "the store" to help out. My grandfather was proud to show off his son and grandson (all named Truett Bryan Akin). My grandmother, mother and I would stay at the house and cook or wrap presents. My grandmother had tons of brothers and sisters, many of whom lived in Bryan, and they would stop by. A great aunt knew that my mom liked chocolate meringue pie so she usually brought one to the house. Another woman, who was married to my grandmother's brother for awhile, would give me a Christmas shirt or sweater or skirt every year. Whether or not I wore the holiday fare was cause for a Christmas morning discussion between my mom and me. She won every year. No one likes divorce, but I was so happy when my great uncle was no longer married to that woman.
Today I'm creating elf land, which means I'm wrapping presents and cooking. In keeping with our holiday tradition, the lovely McCarley sisters plus the always hungry and thirsty Zamora brothers will be at the house tonight for our annual Christmas Eve dinner. I enjoy our current party of six just as when I was young and would have a party of six at my grandparents. Family fun!