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  • Writer's pictureDarci

The Loss of "Family" Christmas

Some of my greatest memories growing up were in a big house in Ashton, South Dakota. Family Christmas at my grandma’s house were always full of love, laughter, good food and fun times. I remember sitting at one of many tables set up throughout the house, playing games, opening presents and spending time with my cousin, aunts and uncles.

I remember us younger cousins out ice skating, playing in the snow and staying up super late. We’d hang things off strings and put them down the vents from the second floor, trying to trick people downstairs. We’d sit on laps and play cards with the older generations. I could tell you every inch of that house, all the smells (right down to the kind of soap we used when we took baths there), I even remember where her stash of the good candy was hidden in her underwear drawer.

We would draw names for gifts and play games and see cousins we didn't see very often. Family friends would come over, it was a busy, joyous time. My grandma in her apron loved the hustle and bustle and had enough food and drinks to serve an army.

Once grandma was gone, the large family Christmases got fewer and fewer. A few of us families still got together but once we started having our own families those seemed to dwindle also. My husbands family got together sometime in December for quite a few more years, but those gatherings have all stopped also since his grandpa died. It makes me sad my kids don’t have those fun, chaotic, crazy Christmas memories with tons of cousins running amuck. I look forward to one day having those same large family gatherings with my kids and grandkids... The Martinmaas crew will reinvent the old school family Christmas again one day.


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