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Mavec: It’s Christmas

By Staff | Dec 23, 2016

Christmas in the Mavec family household has always been the same. It all starts Christmas Eve night, when the four of us would gather in the living room Christmas is the only time my mom actually would let us be in the living room and open our stockings one by one, youngest to oldest. Since I am the youngest in my family, I always went first. Stocking stuffers were always fun little gifts, gift cards, favorite candy, mini lotions and hand sanitizers, a cd or two, hair ties, chapstick, jewelry, etc.

After stockings, my sister Marie and I were allowed to open one gift each. It was always Christmas pajamas, but we acted surprised every year. Then Marie and I would run upstairs to our rooms and watch hours of “Xena: Warrior Princess,” or whatever television show we were obsessed with at the time until we fell asleep. I always slept on the floor in my sister’s room on Christmas Eve.

We were awakened by my mom singing us her special “Good Morning” song, a song reserved for Christmas and birthdays. As terrible procrastinators, Marie and I would wait until Christmas morning to wrap gifts. We were terrible gift wrappers, too, so gifts from us always looked like giant boulders we tried to hide with about 20 stick-on bows.

We would carry our gifts down the stairs and marvel at what “Santa” had left out in the living room as my mom and dad smiled brightly at us and videotaped our initial reactions. Those are some of my favorite home videos.

Much like the night before, we would open gifts in youngest to oldest order, with Christmas music playing in the background.

For years, we would then get ready and drive over to meet my dad’s side of the family for brunch. We’d eat and open more gifts there, talking about what we had done in the past year and sharing our gifts from earlier that morning.

Once we left there, we’d head over to my granny’s apartment to meet up with my mom’s side of the family for more gifts and dinner.

My granny passed away in 2006, so Christmas dinner was held at our house from then on. As the years went by, our family slowly stopped coming home for the holidays, and it was down to just the four of us. We filled the time by eating lots of delicious holiday food cooked by my mom, playing board games, and watching Christmas movies on TV.

This year is the first time in 22 years that my family won’t be together on Christmas. My responsibilities here don’t allow me to go home this year, but my family has plans to FaceTime all day long. We’ll still open gifts and eat delicious food; it will just be through a computer screen. In any case, I’m looking forward to this Christmas, and I hope each of you reading this are also. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Mavec is a reporter for The Tribune.

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