Christmas eve was always my mother's favorite night and holiday.
We did not have much money growing up and I usually only had stuff bought for me two times a year, my birthday and Christmas.
For my birthday I would get a modest toy or two but Christmas Eve was the one time that my mom would tell my dad to back off, she was going to treat her kids to presents. Later in her life that tradition continued with her grandchildren.
We would all sit in the living room and she would stack these piles of presents in front of each us, mind you mostly shirts and pants and socks but when we were small we got our share of Tonka trucks ( well at least I did, I had two sisters ) and other toys.
On Christmas my mom's sister lived near by so my mom would keep all our gifts in her garage and wait till we went to sleep and walk them all over - you know the ones from Santa.
But Christmas eve was her night, she would start decorating her house right after Thanksgiving and start making her famous fudge for Christmas Eve, the big deal was being able to sneak a few pieces before that big night. She made the best fudge.
It was the one night the family would all be sure to get together, we would all bring a little something to eat so it was like a pot luck dinner.
Christmas music would be playing and there were people in every room talking and laughing and catching up.
She smiled the whole night!
My mom loved giving and she loved to see her family all together and laughing. She never asked for anything and worked three jobs most of her life and in her later years she took care of my dad as his health started to fail, and she NEVER EVER complained.
If there is a pearly gate I can guarantee you St Peter let her right in.
Merry Christmas mom