Holiday Traditions

Eileen Hopkins (Gramma Jamma)
Grandma’s Point of View

Christmas time has always been one of family memories: warm, fuzzy thoughts on crisp, cold mornings. When I was growing up there were two things I could count on: at least one doll under the tree just for me and one pair of warm, cozy flannelette pajamas to jump into Christmas eve. My mom somehow managed to sew four sets of pajamas trimmed with lace and complete with little pockets for all three of my sisters and me. I loved the smell of the fabric and even more the excitement of brand new “anything” since I had two older sisters that kept me in good supply of second hand clothes.

Christmas morning gift opening was never a free-for-all in our house. We liked to draw it out and make it last. We dumped our homemade stockings while our parents sipped their coffee. Such a happy time as we moaned over how slow our dad was to hand us our gifts or when he teased us by giving us the wrong one! With gifts tucked under the tree and breakfast tucked into our stomachs, we headed to my Grandma’s house for dinner with the rest of the family.

When I had children, I wanted to pass on the happy memories these traditions bring to my mind even now. Every Christmas, from the time I had children, the Pajama Lady came to our house before Santa even had time to load his sleigh! My children knew she was coming but, never – not even once – did they catch her laying those brand-new pajamas on their beds for Christmas Eve. Pink, red, or blue, every pair was placed with loving hands by this stranger who knew their sizes perfectly. When it was time to get ready for bed and the “stocking hanging” pictures, the girls would run for their rooms with anticipation. Five minutes later they would dash to the family room to show me their new pajamas, jumping with excitement that the Pajama Lady had done it again! To this day, that is my favorite memory of Christmases past.

Other traditions of homemade Christmas stockings specially designed for each child and the time-honored tradition of gift opening one at a time made Christmas Past come alive once again, if only for a minute. It is a colorful tapestry of beautiful threads that hold the old with the new, the past with the present, for generations to come. Now when I hear my grandchildren whoop with glee that the Pajama Lady has come to their house, I smile deep, deep down in my heart and as the grin lights up my eyes, I feel at home even when we are miles apart.

Merry Christmas and may your traditions continue to live in the hearts of your children and grandchildren

This blog posting is not a form of psychological counselling, advice, therapy, or assessment and should not be used as such by any individual. This blog posting is provided only as an article intended to encourage thought and discourse. For specific psychology related services, please contact an appropriate healthcare provider.


One Comment

  • Laurel | 2011.12.24 at 9:11 AM

    I still get excited for the Pajama Lady – it’s my favourite tradition from my childhood (that and butterhorns) and I love how she even managed to follow me on my travels and I had Pajamas on my bed in England – it let me have a piece of home when so far away! I’m excited to one day pass this tradition along to my family!