I'm a Grinch. There, I said it. Given our families early Christmases, you'd think otherwise. A traditional Americana Christmas reigned supreme in our household throughout my early teens. I remember a lot of them fondly. My sister and I used to get new pajamas every Christmas; you know the ones with the feet. Do they make them anymore? When we were in Illinois at Christmas time my father liked to make the rounds with me wishing all his relatives happy holidays. His commitment to the Air Force made his time at home very precious. I was blessed to have great grandparents for most of my early Christmases. I remember Christmas with them very fondly. On my father’s side, it was a traditional German celebration at great grandpa Ben's house. On my Mom's side, we had huge get together's at great grandmother Maude's house. As I have said in past posts, this is where I grew to appreciate food and its preparation. None of the maternal side of my family measured anything and recipes were just a list of ingredients and subtle reminders. I think the wrenching of families from their roots and constant moving might have had something to do with my loss of affection for Christmas. That was the price one paid for being a military brat. To me Christmas is about the gathering of family and friends and Christmas dinner. When I was around my parents, some of that old spirit would come back. When my father was still working my parents would throw these huge parties for all the folks who worked with him to attend. Friends and neighbors were also invited, My mother would complain about all the preparation involved and I doubt she would have done it without mine or someone’s help. They had nice homes on the Florida coast and we decorated everything from the banana trees to the boat docked out back. These days the availability of work pretty much dictates where I roost. Finances are such that it precludes travel to see the folks I love and spend Christmas with them. At least I have some pleasant memories to fall back on. Otherwise, BAH HUMBUG! Merry Christmas everyone!