S: Christmas with the Quinns
BC: My name is Caitlin Quinn. I am a Junior at Meredith College, and could not be happier. I have grown up an Army Brat, and moved many times in my life. My family has remained a constant for me no matter what i have gone through. My family members are my best friends and I could not imagine life without them.
FC: Christmas with the Quinns
1: Who needs Santa when you have Grandma!
2: Copyright 2009 Caitlin Quinn Raleigh, NC
3: This book is dedicated to my Grandpop who we all loved dearly and miss everyday.
5: Walking through the front door of the small brick home it always seemed like a whirl wind of activity. My family is a large one to say the least with eleven aunts, and uncles, thirteen cousins, and of course Grandmom and Grandpop. There were ten different things going on at exactly the same time during the Christmas holiday. Our celebration started on the twenty-sixth of December with all the families arriving from all over the country. It was always a late night waiting for the last family to arrive. I can remember one Christmas that bets were even placed. That was only the beginning of our busy but relaxing Christmas traditions.
7: The small house in Aragona Village where my father and his siblings grew up always seemed to be bursting at the seams during our Christmas celebration. Myself along with all the cousins ran around the house playing games, admiring the decorations, or finding ways to entertain ourselves in our Grandmom’s sewing room.
8: My Grandparent’s house was always decorated like a winter wonderland. Grandpop’s Christmas town displayed proudly on the buffet, the tree decorated with ornaments and ribbons and of course a nativity scene in the living room.
9: y. | . I could always count on this celebration to be unique and wonderful. My Grandpop lit up around this time of year. He seemed to love having his family around him, even if he didn’t show it in the most traditional way.
10: The evening began with a huge Christmas dinner.
11: Along with this came Aunt Sharon’s dogs barking, burnt rolls, and a person in every chair possible.
12: Even though we were all scattered around the house I always felt so close to my family.
15: Next, of course, were the gifts. Youngest to oldest was the way we handled that. Everyone opened two gifts, one from the person who had drawn their name months before, and the other from Grandmom and Grandpop. It was always fun to find out who had sought out the perfect present for you. Presents are usually the most exciting part of the Christmas holiday for people, but in our family it is the Christmas carols.
16: Everyone gathered around after dinner and presents, and passed out the lyrics to the carols we would sing. Katherine, my cousin, played her violin while we sang along. Even the young children were involved. We picked a variety of songs to start off with, but we end with The Twelve Days of Christmas traditionally.
17: Before we could start we had to assign parts, Grandpop was always the partridge. The rest of the family hurried to figure out how they would act out their parts. Then as the culmination of our night we sang and acted out The Twelve Days of Christmas.
18: Have a Holly Jolly Christmas | The Christmas holiday has always meant a lot to me, but in 2003 the importance of this holiday to our family was very evident. My Grandpop had been sick for a long time, but had gotten very sick very fast.
19: That Christmas Grandpop was on bed rest, and we knew it would probably the last time we all celebrated the holiday together. We celebrated the holiday as usual, but it was bitter sweet as the night came to an end. As we began to sing the twelve days of Christmas one of the youngest cousins Robby announced that he had something to say. He pulled a drawing out of his pocket and walked up to the side of the hospital bed in which our Grandpop lay in. As he walked up we saw that he had drawn a Christmas tree and written a poem for him.
20: Robby read the poem aloud to Grandpop so we could all hear. It was a poem about the very thing this story is about, how special the holiday was to him. As we listened to the story we saw the joy and happiness it brought to our Grandpop.
21: After the poem had been read we sang the 12 days of Christmas, those few minutes were the most memorable and emotion filled minutes of my life. I felt sadness, happiness, frustration, loneliness, and love all at the same time. It was a night no one in our family will ever forget, and in a way it made the holiday even more special.
22: Eventually my grandmother moved out of that small house in Aragona Village, but the tradition continued. We celebrate at a beach house in Virginia now, but the love that we all have for each other will never change.
23: The death of our Grandpop made us all realize how important our relationships are to each other. We have all realized the true meaning of Christmas from this and it is now a celebration of our love for one another.