Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Family History Month 2010- Challenge #2

In honor of Family History month, Afrigeneas is conducting a series of Family History Challenges. My entry for Challenge #1 is posted on Conversations With my Ancestors as well as at Afrigeneas.

The instructions for Challenge #2 were as follows:
Since we're getting ready to enter a long holiday season, it seems a good time to remember holidays past.

How did your family celebrate special occasions and holidays? What are your favorite memories?

Interpret the theme any way you like. Write as long or short as you like. We encourage you to post photos to illustrate the story. Be creative!

Just a couple of rules:

  1. Make our lives easier, please! Post your story as a response to this thread so we can keep track of the stories in each challenge.
  2. Challenge #2 begins today, Oct 7th and ends at 11:59 pm on Oct 11th.
My entry was a few hours late. I had it written but fell asleep before getting it posted. What can I say? I was exhausted.

One of my fondest memories during my childhood days was the sort of mini reunion that my maternal granddad’s branch of the Hosch family held at Christmas each year. We typically gathered at one of the relative’s house, which most years seemed to be Aunt Lucille’s house.

Even though I saw some of my cousins on a daily basis (the bulk of my first cousins lived in my hometown), there was still something special about the descendants of my grandparents getting together at Christmas. After everyone arrived, the occasion always began with us singing Christmas Carols. Aunt Lucille, through the years, had acquired a large stash of FREE Christmas Carol songbooks from one of the local banks. So, my dad, the true musician in the group and who had married into this monstorous Hosch clan, would provide the instrumental accompaniment to our singing. On occasion, after I got older, the instrumental duties fell on my shoulders.

The above pictures, which are part of my mother’s personal collection, show dad at the piano, granddaddy and his children, grands, and great grands all gathered around, singing carols. (Granddaddy is sitting on the sofa next to the lamp.) If you look carefully, you can tell how thrilled all the kids were with the hymn and carol singing. :)

After the completion of the carol singing, we usually ate. Dinner was usually potluck, similar to the annual Hosch family reunion that was held back in those days but on a somewhat smaller scale. But before we ate, there was grace. Uncle Ed, Aunt Lucille’s husband who was also a minister, usually said grace. On the way to the Holiday Feast, Aunt Lucille would have us all speaking into her trusty microphone / cassette tape recorder. I remember we had to say our name, tell our place in the family, and then say something about the holidays or what ever else was on our minds. Just goes to show that daddy’s side of the family wasn’t the only side of my family that relied on tape recordings to communicate / document family events. (Reminds me, I will see auntie some time this week and should ask her if any of those old recordings are still in existence. By chance, maybe they haven’t met the same fate as other family recordings that are now special to me but no longer around.)

After we were through stuffing our faces, we gathered around the Christmas tree doing our usual family socializing until the gifts were handed out. After all the gifts were handed out, we lingered and socialized some more before we slowly started filing out to return to our individual homes. Looking back, it almost feels like that each one of us in our on way tried to make that day last as long as possible. It’s almost like we knew those times wouldn’t last forever and we were trying to make those gatherings last as long as we could.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like you all had it all a lot more organized than our Christmas was. I like the singing.


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