Decorating the top one third of the tree (Melissa Robbins)

Unlike Rox, my two sisters and I were the only grandchildren on one side of the family, but that didn’t stop the fun.  Most of my favorite Christmas memories were at my grandparents’ house in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.  We would pile into our family station wagon and drive down from D.C. to visit them. 

This is me at my grandparents' house.  At first, I wasn't sure which house this way until I noticed the carpet.  My grandmother, Mama Ruth would cook a feast.  Turkey AND ham.  The best green beans in the world and creamed corn from their own garden.  Melissa Pickles.  Coconut cake and her signature sugar cookies.  Pecan Pie.  They also had these awesome soft peppersticks.  Just this year, I found them at a store locally.  I could never find them!  My kids love the candy as much as I do.  Also Reese gave me a jar of her pickles which are the same kind my grandmother made (Melissa Pickles).  I just might be able to make Mama Ruth’s cheeseball that hasn’t been made in sixteen years.  Her pickles were the secret ingredient.   This year, my parents, one sister, and her boyfriend are coming here.  They'll be so surprised. 

On Christmas Eve, we piled back into the station wagon and drove around to look at the Christmas lights. 

This is me and my grandfather dressed as Santa.  

When we were older, we visited the Biltmore House looking gorgeous all decked out for Christmas and the Grove Park Inn and their amazing gingerbread houses.  

My other grandparents lived in Atlanta, GA.  This picture was taken there.  I recognize the curtains.  I loved that dress.  The city looked so pretty at Christmas.  There, we had one cousin, a boy.  We played with all his Legos.  Something we didn’t have at home.  My grandmother worked at Woolworth’s and one year she scored the toy of the year, Cabbage Patch Kids back in October.  I was convinced after seeing the craziness on the TV about the dolls, I wouldn’t get one.  Imagine my surprise.

Now that I’m grown and have four kids of my own, I want my kids to have fun Christmas memories.  We attend the Christmas Eve service at church, pile into the minivan to look at Christmas lights, sing Christmas songs, and make gingerbread cookies.  When my youngest was almost one, we were the Holy family and Gwinn starred as baby Jesus.  The future actress stole the show with her applauding loudly after the songs, waving and shouting, “Hello, how you?” when the shepherds, angels, and wise men showed up.   She had the crowd rolling with laughter. 

My three oldest kids helped me decorate our tree this year and we continued the tradition of putting most of the ornaments on the top one third of the tree so Gwinn wouldn’t break them.  She has since removed all the ones from the bottom.  My tree hasn’t had ornaments on the bottom of the Christmas tree since my first kid could crawl. 

Merry Christmas to you all!  Now go make memories of your own. 


Pat Davids said...

What wonderful memories you have. Thanks for sharing the pictures. You were and still are, a cute kid.

Melissa Robbins said...

Thanks, Pat.

Rox Delaney said...

I remember those days of either decorating only the top of the tree, putting it--not the baby--in the playpen, or just planning to lose a bunch of ornaments. It's easy to see that your Christmases--as a child and a mom--were wonderful!