Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Memories at the Sherrill's

Ok, so after we had Christmas Eve at Granny and Papa Maze's house we would have Christmas Breakfast/Day at Grandma Sherrill's house.  And as organized, quiet, and perfect as granny Maze's house was...Grandma Sherrill's house was loud, chaotic, and crowded!  And, I LOVED it just the same!
vintage picture of grandma & grandpa sherrill

My mom has 5 other siblings and all of them are married with children so we had quite a crowd on holidays.  We typically had my 2 uncles (Tim and Robin) and their families along with my aunt Judy and her family and us.  So, altogether there may be about 20-25 people there.  There were 10 cousins with just that group and our ages ranged about 20 years probably?  In this group I was closest in age to my cousin Jill.  We spent lots of time playing together as kids.  She and her brother TW spent the night with us lots of times.  Eddie was closer in age to Gary Lane and probably spent more time with him.

Grandma Sherrill LOVED Christmas so much!  She would decorate with all that she had and go out and buy more and more each year.  She was known to put up 20 Christmas trees in one year!  Each one holding ornaments that she had made, her friends had knitted or crocheted, or bargains she found at yard sales throughout the year.   She loved them all equally.  She may display a  nice, expensive piece someone had gifted her right beside a dollar store item on her mantel.  She probably had about 15 different manger scenes throughout her house!  It was just Grandma and she loved it!  Grandpa Sherrill was not one to help her do all of this, he may sit in the chair and watch her and "grunt" along in approval.  But he was not necessarily a festive helper! ha!

jill and me...about 1981??

When we would arrive at Grandma Sherrill's house (for breakfast/brunch) she may have some things done and was in the midst of putting other things together still.  The kitchen counters would be full of food and stuff she was still cooking.  And it was always a variety...maybe a breakfast casserole alongside potato salad.  Always her famous homemade "sticky rolls" that I so wish I had the recipe for...but there was no real recipe, it was simply leftover homemade biscuit dough, butter, sugar, and cocoa.  They were delicious!   It may be random, but still delicious! there would be chocolate cake and homemade dill pickles.  Later in the day she may "throw together" a seafood casserole.  The food would stay out all day long and we would just eat and eat and eat!  Every year she would forget a dish in the refrigerator or the microwave!

me and jill with matching coats from grandma sherrill

As everyone came in, the house would get louder and louder.  Everyone competing for attention! ha!  Tim would make us double over with funny stories or home movies of their christmas morning.  Then, Judy (definitely the loudest) would come in and start an argument with grandma...think of mama's family with mama and eunice!  That is Grandma Sherrill and Judy!

my happy family!!

Then at some point Grandma Sherrill would start to give our presents to the grandkids.  It never failed that she would forget someone...usually it was Gary Lane, (sorry Gary)!  There were just too many kids to keep up with!  And, she would feel so bad and go into her closet and pull out something random and throw it into a bag for whoever she left out.  Our gifts from her were maybe a pillow that she sewed the night before, a box of random items she collected throughout the year, a homemade item, or a stuffed animal.  Grandma had good intentions and wanted to buy nice things for everyone, but her family was too big to buy for.  But, still she just wanted everyone to have something to open.  In later years she would bring out quilts and give them out, some were homemade and others were store bought.  She was a giver, she wanted everyone to have a present.
some of the cousins...about 1990
mom, grandma sherrill, judy, and tim

What I'll always remember is that Grandma Sherrill was most content when her whole family was with her! It seemed like chaos, but that is when she was most comfortable.  I think that is why she left the food out all day and would keep cooking stuff/pulling it out of the oven so we would stay.

We continued having Christmas with her at her house until just a few years ago when she moved into the nursing home.  Some of my most treasured tree ornaments or some she gave me.  They are so sweet, things her friends made her.  I know how much she cherished them each year as she used them in her decorations.      
here is debbie and denise with eddie...1972
We do have lots of more pictures of Grandma's house, trees, and decorations but I'm not sure where they are at the moment.  

I think it's pretty normal for families to have 2 families that are extreme opposites as our's were.  But, one thing is for sure my family cherished them both.  My mom loved celebrating with my dad's side just as much as her own family.  And my dad was thrilled to go over to the Sherrill side each year even if it was loud and crazy.  He loved to laugh with them!  And, well my brother and I just had the best of both worlds!  

I think I am a mix of both of these families.  I try to be organized and prepared like my granny Maze (but I'm not as much as I'd like), and I love to decorate and entertain like my Grandma Sherrill.  I only wish I had time, space, (and money) to really entertain and host more than I do.

next up...my family's Christmas memories  

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