As I said in my Thanksgiving Day post, we always had Christmas with my dad's family. That was one thing we could always count on. When we were little we had our Kelley family Christmas at my grandmother (Fay Kelley we grand kids called her Mama Kelley) house. There was so much food. Mama Kelley, my dad, his three sisters and a brother and their families were there. Most years there were between 15 and 20 people.
As the kids got bigger they started having the dinner at my Aunt Bonnie's house. It was there for several years. I remember one of those years very well. My mom had been in the hospital, she was having problems with her heart. My dad didn't want to leave her at home by herself and she didn't feel up to going. My Aunt Lydia and Uncle James came out and got my bother and I and took us to the Christmas dinner. It was nice to get to go and Aunt Lydia was so sweet to come get us but somehow it just didn't seem the same without my mom and dad. There were always plenty of gifts and when we got older they gave us money which was really nice to a teen.
The Kelley family Christmas dinner again moved to my Aunt Betty's house, she had more room. Same great get together! Oh, I didn't say these were always on Christmas Eve. The first one not on Christmas Eve was 1976 when my aunts decided it would be too sad to have the Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. My Uncle David died in November and everyone was still feeling sad over his sudden death (work accident). We started having the Kelley family Christmas the Saturday before Christmas. It remained that way for many years.
There were years when I didn't get to go, living out of state and other family get togethers. I guess one of the last and the saddest was 2001, my dad died in Aug. 2001 and Aunt Lydia died in Oct. 2001. They are all gone now. It is just sad to think there will never be that Kelley family Christmas dinner.