by Carlton Hughes
I know my fellow bloggers have traveled to exotic locales for their posts this month, but I will be staying close to home. Christmas in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, where I’ve lived most of my life, is special, and, growing up, I loved spending time with my grandparents during the holidays.
I always knew it was the time of the season when my maternal grandmother Arietta broke out her 45 record (a small round thing, like a vinyl CD, for those of you who don’t know) of “Christmas Time’s A-Comin’” by Bill Monroe. We’d play it over and over, pour a glass or two of eggnog, and call my out-of-town uncles to make them homesick. If I was really lucky, she’d make a batch of her homemade gingerbread, which I slathered with peanut butter before devouring.
My paternal grandparents, Clarence and Dema, would put up a small tree in the family room, and aunts, uncles, and cousins gathered on Christmas Eve to exchange gifts. I would get chocolate pie, served up with my grandmother’s favorite drink—green lemon-lime Kool-Aid. The Hughes side of the family is musically inclined, so members would often bring their guitars and play and sing. Unfortunately the musical gene passed me by, as I can play the radio and not much else.
My grandparents have all passed away, but the memories are still fresh and fond. My wife and I and our parents have created new traditions with my sons. One particular year it snowed several inches on Christmas Day, so we were stranded at my parents’ house for a few days. At least we had my boys’ new toys to play with!
I could travel the world over and not find a better place to spend Christmas than in my Eastern Kentucky Mountains.
WRITING PROMPT: Recreate a Christmas scene from your childhood, recalling sights, sounds, and even smells.