My dad’s father, my grandfather, is Acadian. And every Christmas Eve that I can remember, my dad’s family would all gather at my grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve and we’d have a late dinner of Rappie Pie. It is the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted in my life and my favorite food and I could eat it every day.
So every Christmas Eve (except when I was 9 and an uncle decided to make homemade Chinese food – which did not go over well, BTW) my family, my aunts, uncles and cousins would show up at the grandparents’ to spend time together, catch up, countdown to Santa….and finally dig into that delicious Rappie Pie.
But, since my grandmother passed away just a few years ago my mom and dad have been been making the Rappie Pie and hosting my grandfather and a few others on Christmas Eve and it’s sort of changed into the new tradition. So far, it’s been working out.
And up until a few years ago we’d also participate in a huge family party on my mom’s side. Back in the day it was earlier on Christmas Eve. All my cousins and aunts and uncles on my mom’s side of the family would head to my mom’s parents house for gathering, finger foods, a gift exchange and hoopla. Eventually this got to be too overwhelming to do everything on Christmas Eve (and also try to squeeze Church in between) so the family party got moved to the Sunday before Christmas. We’d have a big potluck dinner and have such a fun gift exchange and just really enjoy being together. My mom’s family are all very close and even in the midst of all the family chaos you could literally feel the thickness of the love in even the tiniest of rooms.
After both of my mom’s parents passed away the adults (because technically I am still a kid in this family) began taking turns hosting the party each year and no matter the travel or the weather, we’d still all make it to this event. A few years ago Aunt Linda passed away suddenly and my Aunt Donna and her family moved to another part of the country. And it just got to be too painful for my mom and uncles to continue this tradition. And this year another uncle is in another part of the country so, for now, this tradition has been put to rest. And each year this little hole is in my heart and I’m missing all of these wonderful people who I absolutely love so much and I look forward to the day when those of us remaining can all be together again in even the tiniest of rooms.
PS I love you Tanya…I hope you’re not crying. And I love you Donna….I KNOW you’re crying.