Happy Thanksgiving, my American squadlings!
Today marks the last family Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house. She has been in the house for 50 years, and in the past month, she sold it to a young, engaged couple who plan to start their lives together there.
For my entire 19 years of existence, I cannot remember a Christmas Eve that wasn’t spent at that house. My whole family lived for Christmas Eve at that house.
Well, that’s not going to happen this year.
Tonight, we spent our final family holiday in the big, white house, that somehow, everyone in our family -having been raised in the house or not- could call home. My grandmother has to be out of the house by December 30th, which means Christmas Eve isn’t going to happen there this year…Or ever again.
It’s going to be very strange come Christmas Eve when we’re not rushing off to Grandma’s house for our traditional Christmas Eve celebration. Frankly, I don’t even know where –or IF– it will be held this year.
So, to the young couple moving into that big, old house, I leave you with this:
Treat it well. That house was more than just a house to us, it was a home. It was where my aunt Sarah knocked over the Christmas tree, twice. It was where my cousins and I would stand on the half-wraparound porch on Christmas Eve when we were younger, trying to catch a glimpse of Santa’s sleigh off in the distance (spoiler alert: we never did). It was where THAT Christmas Eve happened, and if my family is reading this, they’ll know what I’m talking about.
The bell on the back of the front door chimes with a familiar ding ding ding whenever someone enters. I’m assuming you will remove the bell when the time comes for you to move into the house. That’s fine, but you should know the story behind it: my grandparents had eight children, seven of whom were girls. My grandfather placed the bell on the back of the door so he would know exactly when his children came home at night. Over the years, the bell became a part of that house. We became so used to hearing that sound that it doesn’t even phase us anymore; in all honesty, I sometimes forget the bell is even there.
For fifty years, every member of my family, new and old, have walked the halls of that house. A part of us will always be in that house. If you see families driving by, gazing up at your house with a smile on their faces, don’t be alarmed: it’s us. We just want to take a look at the part of us that we’re leaving to you.
We are leaving it to you. It will always be a part of us, but it’s time to move on. Take care of it, love it as we did, as we always will.
To the future owners of that big, old, white house, I wish you nothing but the best. I hope that house ends up just as much a part of you as it is of us. I’m sure our paths will cross again some day, but until that day comes, look out for it for me, ok?