It was another Christmas to remember.
That included moving more furniture on Christmas Eve, winning a game of Yahtzee later that night, keeping the tradition of opening gifts on Christmas morning, and then taking a road trip to Alabama the day after.
We had another van load of furniture to get to Andy’s new apartment near Canton. The best day for that, based on his work schedule and mine, was December 24.
We left early on a very warm day for early winter (almost wore shorts), unloaded the stuff, placed some things where he wanted them in the apartment, and then made a trip into Madison to purchase a couple of last-minute Christmas surprises before returning home.
We got back to Holly Springs in time to enjoy a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner with family. Pam had it waiting on the table when we walked in.
Then, it was time for one of our favorite pastimes, a board game. We selected Yahtzee, one of my favorites.
There’s not a lot of skill to this one – just luck in rolling the dice. But it is important to select the right place on the card to put your totals, as you go along.
This was my night. I celebrated victory, but did not rub it in too much.
Pam and I had a little late night Santa duty, getting things ready for the next morning.
We started Christmas morning with Pam getting the first gift. It was too big to wrap. It wasn’t a car – just a chair – but one that she had really wanted.
Then the gifts kept coming, most of them surprises, and one really huge shocker.
I had a big box. But as I started unwrapping, it went to a smaller box and then a smaller box and then a smaller box. Finally, I got to a manila envelope and inside were two tickets to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Ga., the playoff game featuring Alabama and Washington.
I was stunned – probably more than I’ve ever been. And I was very grateful.
My love for the Tide, as I’ve said before in this column, goes back to a young child growing up in Alabama during the Bear Bryant days.
Emma and I made the trip this past weekend (more on that later).
More great gifts came my way Monday in Alabama. But one particularly stood out.
One of the things my mom did before she died (in 2013), was write down many of her favorite recipes on note cards for her children and grandchildren to share.
Several weeks ago, my sister Vickie had sent me a text asking for my favorite of Mother’s recipes. I quickly responded, banana pudding.
I did not really know why she was asking. I told Pam I guess she was going to attempt to make lots of good food for our Christmas get-together. But even she knows, no one can make Mother’s recipes like Mother could.
But as we unwrapped gifts on December 26 in Alabama, the real reason for the favorite recipe was revealed.
I unwrapped a cutting board with Mother’s recipe for banana pudding engraved on it. And it was in her hand-writing, just like she had written on the note card. It was even signed Lavelle Burleson, just like all of her recipes.
My sister Gayla received one, too, with a different recipe.
That special gift capped off a wonderful Christmas – definitely one to remember.