Christmas at Home

by Gladys Hanning

My heart is full of the excitement that Christmas is almost here!


It will be a full house at the Hanning’s this Christmas! Soon our home will be filled with the sounds of Christmas Music, laughter and lots of little voices. We are so fortunate to have all three of our children living in Spokane who will be gathering at our home on the most Holy Night of the year. It’s fair to say there will be chaos with all six grandchildren coming for Christmas Eve and spending the night.

My sister and I have made a tradition of joining our families together since we were in our twenties.  We have kept up the tradition we experienced in our childhood of the big Italian dinner. I make “the fish.” In most Italian homes on Christmas Eve it would not be Christmas unless there is the smell of fish and garlic baked in olive oil wafting through the kitchen and out the door. It is called Bacala`(Cod fish) made in a casserole style and in the spaghetti sauce. For the meat lovers in our family, my sister brings her famous meatballs and her much-anticipated biscotti.  It is a feast worth waiting for the entire year.

Each year the dynamics change a little bit. We often get to enjoy having a friend or student join us who is far from home and yearning for the comfort of a big family to make it easier for them to forget about not being with their own family. With our children growing up and marrying some years they go to the in-laws and we will be missing a few. After dinner the fun begins for the children, they look forward to a game of charades or whatever game we come up with and we are always in the spirit of caroling and opening “the one gift.” Through it all, we will hear, feel and see happiness and love.


On Christmas morning I look forward to sleeping bags and pillows spread all over the floor and an assortment of toys, remote controls and games, and I know at least one will be playing princess dress up. I love having all of my children home, along with their husbands and children.

This Christmas, I wish you days filled with snowy walks, nights that sparkle with candlelight and conversation, and the very best of all your traditions new and old. Merry Christmas to you, your family and friends!!

Huckleberry Press, PO Box 141, Davenport, WA  99122, 844-344-8444