My holiday memory is more of a collage. A collection of warm memories of spending the day
with all of our family. The day always started at our house. When I was young, it was in our
house on Cemetery Road, which was particularly appropriate for us since it was right across
from one of the cemeteries. On Christmas days with snow it served as our sled riding hill in the
back section where there weren’t any tombstones. Christmas morning always started at our
house, getting up as soon as we could, with Shannon and I opening our gifts from Santa with
mom and dad. The first couple hours were always just the four of us. Typically one gift would
include a Steelers jersey. I needed five so mom didn’t have to wash in the middle of the week
since I had one for each day of the school week. Then my papa and his wife Betty would come
and spend time as the morning stretched on, followed by my grandma and her husband
Johnny. We would then pack up and spend the afternoon with my cousins the Websters, trying
out new toys or simply playing touch football out back. We followed that by visiting Grandma
and Grandpap Pettit, and my cousins the Harrises up on the hill. You could almost hit all three
houses with a rock, with the Websters on Chester, the Pettits on Pearl, and the Harrises on that
big hill (to me back then) that let us sled ride down to the old A&S. It was the one special day
where you saw everyone, that made you remember how important family was, and I remember
feeling content, happy and loved. An overall feeling that our place in the universe was pretty