by Jim Lang
Each Christmas I think of my great-aunt Virginia.
My family, like all families, had its own set of festive holiday traditions. My favorite was always visiting the home of my aunt Virginia, or Dee Dee, as we affectionately called her.
Christmas with Dee Dee was an event as as large and as special as Dee Dee’s spirit and generosity.
Each Christmas my great-aunt opened up her home on Christmas Day for virtually everyone on my dad’s side of the family to visit, laugh, reminisce, and, of course, eat. Dee Dee’s house was always a place of joy for me — my sister and I spent countless hours hiding, playing, and stomping through that house as children — but somehow, that place was even more magical at Christmas.
I still hold so many fragments of memories from that house close to my heart — a fiery red engine as a gift; an intricately carved set of golden angels set on her white mantel; the organ in her living room that invited far too many badly-played Christmas songs from eager kids; separate tables for the kids and the adults in her dining room at meal time; the sight of Dee Dee in her apron; and her incredible Christmas tree that, to this day, sets the standard in my mind for all trees.
Dee Dee absolutely loved Christmas, and somehow, her love made each holiday and that house even more joyful for all of us, too.
I was blessed so have someone so special in my life at such a young age. To this day my memories of Dee Dee make Christmas especially meaningful to me.
So, Merry Christmas to the many incredible people in my life. May your Christmas Day be filled with special moments with the Dee Dees in your life.