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Bayou Christmas Eve! — 32 Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading it again! Curious though…How many of you Not from La. have to read it several times for the dialog to make sense?

    What kind of Gumbo did y’all have? I’ll be making some Turkey and Andouille Gumbo for Christmas Day. We decided to scrap our “regular” holiday menu since Christmas falls on a Sunday. The adults will come home from church starving …so, just a few minutes on High and we’ll be eating. (The grandchildren will eat only because they know they have to before opening gifts.)

    • Sunday is a tough day for our family to have a gathering, so we won’t. Both MuzicMan and Dotter have to do 2 services on Christmas Eve and then the music on Sunday morning, so basically, (like a pastor) they are working on Christmas. Your menu is a great idea! Lots of folks here will have gumbo on Sunday–either chicken and sausage or seafood. Do you think I should re-write it with proper grammar and spelling for those NOT from here?

  2. I do love that poem. Steffi, I’m not from LA and I understood it with only one reading. But, I guess I could say I cheated a bit since I watched Justin Wilson for years and the newer Swamp People shows. I also used to go to LA with family a couple of times a year for revivals.

  3. Wonderful poem – I’m going to be sure it gets passed on to some of my other bayou-livin’ and bayou-lovin’ friends.

    I didn’t have any problem with it at all, but I’ve been around Cajuns since I started sailing and had to learn to understand the tug captains. In the beginning it was tough, I’ll grant you that! And I still can have trouble when I’m around folks who are Cajun and talk really fast!

    Just found out today about the Christmas eve bonfires along the levee. Might have to look into that!

    • I’ve never seen the bonfires firsthand, but they always feature them on the news. You have to go to a more rural location, away from the city (I think) like St. James or St. Joseph Parishes to find a real community spirit about it. Now, there is a reader here who lives up that way, and if anybody could chime in right now and give us a brief history, it would be him! Where are you Goldie??? Oh, and please do pass the poem around.

      • They’re in Grammercy, La. VERY congested traffic on the River Road Christmas Eve. That is when they are lit for Papa Noel to find his way! I prefer going during the day the week of Christmas to see what the structures look like. Haven’t done it in a while though, and doesn’t look like this year will be any different We’re headed to Ms…be back on Wed. to catch up with y’all.

      • It’s a done deal – headed to Louisana on Friday morning – going to Plaquemine, down to check out the levee in between Lutcher and Gramercy, staying in Breaux Bridge.

        A friend’s coming with me – we decided seeing the structures during the day was the thing to do. I really didn’t want to be driving roads i don’t know after dark with all the excitement going on – and I’ve seen a bonfire before. But there’s no telling what we’ll do or find – much better than sitting at home thinking about the past!

        • How exciting!!! And yes much better than sitting around thinking about the past. I love your spontaneity! So, where will you be Christmas day? In Breaux Bridge? LilSis and I love Breaux Bridge! I know y’all will pass a good time : )

  4. Love the poem BW. I wish I could be with you when you read the poem because I think I would get so tickled. Love ya. Merry Christmas to you and yours down the bayou.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed the poem, and had no problem with the language. I guess Northern Michiganders are just very smart. 🙂 It was really cute!

    • Ha! You Michiganders ARE a smart lot–my mother was from southeastern part of the mitten, down on Lake Michigan in a beautiful little resort town called Ludington! Did you know that? She was of German and Danish descent, so that is where I got the blond hair and green eyes! (Don’t see too many Houma Indians or Cajuns down here that look like me!) Glad you enjoyed the story!

  6. Ok so was it Houghton or Higgins lake where the family vacationed?

    No ice here so thinking road trip up dere to the great white north.

    I ventured to friend we ought to use her new hi tech kitchen to make gumbo on new year’s eve. and waiting for reply.

    Merry to all you bayou dwellers.

    • Grandparents retired to Lake Hamlin, but I always hung out on the fake beach at Lake Michigan. Is that what your question refers to? Great white north? Where is that? Have fun in hi-tech kitchen and behave yourself. Merry merry to all you snow dwellers.

    • Come on down. Camp is open. I’ll give you a good rate for the four of you! Bryce and Jason can go duck hunting with Termite. Trout are biting. No Christmas tree, but hey, does that matter?

    • Well, if ANYBODY could follow the story line it would be YOU, a grand storyteller in her own right! Thanks so much! And I’m happy to provide some Holiday Cheer up in West Virginia!

  7. I loved your poem. Not only was it a fun story, but it was written in my own native tongue. 😀 I have been to similar parade once as a little girl and I can still remember the breathtaking sight of the lights on the boat reflecting in the water. I suspect the tradition of the Christmas boat parade is as near and dear to the people of Bayou Dularge as the bonfires on the levee on Christmas Eve are for those of us near the river.

    • Make a Roux – Welcome to this bayou! Could you maybe tell us a little more of what you remember/know about those bonfires? Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      • Thanks for the warm welcome, Captain Wendy! As a little girl, my sister and I would look forward to watching the bonfires being built on BOTH sides of the Mississippi River. Families who live along the river will get a permit to build their bonfires, usually across the street from their houses. They cut down and haul trees and then start building the fires, adding cane reeds for a popping effect. The actual Festival of the Bonfires is held on the East bank (Gramercy) side a few wks before christmas. However, some families still wait to light their fires on Christmas Eve to light the way for Papa Noel. On Christmas Eve, you consider taking a drive up and down the the West bank side of the River Rd, which will not be as crowded (as everyone else goes to the East bank side).

        • I have many fond memories of eating gumbo and watching the fires at one of my friend’s houses in Lutcher, but we stopped going so much when it became a tourist hotspot.

          • Oops! Sorry about that! West bank is St. James, St. Phillip, Vacherie area. East bank is Lutcher and Gramercy. There are people on both sides who light fires on Christmas Eve. I think that most people, if they’ve heard of the bonfires at all, only know of them on the east bank in Lutcher and Gramercy. Therefore, there tends to be much less traffic on the west bank. However, I’m guessing there are fewer bonfires overall on the west bank, as there are fewer houses there. Never took an official count, though. 🙂

  8. Well dat was a bee-yoo-tiful little ditty – grand merci, ma cher BW – and a very merry Yuletide & Bayou Christmas to ye, M. Le Capitan and all the family…give our regards to the “hallamagators” and all our wetlands mates too!

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