On the Eve of Christmas, surrounded by the one[s] we love, it’s hard not to think about all of our cherished holiday memories together, new and old, good and bad, funny and serious.
Some of my greatest childhood holiday memories were about gifts, not just the ones I received, but the ones I gave. One year my aunt gave my sisters and I [all 4 of us] a big appliance box full of dress up clothes, shoes, makeup, accessories. I’m pretty sure there was never a gift that got as much use than that one; those were the days in which we were each others best playmates. A couple of years later I remembered receiving an American Girl from Santa, and from my Grandparents I received homemade doll clothes from my Grandma and a handmade doll bed from my grandpa. Even then I cared more about the love and devotion that went into those gifts than any other gift of monetary value; it has always inspired my gift giving.
The first year my husband and I were in Raleigh for the holidays a friend invited us to see The Polar Express with her and her husband at the Marbles Kids Museum downtown. The following year, my husband and I went on Christmas day and it was truly the first year I wasn’t with my family in Wisconsin on Christmas day. It was such a simple thing, but it turned into our Christmas tradition. Even though they no longer show the movie in the theater, we still watch the movie together on Christmas. It warms my heart to think that this memory was shared from one family, to another, and will continue on as we grow our family.
Any Christmas with my grandma was a special one. Her tree was the same every year and it was always fun seeing where our favorite ornaments were placed on the tree each year. My grandma had 9 kids and her tree was always the “family tree” for the siblings to place their gifts for each other. At any given time, there could easily be over 75 gifts. Of course my grandma got a ton also, with having so many children and grandchildren buying for her. She would usually open her presents after everyone left for the night. My mom and I were usually a few of the last people to leave so we could help her clean up and spend some quiet time with her.
Another Christmas that was pretty memorable was the year when my nephew, Bry, stayed with us for the holiday. If I remember correctly, my sister was living with us at the time and Bry, who lived with his dad, was able to have Christmas at our house. Bry is ony 3 years younger than I am so it was fun to have him around since I didn’t have any younger siblings. We had a pull-out couch in the living room and that year Bry got the movie Jumanji so we watched it over and over curled up on the pull-out. I remember getting Hanson’s Christmas album, Snowed In and a bookcase with glass shelves and a metal frame to put in my room for all my collectables. It was just the pure excitement of that Christmas being unlike our typical ones that made it pretty special.
Of course, the past few years with my husband have been pretty special. It has been fun creating new Christmas traditions that we will be able to share with our children in the future. As I mentioned in my post last week, we have been making breakfast together on Christmas morning after presents and before family time. This year we have a bit more family stuff going on because my mom is in town so those moments when it’s just the two of us will be fewer but that much more special.
What’s on your list of special Christmas memories?