How are the rest of you fine ladies and gents doing with all your holiday plans? I know many of you have been blogging your hearts out about Christmas. I must say Shana has been on the ball over at her blog with her days of Christmas count down. Even Salt has popped her head in to keep us up to date on all her holiday cheer. Not to be out done Hotpants has given us the secrets to what her little babies will be finding under her tree and so many more of you have kept my Christmas Spirits high and my feeling like a slacker points right up there as well. All "letting it slide" aside, I've been rather jolly this year. For the first time in two years since my mother passed away I've felt semi normal during the holidays this year. That's not to say I haven't lost it a few times, but in the end I carry with me the memories that she always made possible this time of year. I thought what better way to blog about the holidays than to share memories that always make this time of year so special to me, and in turn ask you to share some of yours as well.
Wish big! • via
Some of my fondest memories of this season involve my mother, she was always so prepared. No matter how frazzled she may have been on the inside trying to give my father and I the perfect Christmas she rarely let it show. It all started with the tree. We would walk for hours from tree farm to tree farm to find the perfect tree. Long needles and taller than all of us - it had to touch the ceiling and the "Christmas Chicken" [dove] had to have enough room to fit on top. My birthday is the 1st of December and many years into my teens we would celebrate with a tree decorating slumber party, those were memorable times but I think my most favorite and cherished thoughts were the years when she started to teach me how to decorate the tree. I will always blame my perfectionist ways with tree decorating on her. When I was young child the tree was a huge array of blue and silver hues. I can remember the Christmas balls like it was yesterday in the perfect shade of bright blue. Our lights were always white. ALWAYS white.
This ain't yo momma's tree • via
Being an only child has it's perks. On Christmas day there was no waiting to see what each kid got around the tree - I could race down the steps, jump to the presents and rip them to shreds without worrying about what anyone else was doing. All eyes were on me. Mom and Dad had already exchanged gifts and it was my time to shine. Santa's gifts always came in different paper, after all why would Santa have the same paper as the grocery store, where my parents purchased theirs. And my stocking was always filled to the brim. There was always a small box or two, filled with sparkles from my father. I soon learned these gifts came from him, and usually from the jewelry store he always shopped at, again the paper never matched anything else. I was a bit sad yesterday when my father called me to let me know I wouldn't be getting sparkles this year. Truth be told I really don't need anymore. And it wasn't the lack of sparkle that upset me. After 34 years of birthdays and Christmas, I've gained quite a collection of fine jewelry, but he informed me that the sweet man he used to shop with had passed away in October and his store was currently closed for mourning. It's sad to think that such an icon in our lives and my father's favorite shopping option for friends, family and loved ones was gone. He's been shopping there for over 30 years and I can trace just about every fine item of gold back to that man's store, his talent and his art. I had only met him once, and told him I was obsessed with unicorns. I can remember picking out a very small, dainty charm that was a Unicorn head made to look as if it was made of lace. I still have this charm. It's by far my favorite. Over the years, my father and this man became close friends and they had both always marveled over how my taste changed. From gold to white gold, from unicorns to dolphins and from dolphins to owls. I can trace my jewelry box and it's contents all the way back to my 2nd birthday, it's pretty amazing. It's sad to see he's gone, and that a Christmas tradition I always looked forward to will have to live in my memories.
I bet as a child you can remember your mom or grandmother or some family memeber going nuts over Christmas cookies and baking, can't you? I don't know if there are many mom's that went as nuts as my mom did. Thankfully she never had to bake for holiday parties at my school - I think that may have been the straw that would break the camels back on that. But cookies... my GOSH did she make a lot of cookies. Any kind you could imagine, I still don't know how she did it. Cookies for us, cookies for friends, cookies for my grandmothers and family and teachers and cousins. It was crazy how many cookies this woman would make every year. And even crazier how many I would eat ever year!!! She actually had to make extras of certain kinds because my father and I would eat them all! I make cookies each year, but I will never top my mother. After about 4 different recipes I loose my steam and I never carve out enough time to make them all. This year I have all the ingredients and they've been in the pantry for two weeks. I hope to make a dent in them this week, but it's hard to say - those last minute Christmas gifts are still looming over me.
nom, nom, nom • via
I have about a million more memories I could share, but I will leave you with one more, it's my favorite of all time....
Every Christmas, well until I was probably about 12 - 14 years old my mother would tuck me in. After all the lights were off, I had placed out cookies for Santa and all the animals [we had 2 dogs and 2 cats] were snuggled with me in bed, my mother would crack open my bedroom window from the top. She'd tell me goodnight and warned me not to stay up too late or Santa wouldn't come. She explained to me when I was younger that maybe if we left the window cracked I'd be able to hear Santa's sleigh bells coming and know to stay in my room and be quite so that he wouldn't leave without dropping off my gifts. Every year I would crank my ears to listen for bells, and I'm sure every year I would drift off after staying up way too late. I swear one year I heard the bells and it took all I had to say in my bed. I wanted to jump out of bed, run down the hall and scream for Santa, my parents and anyone else that was close enough to hear... but I didn't, I laid paralyzed in my bed, not moving a muscle until I thought the coast was clear. This was also the year I started my own personal tradition... After I thought it was safe, I snuck down the hall on the creaking wood floors, down the steps and into the living room for my first sneak peek of my bounty for the year. It was awesome!!! The Christmas tree lights bounced off the bright paper and I remember the vision like it was yesterday. I figured I had already done too much by peeking son instead of shaking, rattling or breaking any gifts I ran back up stairs without touching a thing and waited for the sun to rise. I learned years before this night that 4 AM is not an acceptable time to wake two parents who had spent the evening drinking wine while I slept, celebrating their own Christmas together. After this year of my first "peek" - every year after that until my parents divorced I would sneak down to look at all my gifts and survey everything, and often times plan my attack on the gifts, which I would open first, if mom and dad said it was OK. You know how they like to leave the best for last and all.
I'm always dreaming of a white Chrsitmas • via
So tell me....
Do you have a favorite Christmas memory or a never ending tradition? Please share for all to read in the comments section!
And above all MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS!