Saturday, December 8, 2007

Favorite Christmas - Family, Presents and Love

I heard someone the other day talking about their favorite Christmas, and I've been trying to come up with my favorite Christmas ever since. I really can't remember any one Christmas that stands out as my favorite -- they all just blend together.

As a child I remember always being excited about going in early Christmas morning to see what Santa had left for me in my little pile of presents. (Our Santa didn't put things in stocking as I remember it, my sisters might have a different memory -- that happens and it's okay). There was always a holiday meal and family.

As a newlywed Christmas became a time to "go home." Usually to both our families. The gifts we gave each other were never anything big -- they always ran more to the practical side. We had two holiday meals now and more presents and more laughing and fun.

As each child was born we began to establish traditions of our own blending together his ideas of Santa Claus and mine, but those were easy things to do and happy times. It seems the traditions we had each grown up with were similar. We continued to travel to be with our parents and now there were cousins to see and aunts and uncles and more people to laugh with and enjoy.

The only two Christmases that really stand out for me where I remember lots of emotions are the Christmas of 1976 and the Christmas of 1977.

The Christmas of 1976 because it was the only Christmas Garry, all three girls and I were together. We were living in Wellington, Garry had finished radiation treatments for the cancer and things weren't looking great, but they were good. We went out on a patch of land owned by some friends and he climbed and topped a long needled pine tree for our Christmas tree. It really was a pretty tree. We bought presents for the girls and enjoyed our little family being together. On Christmas Eve after putting the girls to bed, we did what millions of other parents did; we played Santa Claus. Garry wrote a note "from Santa" and ate cookies. I wish I still had that note, but alas I didn't realize how important that scrap of paper would be. The next day both his parents and my parents came over for Christmas dinner. There was lots of food, presents and love.

Christmas of 1977 was the Christmas I had alone with the girls. We had moved to Dumas after Garry passed away in April and I was teaching at the elementary school across the street form the little house I bought. I bought and put up the the first artificial tree I was to own. We had a great time decorating it and there was a festive air as my little family waited for the arrival of Santa. That Christmas eve I cried as I wrote the note "from Santa" to the girls. But the next morning the excitement that filled the living room as each one found her stash was special to me and then the rush of family began with cousins, aunts, uncles gathering at Gran and Granddaddy's for food and more presents.

Two very different, but very similar Christmases. They too blend in with all the wonderful Christmases I've had. Each year brings something new to the sameness they all have of food, presents, and family. With that family came much more than food and presents with family came love. And for me that is "a good thing." That is Christmas.

Christmas 2002 at Amy & David's

1 comment:

amanew said...

I guess I never really thought that we only had one Christmas with the 5 of us. That made me a little teary eyed reading it. Of course that lasted only a minute because A and B choose that moment to start fighting. Oh my quiet mornings at home.
Oh and don't you think that a picture where I am not swollen to the size of a small whale would have been better. I remember that morning way to well.