December 7, 2010 A Facebook memory
“I am sitting in front of the beautiful Christmas tree. It is after midnight and the house is quiet. No dogs barking in this frigid cold either. The Christmas tree has a romance all its own now as it appears to be a completely different tree from the one that stands there during the daylight hours. This one is peaceful. Almost magical. And I could stay here forever.”
I think of Christmases of long ago. Back when I was a child. My mom made Christmas such a magical time of year. My children say the same about me now, and I’m glad. It’s a beautiful connection. I’m thankful for my memories with my family during my young years and I’m happy that I have been able to give my children wonderful memories to last their lifetime as well.
On December 19th, we would celebrate my mom’s birthday by getting a real tree. We’d set it up in its stand and let it warm up a bit to relax the branches. My dad always put on the lights. Then the three of us kids would decorate it. After that, we would often lie on the floor and watch the dancing lights on the ceiling. Dad would say the same thing year after year, “that’s the prettiest tree we’ve ever had.”
We had an advent calendar that would hang on the door of the guest closet in the living room. It was a Christmas tree decorated with sequins. Below were numbered pockets; each contained a tiny bell on a string and a sucker. The three of us would take turns putting a bell on a sequin and taking the sucker.
Mom played the most wonderful Christmas music from Thanksgiving until a Christmas. The greatest artists of that era. Perry Como, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, etc. So many beautiful voices.
I remember the fun IBM Christmas parties too. My father worked for IBM and there was an annual Christmas party. We would drink chocolate milk from a carton and eat ice cream out of small plastic container with a little wooden spoon. Mine was always vanilla. Santa was there every year and we received a gift from him. Little did I know, my dad played Santa for a couple of the parties.
When I had children, I went all out. I tried my best to create a magical wonderland in our home. And according to them, I succeeded. That’s how they reflect on their Christmases of not-so-long ago. I collected snowmen too. The kids counted them all one year and although I don’t recall the exact number I had, it was couple hundred anyway.
We had a real tree for many years. It was a joke about how long it took me to find the perfect tree. Typically, it was the first one I picked out an hour earlier. And tree hunting was always during the worst weather. Regardless, it was a good, fun memory. Later, we bought an artificial tree and used that one for a few years. But we missed a real tree, just not the mess.
I kept a Christmas journal and every year entered everything I bought and the dollar amount for each person, every single Christmas for a couple of decades. It’s fun looking back now and remembering those years.
This Christmas was quiet. I didn’t put up the big Christmas tree. I put up the smaller woodland tree.
Only half my kids were here. My grand babies were not as they live in other states. I was unemployed for 2.5 months so I didn’t have the money to spend on gifts. And the kids chose lasagna for dinner. This was all different and I’m not good with change. It was still nice, just didn’t seem like Christmas.
But Christmas is more than snowmen and turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s about friends and family. Its about giving. Just as God gave us His beloved son, to be born of a woman, in order to fulfill prophesy and save us from sin.
Family time together is what’s most important.
Christmas has so much meaning for me. Christ was born and is alive in my life today. Christmas was a special time for me and my best friend who has since passed away. And I have wonderful memories with my parents and siblings, and now the Christmases, of past and present, with my children.
I hope you find peace and love at Christmas time. And that you heart is filled with thanksgiving not only at this time of the year but for always. ♥️