Forget the rain drops on roses, my favorite things about Christmas growing up surround memories of time with our family. I have certain memories etched like old polaroids in my mind and here are my favorites.
I remember my mom trying to get all eight of us coordinated for a Christmas photo she would use on homemade cards. Clever and unique, each one chronicled our life in a family of ten! The one I remember we each held a sign that had part of the greeting phrase on it. I was glad to hold “A” because it was in my name! Hate the haircut, but I was proud of my sign.
My siblings and I would go around our neighborhood in Southern California and sing carols to neighbor homes. I was sure we sounded as good as any singers on the radio!
My Grandmother Mae lived in town in Idaho Falls, she drove my twin and I home after one visit and she sang carols and Christmas songs the entire way home. George and I giggled at how her grandma voice wiggled when she sang and heard verses of Jolly Old Saint Nicholas we had no idea existed.
On Christmas morning, we kids would sneak down stairs and open our stockings and play until a “reasonable” hour and then we woke mom and dad up by singing to them from the bottom of the stairs.
Our last Christmas with all of us together was in Idaho. The house was full, two labs were there, mess everywhere but we were whole and together. As dad always did, he would hand out the gifts one by one and we would watch each be opened and then move on. He had his brown plaid bathrobe on and a Santa hat. Susan was visiting from CA and that was the last time we were with her. I remember thinking her pooka shell necklace was amazing.
And I will never, ever forget my brother Jeff who is no longer with us either. He gave me my first trainer bra for Christmas!! I nearly fainted from the mortification of opening it in front of the whole family, but it was so Jeff!
I love you siblings and mom and dad! Merry Christmas.
My daughter and I found this darling little ornament at a vintage Christmas sale. We love shopping in antique stores, estate sales and thrift shops. Each trip is like a treasure hunt and we can linger for hours among “old stuff”. But the irony of this faddish vintage craving of my 18 year old daughter amuses me.
She has boldly laid claim to pieces of the family heirlooms we have in our home “when I’m gone” and regularly announces plans to take the antique iron bed frame, the vintage slipper chair and other treasures from our home “when she moves out”. It’s not that I mind these references to life without mom, nor do I feel at risk of a sudden unfortunate demise. No, this allure of “old things” by my youngest is more like a play I sit and watch, wondering if the final scenes will surprise with a sudden twist of story.
Not yet even 50, my husband and I are reminded often that we are “old”. Nevermind that the things we played with in our homes as children are showing up in those vintage stores…we are not old! At least not in our own mind. In fact, on the verge of an empty nest before we turn 50 holds so much possibility, we are nearly giddy with the thought. Listen, don’t judge, we adore our children, but come on…who wants them to live at home forever?
Anyway, because I love antiques as well, this is a fun phase for me. But I wonder, in the final scenes of this drama, if my husband and I become cool as well? I won’t worry about it. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy these moments with my kids. You know, for young ones, they are pretty cool.
It’s December! There is something about this time of year that makes me just plain happy. Everything about this season holds a bit of hope, thrill and delight to me. Sure, I’m a grown woman with grown children, but you’re never too old to believe. These are some of my favorite things:
1. I adore my family. They are my favorite company, friends and fans of Elf, sappy Hallmark movies and treats.
2. I am so grateful for my job. I get to represent an amazing organization that takes care of kids. And part of my job is getting to receive blessing after blessing from our community for the kids. It is moving to see the goodness and kindness of others!
3. I love, love Christmas music. Oh Holy Night is my all time fav. I remember as a kid caroling through the neighborhood with my siblings. Not sure if we sounded good, but we were convinced we were making others merry! For the life of me, I still don’t know what “figgy pudding” is. Pretty sure It’s NOT on my favorite list.
4. I love my neighbors! I’m so blessed to have the greatest family behind us. Their little three year old came in and saw our tree. She picked an ornament off the tree and asked, “can I borrow this?”. That kid could have my kidney if she asked. Absolute innocence and joy makes me smile.
What do you like about this time of year?