Sunday, December 23, 2007
Christmas is fast approaching. It is going to be such a great Christmas. I will try to record all the excitement later. I decided since I had a moment to record some of my Christmas memories (Perhaps my posterity will want to read them or I will want to read them when I am to old to remember).
I have always loved Christmas. We did not have Christmas's filled with tons of gifts growing up. They were modest Christmas's but they were filled with family.
I remember pulling taffy (this is something I would like to try and do again someday). I thought this was fun for a number of reasons. I have a sweet tooth so eating any sort of candy is enjoyable, but mostly I loved it because we would do it together.
For many years we made plates filled with all sorts of Christmas goodies. We helped make some and some my Mom spent hours making. Then us kids would go out and doorbell ditch them to people we knew. One year we delivered them to an old man, that we knew from church. We thought it would make his holiday special. He came to church the next day and said that some crazy people left cookies on his door and that he threw them away because they were probably poisoned.
There were other good things about Christmas besides food. My Dad started a tradition when we were a little older. He would give us each a present I think twelve days before Christmas. We got to ask a question and make a guess every day if we guessed it we got to open it and get another one. They were weird silly things but we loved getting to open them. So we went to great lengths to try and figure out what was in them. We would put magnets next to them to see if they were metal, shake them, squeeze them, once I shook mine so hard the gift flew out of the PVC piping it was wrapped in (my Dad thought he was so tricky).
Every year we would go and pick out a tree together, cut it down and bring it home. We would decorate it together, then the next morning it would look different. My Mom loves the tree to be perfect. We tease her about it but I think it's good to care about things, it makes them special.
Christmas eve we always did our dinner and my Grandparents came over. We got out the china and had good food. It was fun to read Christmas stories and just be together. Then off to bed, we didn't usually go to sleep very fast, we would lay awake and listen to what was going on in the rest of the house. When we lived in our little house, Leah and I would look out the window and watch for Santa, we were sure we saw Rudolph's nose (really it was this red light, I think for the airport- it was always there but on Christmas we were sure it was Santa coming). Then the morning would come and it was funny how we all had roles we played. Leah would wake up first and then wake me up. Usually this was around three in the morning. She would jump on all of us but I was usually the only one that would act halfway alive at that time. Then eventually we would all congregate. Anna would refuse to get up unless we begged. (we all had to be up and lined up before we could go see what was waiting for us). We would jump on Anna, plead with Anna, beg her, bribe her and she would always take her sweet time getting out of bed. One year I remember going to Daniel's room and reading the Christmas story with him before we went down. Most years though we were all to busy getting everyone up. We could go down at six. So we would jump up and down on the floor above my parents making sure they were awake, but lets be honest Mom and Dad were as excited as us. They just made us wait so that they could torture us. Then we would go down youngest to oldest. We would open presents one at a time so we could all see what each other got.
Christmas day we would spend eating leftovers, napping, playing with toys and going to the movies. We never went to the movies but we went on Christmas (this tradition started when we were a little older).
My parents are both very talented and we often got homemade gifts. My Dad would make things in the wood shop (these were such special gifts- a cedar chest, book shelf etc). My Mom is talent with a sewing machine. She liked to make matching pajamas for us. One year she made us matching night gowns. They were red and white striped but the stripes were so small and close together that they looked pink. She even made one for Daniel. I wish I had a picture. (I am laughing right now thinking about it!)
One year I got a rabbit (remember I was a major tomboy) I loved my rabbit, until it decided that the best way to stay entertained was to Pee on whoever walked by. I hate to admit it but I was not sad when that rabbits life ended.
A favorite year of mine was when we decided to put together a Christmas gift for some of our cousins that were not going to get a lot for Christmas one year. It was so fun picking out special things for them. As I have gotten older I have come to love the true meaning of Christmas more and more. I hope I can teach my children about the joy of giving.
I have so many wonderful Christmas memories from my childhood.
Since being married and starting my own family, Christmas has continued to be a wonderful time of the year. Tyler makes everything special. He loves to make a big deal out of things. He always makes holidays so fun. We are excited for this year. We will miss our families but this year will be our chance to start some of our own traditions. I will write them down later, but already this Christmas has been special.
Today in church we celebrated the birth of the Savior. I am so thankful for him. I am thankful he came to earth to live and die for us. I know he lives now, I know his message is one of kindness, understanding, love and peace. I hope that all year long and especially during this season that we can create a home where the spirit of Christ and of family and of all that is good can reside.