Every year at Christmas I love to reflect on past holidays. One of my earliest memories is getting out all the Christmas decorations, and start to listen to all the fantastic music of the season. It was magical taking things out of boxes that had been stored away for an entire year while listening to Andy Williams sing It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. To this day, I love decorating for Christmas, and never get tired of listening to the music. This ritual of listening to holiday favorites starts the first of October every year.
Coming from a large family has it’s blessings. I learned early on that making things home made saved a lot of money and allowed you to enjoy things that cost much more in the store. We loved making fudge, old fashioned taffy, popcorn balls, peanut brittle, and lots of cookies. We also made many strands of popcorn for our tree. We created silver bells out of egg cartons, and wrapped them in aluminum foil so they would shine. I remember being disappointed when I was very young opening a small present on our tree, and finding nothing in it realizing that it was a just a decoration.
Growing up on a little farm I was taught from a young age that the animals get fed first, and the goats got milked before you ate, this included on Christmas. I remember watching a movie one year where a boys gift to his dad for Christmas was waking up early, and doing all the farm chores before his dad got up. My brothers and myself decided to do this for our dad. He got a little emotional when he realized what we had done for him.
Because there were so many kids, our parents gave us the idea of all sleeping together downstairs. I say the word sleep very loosely. We mostly played games all night on Christmas Eve. We were told once you go down stairs you are to stay there until morning. One year we decided to hang the girls long stockings for Santa to fill. At about 2:00 am, we snuck upstairs to see what we got in our stockings. We dumped all the loot on the floor in one big pile when we heard our oldest sister telling us to put the stuff back in the stockings. We hurried and put it all back. Then went back down stairs. In the morning when we looked in our stockings all the things were mixed up. I think I got nail polish, and my sisters got matchbox cars. Everyone had a good laugh. My dad seemed to know how to straighten it all out.
Later when my youngest son was a baby he was such a medaling child my wife, and I decided to put our Christmas tree in his play pen so he wouldn’t take the ornaments off the tree. Another year we decided to go with our friends to chop down our own tree. We got home, and the trunk was too big to fit in the base. I started cutting more of the trunk off, then kept cutting until it fit. I was so frustrated by the time it fit it looked like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I think that year as soon as we opened all the presents I took the tree outside because the tree was dead and all the needles were falling off.
I have so many fond memories and love reflecting of past Christmases. I wish you the very best, and hope your new year is full of many positive blessings.