Christmas is my favorite time of the year.
I have always loved the lights, the colors, the decorations, and the spirit that surrounds this holiday season—the spirit of giving, loving and kindness!
My mom loved Christmas. She always made it special for my sister and I, especially after she and Dad divorced.
We had our traditions and I loved them all—(yes, even the Christmas meal dishes!)
Mom, my sister and I would go out to a tree lot and find a tree together and then mom would ask our neighbor to help us bring it in the house. A couple of days later, she would make us popcorn and hot cocoa and we would decorate the tree together, laughing and reminiscing over each ornament.
Mom had the most beautiful Nativity I have ever seen and the manger had a music box that played “Silent Night”. It was the job of my sister and I to set up the Nativity. I especially loved to do this…..taking my time to set each piece in just the right place where they could all see baby Jesus. And then we would add the white garland that had tiny little white lights……Oh, how that manager did glow. The last part was to wind the music box on the side of the manger and then sit in front of it, listening to “Silent Night” play. Every year, as I set up my own Nativity, I wish that I had been able to keep mom’s nativity………I hope whoever has it knows just how special it is.
Because mom was a single working mom, she would have my Great Aunt come to stay with us over our Christmas break from school and my sister and I would bake cookies with our Great Aunt and then decorate them….so much fun!
On Christmas eve mom would let us each open one gift, a tradition that has continued with my family. And then we would have to go to bed so that Santa could come. Christmas eve was the one night of the year that my sister and I chose to sleep in the same room and we would stay up late, whispering, filled with excitement for what the morning would bring.
And then the Christmas morning would arrive and my sister and I would open the door and go to the living room, filled with anticipation for what Santa had brought. We would grab our stockings…..overflowing with goodies and go to mom’s room, where we would climb into her bed with her and show her ALL that Santa had left in our stockings. I loved this tradition and yes, carried it on with my boys……until they were teenagers………..
After opening presents, my mom and great Aunt would make a big breakfast for us. It was yummy and gave us the energy we needed to play all day…..which is what we did while my mom and our Great Aunt cooked our Turkey dinner. We would eat dinner in the late afternoon and then my sister and I would have to do the dishes……being extra careful with mom’s good China.
I am so thankful that I had a mother who loved Christmas…..a mother who made it special all month…….danced with me to Christmas music, watched Christmas cartoons and specials with us, started and kept our family traditions even when it was just the three of us…….and a mom who made sure that I knew the true meaning of Christmas by modeling through her actions what true Christmas Spirit was.
I miss my mom every day, but especially at Christmas…..which makes me enjoy the day all the more.
This year I am blessed to have ALL my kids home…..both of my boys and my future daughter-in-law. This mom’s heart is filled with joy. And I am treasuring each moment, filing the memories away for the Christmas’s that are just my husband and I……..and even those Christmas’s, where it is just the two of us, we continue our traditions and have added some new.
Every year mom took our picture in front of the tree and every year we do too……even the years that my guys all rolled their eyes because, yes, it was time for the traditional pictures……
I love Christmas!
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!