As I write this post, I am sitting in my Mom’s living room. It is Christmas Eve. The tree is in front of the window – the gilded ornaments hanging from the boughs sparkling in the warm glow of the white, twinkling lights . The presents have been wrapped and are sitting at the base of the tree. Right now, she’s in the kitchen baking cookies. All of my favorites – chocolate chip, and the peanut butter cookies with the kisses on top – the smell that is emanating from the oven right now is almost too much for me.
O.K. – so truthfully, I’ve already eaten about four of those cookies and they are just as amazing as I can remember from when I was young.
There’s just something about being home for Christmas…
Something that makes me wax nostalgic and think about all the Christmases I’ve experienced…
from my earliest memory to right now.
No, I’m not sitting in the same living room of all of those Christmases past – but I’m finding that the physical walls do not matter. There’s just something about this time of year that brings back beautiful memories.
Memories that I hold dear that bring a warm feeling to my heart. Memories of time spent with family and building traditions that I love to recall and now get to see being instilled in the next generation.
Bob Hope once said,
“When we recall Christmas Past, we usually find that the simplest things give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
For me, those simple things are believing that I heard Santa’s sleigh bells outside my window each Christmas Eve while I was trying to sleep. (Trying to sleep…because, let’s face it, I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep through the night on Christmas Eve until I was at least 26!)
I love remembering the feeling of checking to see if Santa ate the cookies and if Rudolph nibbled on the carrot that I left on the porch every year.
My Mom and Dad did some pretty amazing things to make Christmas come alive for me – that’s for sure.
I remember getting the courage to finally get out of bed at around 4 A.M. on Christmas morning to tiptoe out to the kitchen. I made coffee in the hopes that it would rouse my sleeping parents and I could finally go downstairs to the basement and let the festivities begin. Of course, my Mom was the only one that would wake up. (We had a deal that I didn’t have to wait for Dad to see what was in my stocking…) I’m pretty sure that it was Dad’s sole purpose in life on Christmas to make me wait until 7 A.M. to go downstairs to open presents. HE NEVER WON THAT ONE, but he did make me wait until he was good and ready:)
I remember Christmas breakfast, when my brothers, sister and their families would come to join us for the morning. It just wasn’t Christmas breakfast without Mom’s famous Monkey Bread. (That Monkey Bread will be a staple at tomorrow’s breakfast too. She gets in trouble with all of us if she even considers not making it – LOL.)
And, who could forget the flurry of torn paper when my nephews and nieces would tear into their presents from Mom and Dad in that basement. My heart will always smile when I see the magic of Christmas though the eyes of a child, and it is because of seeing all of those Christmases spent in that basement.
Oh, and how could I forget the battle of the Christmas Tree. My Dad always insisted that the tree be a real tree. It wasn’t Christmas without a REAL tree…
But, that real tree always provided quite a bit of comic relief for me. From traipsing through tree farm to find the one that he would approve of, somehow getting it home, me braving the deep recesses of the basement door to open it for Dad (I was so afraid of the creepies and crawlies that lurked in the corners of the cold, dark stairs…) But, that was just the beginning. Listening to Mom and Dad as they “communicated” about how to get it in the bucket of water, centered just so, and anchored in the corner was always the best part for me. I think all of those little things are the reason why I still love the smell of a fresh pine Christmas Tree, even though I have never put one in my own home myself. There’s just something about that smell that takes me back to childhood…
I think I agree with Mr. Hope.
Those simple things that I remember about Christmas are certainly the things that give my heart the most joy.
Thanks Mom and Dad. I’m trusting that he knew I appreciated all of it – even the littlest nibble in a carrot.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Warmest wishes that you experience your own small things that give off a great glow of happiness this year.