2006 15/12

Christmas memories

What is it about Christmas time that causes you to dig up all those old memories of Christmas past?  Christmases with family, Christmases with friends, white Christmases, very green Christmases, superb Christmases, and even disappointing Christmases.  But the Christmas memory that always seem to come to the forefront of my mind is from when I was little.  Our routine, when I was little, was pretty much the same every year.  My family would head down the road to our church where my siblings and I would participate in the Christmas Eve service.  There were no extensive scripts, no booming music, and no flashing lights.  There was simply a huge Christmas tree (or at least huge to my small stature), poinsettias, and an organ.  The choir and children would file up front and sing some Christmas songs and recite some Bible verses.  Then we would return to the pews where our family was sitting, listen to the message, and light small candles.  After the service, as we walked out, ladies from the church would be waiting at the door to hand each of the children a bag.  The bag contained homemade treats, candy, a little gift, and always an orange and apple.  I remember being able to smell the orange as we walked back home after the service.

When we arrived home, some of my mom’s family would already be at our house, partaking in the trays of food and goodies.  After everyone arrived (we usually had to wait forever for a few stragglers who always seemed to be late), we would hand out gifts.  A few hours later people would head home and we would be sent to bed.  I remember laying there, listening to the adults laughing and talking, knowing that it would be impossible for me to fall asleep with the anticipation of Santa coming.

Next thing I knew my younger sister would be sitting at my bedside, staring at me.  The minute she saw my eyes open she would say, “Are you awake?  Come on, Santa came and we got some neat stuff!” She, of course, had already been out there scoping out what everyone had gotten.  Santa never wrapped our gifts.  He, instead, set each of our gifts in a different location in the living room, with our stockings near by.  Jeanie’s on one couch, Scott’s on the other, Terri’s on one side of the fire place, and mine on the opposite side of the fireplace.  We’d check out our gifts and then hurry off to get dressed for church.  After church we were on our way to my dad’s mom’s to have Christmas dinner and open gifts with them, usually knee-high socks and pajamas.

When I think of Christmas, that is the memory that comes to mind.  I would love for Abbi to have those kind of memories one day.  Sure she will have the great Christmases and the not-so-great Christmases.  She’ll remember the best gift she ever got and the worse gift she ever got.  But through it all, years and years from know, I hope she remembers the little things that we did together during this season that were simple but memorable.

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