of christmases past

I like Christmas Eve more than I like Christmas Day. For some reason, Christmas Day saddens me – the reason is, I know that tomorrow is just another day…that Christmas is over for the year. I look forward to Christmas more than most, I think. It’s not because of the gifts either. I really can’t put my finger on why I love the season so much, but I do. On Christmas Eve, there’s still one more day to relax and be with loved ones. I got to thinking of some of the most memorable Christmases I’ve experienced and thought I would share.

One year, I was probably 13 or 14, I guess, we were sitting down to open our gifts on Christmas Eve. That was how we did it in our house – we opened most of our gifts late Christmas Eve and then Santa came during the night. Either way, it was late and we had sat down to open gifts. All of a sudden, my dad jumps up and says “We are going Christmas caroling!” At first, we thought he was joking – it was so unlike dad to say something like that. But, he was persistent and we were so upset! We didn’t want to go caroling – we wanted to open gifts, darn it! I honestly don’t remember how long we were gone or which houses we went to in our rural community, but I do remember one house very clearly. The house was our immediate neighbor and years ago, dad had clocked him in the face and given him a black eye. Well, that night, dad shook the man’s hand and wished him a Merry Christmas. In the end, I found out he’d been drinking and had a bunch of courage about him. Even though we opened our gifts very late that night, it was fun to go caroling.

When we were very small – maybe in elementary school – we were going to spend Christmas at my grandma’s house in Chesapeake. Instead of getting a real tree, mom and dad drew a tree on a white trash bag and taped it to the wall, then we got to draw decorations on it. It was pretty neat. That same year, we got a Nintendo for Christmas! They brought a big box in for all three of us to open (my sisters and I) and it was a Nintendo. We were so excited and we played that thing for years. I remember my older sister getting mad and swinging the controller around when she didn’t do well. She would either hit herself or others in the head (I can’t remember which, so maybe it was me she hit in the head).

I remember Christmas 10 years ago, when my husband asked me to marry him. I made tuna helper to celebrate – how romantic!

This year is our first Christmas as a family and my son’s first Christmas. He’s nearing 11 months old, so he really doesn’t understand everything, but he enjoys looking at the tree and playing with my Boyd’s Bears nativity set I put especially for him.

Last night, my husband and I exchanged gifts – we never can wait until Christmas Eve or Day. I honestly can’t believe we made it until December 23. He got me running shoes, which is good because I haven’t bought new running shoes in over a year. He also got me Sherlock Holmes on DVD and a book light (like I asked). I got him a VT basketball, bracelet, bandanna, and massage gift certificate. The baby is getting books from us since he’ll be getting toys and clothes from my relatives. My sister made me a really neat kitchen apron and my mom got me neat gifts, including a photo of my son wearing this little suit she got him. She dressed him up and sat him in front of the tree when she was here last Wednesday keeping him.

I had wonderful Christmases growing up and I do hope that my son will be as fortunate. Having a child seems to bring back some of the magic of the holiday season, doesn’t it?

Oh, and I forgot one thing – last year, we had the sweetest kitty named Chicken. He was wide open and would crawl into our tree. Unfortunately, he passed away this year, but here’s a picture of him pretending to be an ornament.

Little Chicken cat 2011

Little Chicken cat 2011

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