I remember when Christmas was the happiest time for me. It was special, even though we didn’t do anything special.
I remember the secrets and the whispers that I knew were all about presents. I remember piling in the car at night to drive around town looking at Christmas decorations. I remember decorating the Christmas tree and the whole family sitting in the living room night after night enjoying the tree, and each other.
I remember sitting with the rest of the family and watching the same movies each Christmas. White Christmas was a favorite. My sister and I would pretend we were the two sisters in the movie and sing the “Sisters” song, complete with fans and all the movements. So many years ago yet it seems like just a few. It’s A Wonderful Life always made me stop and think, even before I knew what it was all about. I think what I liked about it was the way the whole town came together to take care of the Bailey’s. Then the animated movies: Frosty the Snowman; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; and later, A Charlie Brown Christmas. They are all still favorites and I enjoy sharing them with my grandsons who also enjoy them and this year, Anderson knows the words to some of the songs so even better!
I remember the Christmas parade on the day after Thanksgiving. I always loved parades but this one was special because at the end of the parade, there was a Christmas program at the Civic Auditorium, where the parade ended. At the end of the program, those of us that had the special tickets given out by the church and the schools, would line up and we would get a wrapped toy to put under the tree. It made me feel so special to be a part of the group that got to go to the front of the auditorium and line up in the right line (by age and gender). Not everyone got to do that!
I remember writing out all the Christmas cards my parents sent out and keeping a list of the ones we got from other people. My mom was too busy and she said my handwriting was better so I got the list of people and addresses and wrote them out and addressed them to the people that had sent one the previous year. It made me feel so grown up. I think I started doing it when I as in about fourth grade!
I remember my dad putting on Christmas carols on our stereo that was one of the components in out cabinet TV in the living room. And when in the car, that was what we listened to. I remember singing along and being so proud that I could sing along with Adeste Fideles, which I thought was one of the best Christmas carols. My favorite, Silent Night, I learned in Spanish, too…Noche de paz…such a beautiful song in any language.
I remember the Christmas candy in the glass jar that was there “just to look pretty” until it got close to Christmas and we got to eat one each day! I remember my dad making candy for us but that’s memory I’ll share later as it’s a “dad memory” and because he just passed in May, I have a special place for those memories. I remember the boxes of food that the people from the church would bring us that made it possible for us to have delicious meals for the holiday. Sometimes we would get boxes from the school, too. With such a large family (there were nine of us) we always used every bit of the food they brought to us.
I remember later Christmases, when we had my uncle living nearby and we had gotten a little older. On Christmas Eve we would all get together and make tamales. It was fun, not just because we knew there was delicious food at the end of the night but because we were all together and we laughed and sang and talked. The grownups would drink beer and the kids would get to drink soda, which was not common in our house so sodas were special to us. I think the most special part was that we were all together, at least to me.
I remember Christmases when my eyes sparkled just like the lights on the tree and my voice jingled with carols. I remember Christmas when there was wonder in my mind and joy in my heart. I remember Christmas when we were all together and that was enough to make it special.
I remember Christmas.