I’m sitting in my living room, the football game on the television and the snow piling up outside. The forecast is calling for 15 – 20 inches of snow today and tomorrow! Yesterday was Christmas and I got to spend the afternoon with most of my family (those who weren’t there were absolutely missed). We talked, we ate and we laughed. As usual, we laughed a lot, especially talking about things from growing up. And of course, we talked about Christmas.
My childhood Christmases, at least as far as I remember, were pretty great. Christmas for us was not all about Santa and presents, partly because of our financial situation. With such a large family we didn’t get a lot for Christmas, yet Christmas was still awesome. Don’t get me wrong, we still did the Santa thing. We made our list for Santa, went and saw him at the mall, and did our best to behave because “He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sakes!” We got presents, just most years not too many. One of my all-time favorites was Rockem Sockem Robots. I loved that game and I especially liked playing my brothers and knocking their block off! I’m sure they’d say they let me beat them, but we know better, don’t we?
But the biggest thing about Christmas was that my parents made it more about the birth of Jesus. They taught us about the reason for the season and we talked about it. We also had a Nativity scene, or manger, and that became the focus on Christmas Eve. One of the discussion topics yesterday was our Christmas Eve tradition. After dinner, we’d turn out the lights, light some candles, take some of the figures out of the manger and we’d parade around the house singing Christmas songs like “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger”. The older ones got to carry the candles, while us younger ones got to carry one of the manger figures. Oh, and if we weren’t really singing, Dad let us know to pick it up a bit.
Some people might look at this and think we were nuts, but it’s one of those things that I still remember decades later. And I remember it in a positive way, with happy feelings and thoughts. I don’t know if other families did this, too, but when I think of Christmas as a kid, I definitely think of this. The weird thing about it is I don’t remember when we stopped doing it, other than when we moved from my childhood home when I was in high school.
Whatever your holiday traditions, I hope you enjoyed time with friends, family and loved ones, and had time to reminisce and laugh. Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read my posts this year. Happy New Year!