It’s Christmas Eve and I find myself reminiscing about Christmas Eve’s of my childhood.
My parents, especially my beautiful Mom, made our childhood Christmas’s so special. It’s a pleasure to think back on those years as a child and remember what my Mom did to make these precious memories.
My Mom would spend days in late November, early December decorating our entire house with special ornaments, a beautiful themed tree etc. She would spend hours baking cookies…making sweet treats etc. She would turn our dining room into a “gift wrapping” room with ribbons, bows and all the pretty paper. There are 9 people in my family so getting gifts shopped for, wrapped and ready for our Christmas morning was a job and a half. Then she had to hide all of these wrapped gifts from our inquiring little eyes.
Aside from the decorating and wrapping my Mom also spent hours planning the special dinners and breakfasts surrounding this occasion. Usually there would be a very large gathering of relatives and our immediate family for a banquet table spread of turkey and all of the trimmings. My Mom did all of the food preparation, baking etc. to make this gathering a delicious and enjoyable evening. Sometimes our Christmas dinner took place on Christmas Eve complete with a visit from Santa Claus…usually a friend of my Dad’s would come dressed in his jolly red velvet, white beard and all. Of course this visit from Santa would put the energy level of our Christmas Eve into overdrive.
Now that I’m older I understand why my Mom switched our Christmas dinners to Christmas Eve. Doing this made Christmas Day less stressful and much easier for her. That way she could enjoy Christmas Day watching us all play with our gifts etc. and not have to worry about getting that big feast ready as it was already out of the way from the night before.
In our very young days, Christmas morning we often woke our parents up in the wee hours of the morning in anticipation of seeing what was left the night before by Santa and our family. Our tree was usually so deep with gifts for the 9 of us that there was barely enough room in the living room for any of us to fit around the tree. My Mom would bake homemade muffins, serve orange juice and fresh brewed coffee before we got to the tree for gift opening. It was a high energy morning if you can just imagine 7 children trying to be patient. The first thing we were able to do while waiting for our Mom to get the muffins and coffee ready and our Dad to come downstairs was dig into our “stockings”. That was fun in and of itself. Our stockings were full of little wrapped gifts like magazines, candy, socks etc. When it finally came to tree time…it was organized chaos. My Dad would try and give out gifts to each of us in some semblance of order but it was nearly impossible to keep the flow going smoothly. Oh what good memories I have of these very special Christmas mornings.
I thank my parents and my siblings for all contributing to the special times enjoyed as a family in our safe and comfortable environment called “home”.
Christmas has changed immensely for me since those childhood memories. Now Christmas is a time for reflection. It does not mean that it isn’t just as special….it’s just different now. Priorities change. What we hold dear to us is different in adulthood over childhood. That’s not to minimize the glory of the season….it’s just not about the commercialism and gift giving anymore. It’s more a time for hope and a time for gratitude…at least in our home anyway.
I hope that you enjoy a very special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with your loved ones.
With all of the craziness in our world today it is even more important to hold your family and friends close.
Peace be with you and your family now and in the coming year.