Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Memories

Wow .. I'm sorry I've not been posting for such an incredibly long time!  I guess with Facebook and Newsletters I forget to come here to write too.  I think my real problem is that I seem to be incapable of 'short' here's what I want to say postings!  The holidays brought me back here.
Christmas Memories!

I guess this Christmas really has me a bit down .. longing for the holiday times of being able to be with family and .. those days, unfortunately as I've grown older, are gone.

ONLY gifts that came in the mail went under the Christmas tree.  Or gifts that were for my sister and brother in law and 2 nieces that would be coming over on Christmas Day to celebrate with us.   Mom and Dad would wait until after I was asleep to put their (and Santa's) gifts under the tree.  I'd wake up on Christmas morning and go running down the hall and ... there was the tree with what seemed like thousands of festively wrapped presents spreading out from beneath the boughs and across the floor!
I used to hunt and hunt the days preceding Christmas to try to find my potential gifts .. in closets, in the basement, in the garage, under beds, and .. when I got older .. up in the attic.  Never found a one!!  Mom says they were there in the house, but to this day will NOT tell me exactly 'where' they might have been.  I still don't believe they were there!
I was in my early 40's and it was Christmas morning at my parent's home.  We (Dave and I) both woke up early and came walking down the hall to get a cup of coffee .  I glanced into the living room .. and there was the Christmas Tree with TONS of presents under it (Mom and Dad had once again waited until I went to bed to put out their presents)!  My first thought ... my very first instant thought was ...... SANTA!!!!  And I shivered with excitement. 

We'd have to wait until my sister had their Christmas before they'd get to our house when I was young.  That meant that I'd have already been into my stocking by 6am (candy, oranges, small simple toy type gifts), had breakfast (juice and Christmas Stollen bread), and now was pacing excitedly waiting till nearly 10am for the rest of the family to gather so we could all begin to open gifts!  My mother, to get me out of her hair for 4 hours or so, would allow me to open ONE gift!  I'd stand staring at the gifts under the tree and mom would point to one and say "there's one from Santa, I'll bet that's a good one to open first".  I'd tear into the paper and ... it would be a BOOK!  I loved books!  I'd read quietly for hours curled up in my favorite chair.  That ruse always worked and Santa always picked out the best books!

Going up to my parents house several years ago for Christmas with a sick cat ... we couldn't leave him alone and  my mother was extremely upset that we would sacrifice the holiday because of a cat.  (she can really lay on the guilt, believe you me!)  So Dave and I packed up the cat crate and hit the highway on Christmas Eve Day.  We all went to early evening church services (that's another favorite memory .. candlelight church services on Christmas Eve!  Not like they are today where, due to fire codes and insurance regulations, you can only have the lit candle for one song at the end .. those days we'd be holding lit candles for the last part of the ministry and several songs .. always ending with "Away In A Manger").  When we got home, found that our cat was now incredibly sick!  Called my sister for the numbers of any 'local' vet clinics .. the closest one that was actually open was over an hour away.  That night it was snowing heavily so meant it took nearly 2 hours to get there.  Good thing we had .. poor kitty was at death's door and the vet wasn't sure he would last the night ... so we had to leave Abbie there hooked up to IV's and such.  Driving back, the snow storm had stopped and there was a full moon out ..... "The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below".  Dave and I both looked up at the same time and laughed as we both searched the skies - since it was just after midnight now - perhaps we'd see Santa in his sleigh flying across the face of that moon.  We didn't.  And Abbie? We had to stay up north a bit longer than we'd planned and were able to pick him up 2 days later .. that vet saved his life .. our little "Christmas Miracle"!

Christmas memories .. what wonderful things to take you back to those special times in your life!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas with warm memories to last a lifetime!