Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Magic

Childhood Christmas memories are stronger and better than any others. I remember waking up early, and going out to plug in the Christmas tree. Those big 2 inch lights lit up the entire room, and I sat there just enjoying it. Every 30 minutes or so, I'd go ask Mom, "Can we get up now? Is it time for Christmas yet?" Of course, I didn't realize at 3:00 in the morning, that she probably hadn't been asleep too long. Why isn't she excited about Christmas? By 4:30 or so, she would let me open one present, if I promised not to bother her again for a few hours. In triumph, I'd plug the lights back in and find the book I knew would be there. The Bobbsey Twins latest adventure read by Christmas tree lights - now that's a thrill!

My mother was one of six children, and all of them lived in our little town except one uncle. Grandma's house was stuffed with aunts and uncles and cousins, the windows steaming till we had to open the door to let the heat out. We made fresh chicken salad and ham salad every year, and Grandma's famous 3 layer Christmas Jello mold. Of course, we kids would only eat the plain red layer! The house had high ceilings - 10 feet at least - and we went to an uncle's farm to cut a fresh cedar tree for Grandma, one that would brush the ceiling. The first year she had a store bought pine tree I just about cried. The moon and stars always shone brighter at Grandma's house on Christmas Eve than any other place or time, throwing shadows on the sidewalk.

It's funny how the holidays tend to blur together as an adult. Maybe it's because we feel pressed by the responsibilities of our families, and just don't capture those individual moments as much as we did when children. I'll have to ask my kids if they have any special memories and see what sticks in their minds. For now, my blessings are my husband and children. Everyone is healthy and either employed or retired as they wish. In this economy, having a job is good, even if it's not necessarily the job of your dreams.

Merry Christmas, and God Bless Us Every One!

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