Ok, I've been challenged by my sister who was challenged by a friend to post my favorite Christmas memory. I'm actually posting two, the first one was my daughter's first Christmas posted on her website, actually the website my sister made for her. This memory will actually be from when I was little. I'm sure after this Christmas, my son's first, I will have another favorite memory. :-)
When I was little, my brother and my two cousins and I spent every summer with my grandma and grandpa. Summer??? I thought this was a Christmas memory? Hang with me, I'm getting there. Anyway, every summer we spent out there and occasionally we would go back out to their house in the country for Christmas. A real old fashioned Christmas, with a great big spread on the table, stockings that were actually hung by the chimney with care, always filled with candy, fruit and nuts. A great big beautiful "real" tree that my grandpa had cut down and brought home, decorated with all of our homemade ornaments and popcorn on a string and candy canes and grandma's golden star that always sat on top. We took turns getting to put it on top of the tree, my grandpa would pick us up high enough to gently put it in its place. Then we would sit around the tree and grandma would tell us the story of baby Jesus and the nativity. Then she would unpack the nativity set that she crocheted and we would all take a part of it and set it up on a small table next to the tree. My very favorite Christmas was when the whole family got together at grandma's, this wasn't always possible for some reason or another, my aunt was an LPN which meant she usually had to work, my dad was a truck driver and also had to work or was stuck out on the road. Other family members were the same, usually having to work or couldn't get out of town. But that one Christmas, mom, dad, my uncle, my aunt, my cousins, my grandma and grandpa and I'm sure there were more there all to celebrate Christmas together. After the nativity was put out, we would turn on the TV and watch Santa's trek across the country. Sometimes we would even get to bundle up and go outside before midnight and see if we could spot Rudolph's red nose. Always before midnight though we would have to be in bed a fast asleep or Santa wouldn't stop at grandma's house. Christmas morning always brought the most wonderful smells, those smells that only come around once a year. Gingerbread, peppermint, hot chocolate, ham or roast deer, dressing, cakes and cookies all rolled together. Remembering those times is bittersweet to me now, both of my grandparents, my aunt and uncle have passed on from this life on earth. Now I try to have as many family members as possible come over and celebrate my favorite holiday of the year so we can make new memories. Merry Christmas everyone, I hope yours will be as filled with love and family and friends as mine most definitely will be.