Christmas memories

For all of the complaining people do in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day, the worst part of Christmas is when it’s all over. The gifts unwrapped, the guests come and gone, the dinner eaten and the tree sitting in the living room waiting to be undressed and discarded.

It’s natural to feel a little sad, I guess. I hope so, anyway. I do have some guilt that I feel this way, especially considering how many people I know who celebrated their first Christmas a couple of days ago without their husband, without their son, without their parents, without a job. So many friends who have suffered greatly this year. I have no right to feel this sadness in my heart after sharing such a great few days with people I love but I suppose we can’t always decipher why we feel the way we do ~ just that we do.

I started watching “The Time Traveler’s Wife” tonight (which I quickly turned off) but before I did, it got me thinking about where I’d travel to in my life given the chance. What Christmas would I go back to? Just as birthdays are, some were average while others were forgettable and others were incredibly memorable. Some of the most vivid were

  • when I was in the 5th grade and one week from moving to Florida from Ohio. I got these international dolls and I spent the entire day tucked beside the fireplace playing with these dolls while it snowed like crazy outside
  • the Christmas that I found the stash of gifts prior to Christmas morning and proceeded to look at everything. I don’t know what was worse ~ feigning surprise or being disappointed twice.
  • the Christmas that my “I can barely shave” boyfriend proposed to me. Looking back at those pictures, I see two of the most confident, beat the odds people God ever put on this earth.
  • the Christmas that Devon was about 6 weeks old. My father didn’t really know what to say or do with this tiny bundle, so everytime he’d walk by her, he’d just do a pathetic little Santa Claus impression. “Ho, Ho, Ho.”  Instead of Grandpa, my dad became “Ho-Ho” that Christmas and later, the kids shortened it to “Ho”. I know, I know…..slightly inappropriate but definitely funny.
  • the following Christmas, W and I had 2 nickels to rub together but we had a 13 month old who loved opening presents. She was precious and our tiny little rented house with the tiny little tree was packed with all kinds of inexpensive but adorable gifts that kept a little toddler pretty occupied for the entire day
  • Nick’s first Christmas which just happened to be followed by his daddy leaving two days later to serve in “Desert Storm”. It was this great Christmas of all of our extended family crammed in our apartment but had this cloud of the unknown looming overhead
  • a Christmas that W gave me a gold charm bracelet with charms that the kids had helped pick out
  • the Christmas my grandmother, who had already suffered a stroke, came out of her bedroom late at night while the rest of us were playing some board game. She came out with her nightgown accidentally tucked into her Depends diaper and her teeth still on the nightstand. I can literally laugh out loud just remembering. Love and miss you, Mamaw. You were one of a kind.
  • the Christmas in California that Devon lost her mind while opening a box of Etnie skateboard shoes. Just let me say this~ the girl really, really wanted those pink Etnies.

There were more…so many memories…so many things that make me smile. How could I ever choose which one to return to? If we could somehow keep the people alive that are now gone, the relationships intact that are now severed, the children small who are now grown and the hearts still unbroken…but there is no way to do that, is there? We can only remember how it was then and dream of how it will be in the future.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, friends. I hope you are making good memories.

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