Today we’re sharing some of our favorite holiday memories.
Edith: From my childhood, I remember the thrill of finding surprises under or next to the tree on Christmas morning. After breakfast and presents, having the whole day to try out the new bicycle (I grew up in southern California, so it was always biking weather) or lie around reading the new book. We always got books at Christmas. As an adult, it’s of course memories from when my sons, now in their twenties, were little. Making cookies together. Helping them pick out a gift for their father. Hearing their sweet little voices sing carols. Seeing their own excitement at surprises Christmas morning.
Jessie: Some of my favorite Christmas memories are of gingerbread house decorating parities. When my eldest child was a preschooler I a started tradition of making gingerbread houses for my child and the children of friends. All the kids would get together and decorate the houses with royal icing and candy. It was such fun and such a pleasure to see each child’s creative spirit in the finished product. One year I made a dozen houses. Now that’s a lot of gingerbread! But the house smelled glorious and there was tremendous amount of merry-making that year!
Sherry: When I was in 8th grade we drove to Sarasota, Florida for Christmas. Back in those days very few people traveled over the holidays — at least in Iowa. As we drove through Chattanooga, Tennessee it begin to pour down rain. As we started up a mountain my mom said, “At least it isn’t snow.” A few minutes later big fat flakes flew. It piled up rapidly, driving up the mountain was treacherous and frightening. Near the top of the mountain was a lone Holiday Inn. We got one of the last rooms. In the morning they were out of food, travelers slept all over the lobby, and cars had been stranded all over the mountain. By noon the sun was melting the snow and we set off again. It was a wonderful trip but we try to avoid “at least it isn’t” statements in our family.
Julie: My Christmas memories are a rich source of emotions. One of my favorites was eleven years ago. My beloved nieces were born close to Christmas (the best present of all), and they were all in the hospital over Christmas. I stayed up in Massachusetts to be nearby. So on Christmas eve, I went over to my friend Amy and Tom’s house, and celebrated with their family. Their daughter is my godchild, and I couldn’t love her and her brother more if they were related by blood. It was a Polish Christmas eve, with wonderful traditions, food, and chosen family. Tom passed away less than two years later, so I think of him a lot this time of year, and tell my nieces the story of that special Christmas eve. And I recognize how lucky I was/am to have wonderful memories to draw on.
Barb: We always took our kids to see the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker Suite. In the photo at left we are leaving the house the very first time we ever went. My husband bought the tickets. I hadn’t thought about bringing Kate, and I was mad because I thought she was too young and one of us would have to miss the show pacing the lobby with her. Before we left the house, she had a fit of terrible twos because she was bringing her bright yellow Fisher-Price pocketbook and couldn’t find the powder puff that went in the compact that came with it. Somehow at two and a half, she had decided ladies brought a compact to the ballet. Instead she brought a diaper and patted her face with it periodically through the show. Boy, was I wrong that she was too young. She sat rapt through the entire performance and took dance classes including ballet from the time she was three through her senior year in high school.
Liz: Christmas Eve was the big night at our house. Everyone would gather at my parents’ and we would eat the traditional Italian fish dinner and open presents. I love to remember Christmas Eve festivities with my grandfather when he was alive. He was such a special person, full of warmth and fun – to the point where my grandmother would often scold him for being silly. Before dinner, my brother, grandfather and I had our own tradition – playing 45s (a card game, for those who aren’t familiar). Benny, our fox terrier, would sit beside Gramp while we played. Gramp would often pretend to poke Benny with his cane under the table in order to invoke my brother’s and my wrath – and to distract us from the card game so he could win. When my grandmother caught him, it wasn’t pretty. And he just laughed and winked at me and my brother and fed Benny table scraps. I hope they’re enjoying this Christmas together.
The Wickeds hope you all have wonderful holidays and make some unforgettable memories. Hugs!