Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas Already?

Yes, I admit to being a nutt case. I can't help myself. We bought a new tree since our old one had a large family of earwigs living in it from some mildew in the storage closet. Gross. So we threw it out. Eh, it was a cheap tree, I wasn't all that broken up about it. So now we needed a new one. As a kid my siblings and I used to BEG my mom to continue buying real trees for Christmas. We loved the smell. She wanted to buy a fake one and I think sometimes she would have been just as fine having no tree and nailing our presents to the wall instead. It was so much work just to get out and get the blasted thing. And often she did it pregnant, in the cold and took one of us kids to help. Which we couldn't really do. She hated vacuuming up the pine needles and watering it, but she did it anyway because we all wanted it. Years later, the younger kids relented and they bought a fake tree.

Now that I am a mom I see what a hassle real trees are! I am completely on the side of fake is better. Less of a fire hazard, no needles, no watering and you buy it once and you can use it again and again, instead of having to throw away money year after year. And hey those pre-lit fake trees are even better! So even though I was one of the ones hounding my mom to "Please, please, please get a real tree!", I love having fake.

I bought another cheap fake tree. It is skinny, but perfect for our little space. And it is pre-lit, though I prefer colored lights, it isn't bad. Most years I put my tree up before Thanksgiving and this year is no exception. I am a lot more sad about there being no snow because I can't fully get the experience it seems without the snow. I love Christmas! It is my favorite time of year. Even though it is hard to not have my family around, it is still something I look forward to. I have built my own traditions with my kids and want to keep doing it. There are a few we are starting new this year. Emily is older and I want her to feel the true meaning of Christmas through serving others. That is my goal for this year is to find service opportunities. In the past my most memorable Christmases and memories have come from the service I have been able to give to others. I just love everything about the holiday. The treats, the lights, I do love the songs, but I have to admit there are some that I feel like shooting the radio when they come on, but in all I love them.

Some of my favorite childhood Christmas memories and traditions have been:

-- Making fudge and cutting off little slivers until it appears that half the pan is gone. :^
-- Giving 12 days of Christmas to the sweet old widow lady down the street. We would knock on her door and run and hide behind her bush. When she came out and looked around, we would huddle in the snow and wait for her to leave before running home.
-- Sitting by the tree with the lights down low listening to Amy Grant Christmas songs and the Tabernacle Choir.
-- Going with mom to get the Christmas tree and having her read Christmas stories to us.
-- Going downtown to temple square to see the lights and freezing our feet and limbs off
-- Doing sub for Santa for less fortunate families. In college helping buy the gifts, make ornaments and wrap presents to deliver to the kids on Christmas.
-- Reading Christmas stories over and over again and watching A Christmas Carol with the family while eating oranges.
-- Painting Christmas ornaments and putting tinsel on the tree.
-- Dancing like the Nutt Cracker ballerinas (not very good at it too) in my dress with my sisters to Manheim Steamroller.
-- Sitting on Santa's lap
-- Opening Christmas Eve pajamas and trying so hard to sleep before Christmas morning.
-- Reading the Bible story of the birth of Jesus while we acted it out with my dad always as the donkey.
-- Waking up with my brother and sisters and waiting for our parents to finally crawl out of bed so we could open presents.
-- Playing all day with our toys and games until we finally realized that Christmas was over and now we had to wait a whole year for it to come again.

I love Christmas. Those are my most favorite memories as a child and Christmas time was usually the happiest time in our family. I guess with all that has happened, it is what I choose to remember when I remember the times that were happy. It is what I want to give my kids and it is why in every way I want my daughters to be focused on family and Christ during Christmas. I don't want her to remember only Christmas morning when she got presents, but the whole season as a special time. We make sure she knows the real Christmas story and knows why we celebrate it. I do love seeing her face on Christmas morning too. :) No matter where she is I want her to remember the Christmases she experienced with her family.

1 comment:

The Gunnell Bunch said...

Ahhh, I love that post. Such good times and good memories! Love it. And I agree, fake is better!