In the retail business we are always working months ahead of the actual calendar day. In July my office was full of Christmas merchandise I needed to write about so we could get the products ready to sell on our web site. Though temperatures were hovering near triple digits, I found myself immersed in all things Christmas and so many memories went through my mind …
My dad was a fireman, so his schedule was always causing us to shuffle our gift opening and family time to accommodate his days off. We never minded though because that is just how normal life was. My dad was an only child, mom’s family didn’t live close to us on a consistent basis, and we spent most Christmases with my great aunt and uncle that lived nearby.
One particular Christmas my brother and I both wanted bicycles. I mean, we really wanted bicycles. We opened all of our packages, knowing that none of them were the size of a bicycle. At the very end, as the tree looked sad and pathetic with all of the beautifully wrapped gifts gone, it was announced that there was a surprise waiting outside! Could it be? Maybe? My brother and I were led out to the driveway and told to look inside the camper that was parked there. Wouldn’t you know, there were two bicycles “hiding” there! The adults were so pleased with themselves that they had pulled off this incredible surprise! It still brings a smile to my face as I remember that night.
Memories of my children
Our three children are young adults with families of their own now. Through the years I remember so many moments of surprises, laughter, and pure joy.
When our youngest daughter was three we caught her “snooping” through the gifts under the tree. All you could see was her legs as she was deeply engrossed in counting how many gifts each child had. I snapped a picture of that moment in time, and every year since then we try to recreate it. It’s a special memory for sure!
And, how can we forget the packages that would be “accidentally” torn? I’m sure we never heard the truth about how most of that happened.
We spent many a Christmas Eve night assembling doll strollers, race tracks, slides, or whatever else needed to be done.
One year we had a western theme to our gift buying for the kids. Our son looked so handsome in his black jeans, red and black western shirt, and the cowboy hat and boots. Our oldest daughter received a red western shirt with fringe, as well as an adorable jean skirt. Fun times!
Our son has always loved climbing the ladder and getting on the roof to help put up the Christmas lights. I have pictures through the years of him helping with that task. To this day, he loves to decorate the outside of his home for the holidays! Such wonderful memories!
Memories with grandchildren
Having grandchildren adds an entirely different meaning to Christmas! It is so fun to watch them as they get excited seeing toys, lights, and decorations! Though I walk through the store aisles and want to pick up one of everything, I know that I must display self-control. I try to put a lot of thought into each gift.
Our two oldest grandkids are 16 (girl) and 15 (boy), and gift buying can be a bit of a challenge for that age group. Their parents are extremely helpful with ideas, so at least I can purchase something they want. The younger ones are somewhat easier, though I try to choose more practical gifts.
We usually gather with the kids and grandkids the Friday prior to Christmas so that everyone is free to do their own celebrations on Christmas Day. This last Christmas was fun as we served breakfast and all wore pajamas! Making memories with the next generation!
As I reflect on the memories, I’m also reminded that the true meaning of Christmas is not all of the gifts, decorations, gift wrap, and busy schedules. It is about the gift of our Savior, born in a manger, to parents that never imagined how God would work in their lives. Take a moment to remember that Jesus is and always will be the reason for the season. Go ahead and make all the memories you can with whoever you spend time with. Merry Christmas!
As a Web Merchandiser for Mardel, I write on Education, Jewelry, and Apparel for our web site. I write from the heart of being a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and Women’s Ministry Coordinator at my church. More than anything else, I love the Lord.