A Letter to Family & Friends – Christmas 2009

What are your favorite Christmas memories?  When I think of Christmas, the very first thing that comes to my mind is when I was younger and the trees we decorated. Nowadays trees are so…planned. They all have a theme, they have to be all color coordinated and have certain lights, and on and on.  When I was growing up, our tree had homemade things on it.  There were the requisite ornaments that Jane, Alan and I made at school, but there were also the homemade things we just made at the kitchen table; the construction paper colored loops of garland, the strung popcorn, but the one I remember the most is those darned styrofoam balls with glittered pipe cleaners sticking out of them.  They looked like small space satellites or something! Now, I know that Mom had us make them to fill the holes in our fake tree because it was getting pretty worn, and those things were really not pretty…but I loved them.  We made them and we had fun making them and it was fun to put them “in” the tree, so to speak!

The other Christmas tree I think of is the one at Mama Nan & Papa’s house.  It was always, always, always cedar, freshly cut. When you walked in the door you smelled the tree. It had big old honking colored lights that blinked! And it had icicles ALL over it with garland and colored balls.  The first year I lived completely by myself I went out in the field with my uncle and cut a little bitty cedar tree.  It was more a table tree because my apartment was so small, but I wanted a fresh cedar, and a fresh cedar I had.  It only had little white lights, gold jingle bells and red bows, but it sure did smell good!

Of course, there’s also the time when I was very small and got a baby doll “buggy,” as we called it. What do I do? I try to get in it and push myself down the hall, which if I’m not mistaken, resulted in my breaking the buggy. Leave it to Lisa to get into trouble with her gift first thing!

Jane & I had tons of fun after Alan was born! We got to help play Santa!  We didn’t get to see our gifts early, of course, but I remember one Christmas when we got an Atari game.  Remember those?!  Mom had to get onto Dad and Jane several times because she was afraid they’d wake Alan up playing the darned game. We probably had more fun with that game than Alan did!

Now here’s one memory that Mom probably doesn’t even know about.  I don’t remember hold old I was, but I was old enough to be nosey and and old enough to know better. I remember looking all over for our gifts…and I finally found them. How exciting! Not! I didn’t realize that by finding my own gifts I would ruin Christmas for myself. I never did that again; it took all the fun out of the holiday. What fun is it to open the presents when you already know what they are?

So this is all to say that the best part of Christmas for me is the memories. Every single year that I go to my aunt & uncle’s house on Christmas Eve, it never fails that we have to talk about the year that Alan & Wendy (our cousin) were about two and proceeded to open all the presents under the tree.  That was the last year that my aunt put the tree and presents in the closed off living room!

As we get older, the precious memories we have become sweeter and sweeter; I would rather have my Christmas memories than all the gifts in the world.  I keep the memories with me all the time; no one can take them away. I can’t lose them; they are always there keeping me company and making smile and bringing a tear to my eye.

Share your memories with your loved ones, year after year…isn’t that what life is all about? Making the memories that last a lifetime. 

Much, much love to you all!

Lisa & Scott

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