What I remember most at Christmas Time
Family: Long before we came to include Secret Santa, Dirty Santa and Ugly Christmas Sweater parties in our Holiday Tradition, we were just a family of five, who celebrated Christmas Eve together. There was no sign of a gift in sight. We believed in Santa, we tried to stay awake to catch him coming down the chimney and we even tried to sneak a peek to see who’s “really” bringing us the toys we asked for. Mom and dad carried on through the evening as if it were a regular night. And it was, if watching TV and playing games together is still a cool thing to do. However, my sisters and I would awake to find the living room floor covered with a mountain of toys. Granted there were a few there prior to going to sleep, in which we’d tear the corners open, to find out what it was. I remember waking up in awe! Like WOW! Santa really did come…. Because there was no explanation as to how my parents went out to get all this stuff in the middle of the night, wrap it without waking us up, and leave it all there without us knowing. Once you become a parent, you see just how this happens.
Friends: This is when Playing Secret Santa came into the fold, along with Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties. In Middle School, High School and College as well as Post College when entering the workforce, Christmas parties were the thing to throw. Whether it was a house party where punch was on tap, or a company party where we were all required to participate in the holiday festivities (if you celebrated Christmas of course) I remember winning one year at my company Christmas party and after that, I went into high gear and awaited the next opportunity to throw on something ugly. Secret Santa and Dirty Santa was an inexpensive way for everyone to partake in the gift giving process and I have always thought that to be a wonderful inclusion at any party. Celebrating with friends and co-workers aside from family, but in addition to knowing the celebration would continue once you made it home was double and sometimes triple the pleasure!
Food/Drinks: Sneaking a taste of Eggnog! Yup. If you didn’t do it, that’s ok – it’s something I remember as a child and it was the best way for us to find out that we didn’t want to drink anymore eggnog, especially the kind with Jack Daniels in it! YUKK! My dad loves it though and it’s a Holiday Classic drink. As we got older, we learned to mix a few drinks of our own, if you know what I mean. However, still to this day, around this time I smell the spices of that Eggnog. It is a pleasant reminder that Christmas is here. It brings on the nostalgic moments of sitting around the tree, unwrapping gifts and oh, how I love to go down memory lane. While food is always in plethora during the Holidays and especially Christmas time, it has become necessary for me to remember how much weigh I will gain. Therefore, we now take the diet challenge over the summer, because we all remember the food that this time will bring!
Fun/Entertainment: Hanging the Mistletoe, Trimming the tree, decorating the house, hanging the Christmas Stockings, hanging Christmas lights…. Just a few things that I remember most at Christmas time. Not because I loved to do it, but because we had to do it. In fact, we hated hanging the lights and decorating the tree. I cannot remember when we got to the point that we absolutely wanted no parts in doing this. But my dad was serious about his decorations. He was that house on the street who had the tree and lights up the day after Thanksgiving and made it the most dreadful part for us. I am sure that at one point in our youth we loved it. I look forward to doing a tree these days, but I am not too much for the lights. Just takes too much. However, it’s something that I would take pride in doing with my own child. So, Dad…. I get it. I understand it now. Thanks to you and mom for making Christmas one of the most memorable and valued times of the year.