I have always loved Christmas, no matter how much money I had to spend, or whatever the circumstances. It is a happy time -- a sad time for some, depending on their memories. I haven't, since I was a child, been as excited about the presents I receive as I am about Christmas itself as a special day. I love the spirit and the traditions as much as anyone can. The baking, eggnog, cider, and dinner are family traditions that I treasure, as are looking for and decorating the tree.
I will miss, once again, my loved ones who can't be with us. The memories that I have of my father, who is deceased, and my mother, who is in a nursing home, my grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends that are no longer with us I especially cling to.
I am thankful that I have a son and daughter, sisters (boy did we scheme), nieces, nephews, in-laws, and so many friends to share the spirit of Christmas with. It is with these loved ones that I can remember past memories with, because they were there also.
When my sisters and I were growing up, the entire Christmas season was made special by my parents, grandparents, and my aunt. The night before Christmas was exciting for us, and my father would get us so fired up that we could not be contained. He was truly a character. This was while my mother, at the same time, was sewing our clothes, doll clothes, and getting the presents ready to put under the tree. I never understood how hard they worked to make it a perfect Christmas Eve and day until I was a mother. There is no telling what they went through providing three girls with many a Christmas to remember.
Christmas Eve we would go to my granny's house, and my granny and aunt would let us open one present. Then my granny would let me help her prepare the orange salad. Everything she did was so special.
After getting our presents on Christmas morning, which daddy handed out in Santa Claus fashion (with a ho ho ho), mama would get everything ready so that daddy could cook breakfast. It was always a special treat. Then we would go to my granny's house to open presents from my granny, granddaddy, and aunt. We were exhausted by the end of the day!
Once I had my own children, Joey and Angela, Christmas had new meaning. Between Joey stopping everyone in mid present opening to remind us that "we needed to remember what Christmas was truly about; the birth of Christ," to protecting all presents from Angela (she opened them and rewrapped them), we always had eventful Christmases. It was always fun watching their happiness. I remember Angela offering to give up her presents to give to the poor, which we did, but Santa brought her gifts also, and Joey shaking because he was excited about his REAL, and I mean real, train set. Bicycles, dolls, video games, guns, and the most popular trend -- they enjoyed them. There are too many memories to write here, but I hope they hold these memories close to their heart, just as I do.
During this season, I hope that we all remember that this holiday represents the birth of Christ. Without him in our lives, much less would be possible. I thank him every day for the things he does for me, and I ask him why he doesn't allow other wishes, knowing he has a reason. I can't imagine my life without him, and this is one birthday that is well worth celebrating. I am thankful that I have a Christian family and children. Happy Birthday JESUS!!
I am blessed to have all of you in my life, and I can't wait for the next year! I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas. Love you, friends.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
See you soon,
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