When I was a child I loved Christmas. I still do. I love it for different reasons now. When I was young my dad was disabled and mom worked. Many years dad and I would put up the tree and decorate it. I have so many memories of decorating with dad. Mom would come home from work and find it all decorated. I remember waking late at night and lieing on the floor looking up at the lights. I loved to watch them twinkle in the dark and dream of the presents I would find under the tree.
On Christmas eve I would sneak down after everyone was asleep to see the presents left under the tree. I would peek at the tags and see what was for me. the wonder of it and the excitement were nearly more than I could bear! I would go back to bed and try to sleep. I would always always be up bright and early. Well before my brother and dad. Mom was always up having her coffee. Sometimes she would let me open one present and play with it while I waited. It seemed to take forever for the otehrs to wake up! I have such good memories of those early Christmases. I can remember the taste of the candies in my stocking. Even when times were lean there were always presents under the tree. How they got there, I dont know. Some of my favorite gifts I saved for many years and passed on to my own children. My special auntie would make me doll clothes and barbie clothes. I see my kids playing with those and remember how I felt receiving them and playing with them for years. My special auntie has been gone from this world for several years. But Christmas always brings her to mind. I miss the way she used to play with me.
Christmas eve was always spent at Gramma Peg's house. I saw Missy that night. I didnt see Missy all year and I looked forward to seeing her Christmas eve. It was always a late night and I often fell asleep on the couch. Not a Christmas eve goes by without my wishing she was still here to celebrate with us. I miss her smile. and laughter.
Christmas day was always spent at Grandma and Grandpa's. I would see cousins and aunties and uncles. Many long gone now, either off in their own lives or gone from this world, we no longer get together every year.
Christmas with ten kids has to be different than my own growing up Christmases. I was one of two kids. Even though I had tons of gifts, the thing I remember most is family. This Christmas we are focusing on family. we will not have hundreds of dollars of gifts under the tree. We have no need for anything. We have each other. All the kids will be home for Christmas. My parents and brother will be here for Christmas day dinner. We will spend a quiet day together, having fun, enjoying each other, making memories. I look forward to many years of making memories with our kids. when you grow up, you realize that it wasnt the presents that made Christmas special. It was the people.