Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas Past and Christmas Present

I was asking my sister the other day about what she remembers most about our Christmases growing up.  We grew up in a very Catholic family and we remember dressing up for midnight mass. We reminisced about my grandfather's colorful tree and decorations. I always looked forward to spending time with all our cousins and opening up my favorite present- these surprise packs from Sanrio that contained Hello Kitty stationary. Now, I know where Lily's obsession with blind bags and LOL Surprise Dolls comes from.

I don't remember stockings or leaving cookies out for Santa ever. I don't remember even having a Christmas tree every year. I think one year my parents put lights on our fake orange plant in the living room we were never allowed to play in. I do remember always having a manger scene in the front yard and in our living room.

I don't remember the presents all that much. I mostly remember opening up clothes, or items we needed on Christmas day.

We didn't have matching pajamas or sprinkle reindeer dust in the front yard. We didn't have a little elf doll that moved around the house each night. Our tree was not Instagram worthy. I'm pretty sure the tree I have up this year is not Instagram worthy.

I remember the smell of roasted chestnuts that my mom would bake. She loved fruit cake and cherry cordials too.

We did get to open presents after midnight mass. I think, only one though.

It was not about all the details of Christmas that I remember most. I hold on to and cherish the joy I felt. We were surrounded by love and family, always.

I think we can get caught up in the details and chaos of having to do it all. I know I am guilty of it.

But as we build on our traditions each year as a family, I want my kids to really remember the love and the joy of the season.

What do you remember most about your childhood Christmases?

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