Today we had our first snowfall and it is beautiful outside. It was a thick heavy snow and we got about 6″ – it made everything look and feel like CHRISTMAS time.
This is the time of year where feelings of nostalgia and hope pour in for me. One thing is missing and it nags at my heart is that my daughter (a US MARINE) is stationed out of the country and that makes me sad because I miss her so much. I just tell myself that she will be home in March and have that to look forward to.
Christmas time brings back so many grand memories for me. Being raised in a big family, I’m #11 of 12 kids; second to the youngest and Christmas was just the best. We use to celebrate on Christmas Eve around midnight. With this large family my mother would cook a feast and we would have company over too. At approximately 10pm we would all go out for a walk and sing Christmas Carols. Then we’d come home and go upstairs to one of my older brother or sister’s rooms and sing more Christmas carols while “Santa” paid a visit to our home.
By the time we made it downstairs to the front family room of our enormous home, there it would be in all its glory; the Christmas tree with wrapped presents stacked nearly to the tippy-top of the tree!
What a sight to behold! And there my dad would sit near the tree and pick the gifts off one by one and read out the name on the present “Annie!” – and I would just get so excited. I would grab my package and keep it near me awaiting for my name to get called again.
We didn’t have a lot of money. And sometimes the present was a homemade bathrobe with my initial on it “A” and my younger sister Rosie would get the same thing, but we loved it.
I guess I get a little teary thinking about all the hard work and effort my parents had to put into getting Christmas together for a family of our size but they never let us down. We always had stockings full of candy and goodies too. It was always a special time of year because we were off school for winter break which meant playing outside and sledding and we got to play with all of our Christmas presents also.
I remember my sister telling me, “It’s baby Jesus’s Birthday and that’s why we are celebrating tonight. You are going to get presents”. I remember thinking [Why am I getting presents if it’s Jesus’s Birthday?] but I gladly enjoyed them anyway.
AND, I’ll never ever forget the year that I actually saw Santa putting presents under our tree. I must have gone out to the tree before everyone else and this is what I saw:
and I said, “OH MY GOSH!” and quick as a wink he ran out our front door. I ran out after him and stood there in my pajamas in the cold on our front porch looking every which way but he was gone – whooosh! Just like that, he was gone and it was real. It happened to me. I’ll never forget.