As Christmas fast approaches, I often think back to how I celebrated the holidays with my family when I was a kid. As the world has changed, and I have changed, I realize that a lot of the traditions of mine have stayed the same in an attempt to regain a time where Christmas actually meant something to me.
One of the biggest things I remember is always celebrating Christmas Eve with my Grandmother at her place. We would all invade her apartment or house and exchange our gifts with her. Even after 15 years of her being gone, this is the most thing I miss about my Christmas and I think of her always on Dec 24th.
To this day, I still get tingles when the “Bible” aka the Sears Wish book comes to the house…my brother and I would fight over it, to study it and circle all the things we wanted from it. The pages would be ear marked and wrinkled and well worn, like a gas station “Hustler”…used an abused, but very well loved.
Snow…I remember there ALWAYS being snow for Christmas, and people always had more decorations and lights. Holiday specials on TV, and “The Sound of Music”. They always played it a Christmas on TV and for the longest while, I actually thought it was a Christmas movie until I was older and figured out it wasn’t…the songs just kicked some serious ass! (And totally is still my fav Christmas movie).
Going to church on Christmas Eve, before Grandma’s house, the lighting of the Advent candles, and ganging up with my cousin Cort to burn his brother Brett with the hot wax from our candles….hehehe still giggle about that (what?…we figured it was too close to Christmas for Santa to put us on the naughty list).
Listening to the TV newscast as NORAD tracked Santa’s movements from the North Pole and around the world and getting more and more excited as he was spotted over Canada and then Saskatchewan.
Performing in the school Christmas concerts, all the practicing before hand.
Toys…I MISS TOYS! Maybe that’s why I still buy them for myself, but disguise it as gifts for my cousin’s kids. Same as cartoons, I couldn’t wait to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and the “Charlie Brown Christmas”…Ok I still watch them, don’t judge!
My family is small knit due to proximity, but it has expanded bringing in 5 bundles of energy and pure joy…ages 2 – 6….and they have infused an overdose of adrenaline to revive my Christmas experience. Like a shock from a Christmas AED.
For me having worked retail for years really made me despise the holiday, you really see people at their worst in that field during holiday times. I still don’t like to deal with decorations, crowds or the sheer greed and commercialization of the holiday, it sucked the life out of Christmas for me.
So it is my purpose to “like” Christmas again, I feel I need to reminisce about when Christmas was fun for me, to try and make the holiday mean more, like it did when I was young. The kids bring laughter, cartoons, toys and purpose to my Christmas, and it’s a very good start. I look forward to seeing them rip into the presents.
I won’t wish you Happy Holidays to be politically correct or assuage someone’s beliefs, I don’t believe in that. It is my belief and my tradition and my RIGHT to say “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year”, so this is what I wish for you.