Of Christmases Past

Christmastime is a season for recollection.

Have you noticed that as we grow older, our traditions change?
Become harder to hold onto?
Do you find yourself adapting instead of repeating?

It seemed so much easier before. Kudos to my parents (ALL of them, lol) for keeping it together for the children. As a grown up, I realize the pressure and stress associated with the holidays. But the memories I have of being a kid at Christmas fill me with joy and are reminders of lessons I learned.
I think I’ll share the first few to come to mind…

I remember being very young, maybe four or five, and sneaking down the stairs to wait for Santa. The colorful glowing tree was the only light in the dark living room. There weren’t spindles to peer through, but a wall and ledge to look over. I bumped my cheek on the wooden edge several times as I nodded off…then on, then off again. Finally, I rested my head on the carpeted step and fell asleep. My vantage was as blind as it would have been from the comfort of my own bed, but I remember thinking I would catch Santa. I woke the next morning to stacks of presents and a stern note from the jolly old man himself saying how lucky I was NOT to have seen him; Santa presents are for the faithful. I never stayed up again.

Then there was the year of the divinity…and trust me, there is nothing divine about this story. A holiday celebration with the full spread. The dessert table was by the door to the basement, where the kids were playing. Every time I came up the stairs, and back down, I’d grab a piece of my Gram’s pecan divinity. Every time.
I got SO SICK that night.
It’s been about forty-five years, and I have not tasted divinity since. Everything in moderation, even the good stuff.

My stepmom had a strict gift opening system. She was petrified the last gift would be the socks and underwear, which we were totally getting, and that Christmas would be ruined. She’d mark on the bottom of the boxes in tiny print so she knew the order to pass them out. The year I broke her code, YS = yellow sweater, she was so disappointed, she never marked the presents again. As a matter of fact, she let me wrap the presents, even my own, after that. I never peeked inside the boxes. (I still don’t peek!) I loved that yellow sweater. And I relish the element of surprise.

I won’t take up any more of your time with my foray through Christmases past, but I do hope these quick vignettes spark some nostalgic, silly, and sentimental thoughts of your own. I’d love to hear them, feel free to share!

Have a very Merry Christmas.
May the memories you make this year last you a lifetime.


(I don’t remember the Christmas pictured, but I’m thinking I may have given myself a holiday trim.)

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
This entry was posted in Holidaze, It's all about me and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Of Christmases Past

  1. Mary Beth Maas says:

    What a cute little girl you were! Mary Beth Maas

  2. Pingback: Traditions, Habits, and Happenstance | Mary Lamphere

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