This Christmas season has been very different for us. Instead of spending time hanging outdoor Christmas lights or sitting down with Christmas cards in my lap to address, we have spent the majority of our time packing to move. If I EVER decide to do this at Christmas season, will one of you slap me back into reality? At the beginning of December, we kept thinking, “we have got this. Most of the glass dishes and antique cabinets had already been packed for several weeks. Thinking that if we did that, it would give us plenty of time to watch all the Hallmark movies and make multiple pans of fudge. We were wrong. We did not figure in the fact that we are a couple years older than we were 3 years ago. We also didn’t figure in the fact that apparently we have acquired, should I say, “some real keepsakes” living out west. We unloaded 3 pods when we moved here and it looks like it might take 4 when the movers get here next week? That brings me to another fact. Our clothes are a bigger size than when we moved here. IT’s amazing how much more room a size larger pair of pants takes up.
Because we are trying to make the most of the time we have left here, Jodi and I came up with a great family night plan. Two nights ago, we went to their house to have pizza, watch Christmas Vacation and then head out to a Christmas light spectacular called Illumination. IT was worth every dollar, especially since there was a coupon on Groupon. The coupon is for the entire car, so load it up we did. We had Randy driving, with Eric and Noah in the front seat. Jodi and I had Caleb in the back. After an hour wait to actually get the car inside to begin driving through the light show, we were excited. Of course, the sign gave instructions to turn our radio onto a certain radio station so that the lights blinked in sync with the music playing. Of course, it took until we were almost through the park before we figured out how to restart our computer in the car to where we could find the particular station. But, because we have a SUV the boys decided to climb over both seats and watch the show from the back of the car. Apparently, when little boys are not strapped in with seatbelt, they feel the mood to roll around, kicking the backs of our heads, of course, all the while keeping with the beat of the music. While we were waiting in line we began to laugh about different Christmas memories. Doesn’t it seem that memories sometimes get funnier as time passes?
One of our favorite Christmas memories was from about 2010 when we had about 15 people at our house. Because there were going to be so many people having dinner, I rearranged the furniture. We put the dining room table in the den and put the den furniture in the dining room. That way we could seat more folks AND, it put us closer to the food. That is so important. Well the night progressed and we had a lovely dinner. Everyone left and Randy said, “if you want, I’ll start putting back all the chairs while you do the dishes.” That is always how we work, he starts putting everything up while I am in the kitchen, cleaning up. Thats why Frosty and Noel make a great team.
In about 10 minutes, Randy walks in the kitchen and tells me that we need to call Eric and Jodi. When I ask him why, they had just left, why did he need to call them, he responded with, “they need to come back, they forgot Craig, he is sound asleep in my chair in the dining room.” Craig is Eric’s brother and in the hustle and bustle of everyone leaving that evening, no one noticed that Craig was asleep in the dining room. Now we had to decide who was going to wake him up and tell him that they left him behind. We decided to let him sleep until Eric got there and could explain to him why he was still there. We now post a sign at the front door to be sure people get ALL their belongings before they leave.
Another great memory involved us renting a 15 passenger van to take friends around looking at Christmas lights. What a special memory. We made chile for everyone before we went out and then each person had their own little box of Christmas cookies to snack on while we looked at lights. It truly was a magical evening. As Frosty played Christmas Carols over the radio, everyone begin to sing and laugh. Well, almost everyone, our adult kids were sitting in the back of the van and kept making faces like, “you have got to be kidding me, we are in a van, driving around with all these oldies singing with their Christmas sweaters on”. That made us sing that much louder. They couldn’t get out of that van quick enough when we got back. We loved it. Felt like they were teenagers again with their parents still embarrassing them.
Today running into Walmart to buy butter (yes, I was almost out of butter, only have 2 sticks left) I remembered years ago when being so excited seeing the new Christmas tapes/CD’s in and loved going through them to see which new ones I was going to buy that year. I miss that. It was so much more fun than just going onto Amazon to download songs for my phone. It was so great to get back in the car, open the tape/cd and insert it into the player and driving around listening to the new music we had just bought.
Christmas…brings back so many different memories and emotions. Some of them wonderful, and some bringing tears to our eyes. But regardless of the emotions which it conjures up, we can be sure of one thing. Memories hold a very special place in our hearts.
As you celebrate Christmas this year, may you make memories of joy, hope and laughter with those you love.