it’s not just about the presents..
I’m the curly haired little girl in the picture holding my new doll. And that is my cousin sitting next to me. I had just opened my presents and was showing her what I got. I miss these kind of Christmases. The kind where I was a kid and the world had so many possibilities…one of which was Santa coming to our house Christmas Eve. I miss that and so many other things about Christmas. Here are my top ten.
1. I miss strangers saying “Merry Christmas” to each other when passing on the street. Everyone was in a great mood and you could at least count on people being nice to each other from Thanksgiving to Christmas and maybe even as long as New Year’s. Now most people don’t even look you in the eye.
2. I miss my Mom and Dad having a Christmas Eve party with all of our family there. My aunts, uncles and cousins, friends and neighbors all together at our house. The men in the den talking “men stuff” and the women in the kitchen chatting up a storm and us kids in the living room sitting on the floor by the tree playing games(not electronic ones) and talking about what presents we thought we would get the next morning. And all of us would sing Christmas carols later.
3. I miss baking cookies with my mom and grandmother. My sister and I would help and we couldn’t wait for them to come out of the oven. The smell of them baking was the thing I remember most and it seemed like it took forever for them to be done. When they finally did come out of the oven we ate them as quick as Mom could get them off the baking sheet. Making sand tarts were by far my favorite. Decorating them with the red and green sugar stuff and usually pouring too much on, then having a red or green mouth the rest of the day.
4. I miss going to see Santa and telling him what I wanted. I loved this part and I loved the belief that he was real and that if I was good I would have a chance to get what I wanted. It wasn’t a lot. I never asked for much. Maybe a doll or a game or at the most a bike. It wasn’t like today, we only wanted one or two things and we were so grateful if we got it. I remember carrying around my Shirley Temple doll forever. I loved that doll. And then my Barbie…I didn’t get one the first year I asked for her. But when I finally did, she became my most prized possession. I still have her to this day sitting on my book shelf.
5. I miss the snow on Christmas Eve. We usually had at least a little back when I was a kid. I loved it. What did I care then? I didn’t have to drive in it and my Dad had chains on the tires so we were good. It was so pretty and made everything look so clean and perfect. We would go for a drive through town and see the houses all decorated for Christmas and the lights shining through the snow made everything look so beautiful. It seemed to me back then everyone had their houses decorated.
6. I remember before my grandparents passed away the whole family would go to their house on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t a huge house but somehow we all fit. The adults were all laughing and talking but the kids would be in the kitchen looking out the window to see if we could see Santa and the reindeer fly by. The older kids would say they saw him and the younger ones would rush out to see.. but of course he was already gone. At some point during the night one of the adults would somehow sneak away without any of us noticing only to come ho, ho, hoing(not sure this is a word) down the stairs. The costume was not the best by any means, but we didn’t care. We each got a chance to sit on his lap and tell him what we wanted and got a small gift on Christmas Eve. Most of the time it was candy or something simple like a book, but to us it didn’t really matter what we got, it was the pure joy we felt of Santa actually being in my grandparents house. I remember he always had bells and we could hear him coming the whole way from the third floor. I remember this like it was yesterday.
7. I miss Mom reading “The Night Before Christmas” to my sister and I before we went to bed Christmas Eve. After which, she would tuck us in and tell us not to get up too early because Santa might not have come yet and it would ruin our surprise(which really meant my parents wanted to sleep past 5am) and to wait until her and Dad would call us downstairs.
8. I miss my sister, Rhonda and I trying to stay awake so we could hear Santa and the reindeer on the roof. Our bedroom was on the second floor so of course we thought we would hear them when they landed. We tried our hardest to stay awake. She would fall asleep first and I held on for a little longer. One reason I was awake longer was because I would worry about how he would get in at all since we didn’t have a fireplace.
9. I miss getting up early Christmas morning and rushing down the stairs to see what we got. This would be of course after my parents would yell the “all clear.” We would run down the steps at top speed and there it was… It was magical. He came. Santa had been there. Sometime during our sleep, and we finally did fall asleep at some point, he had been to our house. And there on the floor under the tree was the evidence that he did exist.
10. I miss the magical feeling of Christmas. I miss believing Santa is real. I miss shopping downtown with Mom. I miss all the people who are no longer with us. I miss the smells, the sounds, the love and peace we felt as kids. I wish it could all still be the way it was back then. Back when anything was possible.
What do you miss about Christmas?