Looking back on the good memories associated with Christmas, it is difficult to pinpoint one Christmas time that was the “Best Ever.” These special times seem to blur together and I remember bits and pieces.
I remember one magical Christmas–there was a full or almost full moon. I awoke in the very early hours of that Christmas morning and tiptoed around the house. The moonlight made it easy for me to navigate the sleeping household. Forced air from the furnace wafted the silver tinsel on the tree and some of the ornaments gently rotated and swayed in the artificial warm breeze. Everyone else in the house slept on as I moved around the tree, observing the stockings that Santa had filled for us. I didn’t dare wake anyone or my parents would be angry. I remember taking in that simple Pinion Pine, the presents under the tree and the beauty of it all, with my small child-eyes and realizing how special it was and knowing at that moment that I needed to remember it forever. I sat there in the living room in the moonlight just looking the scene and treasuring it. Finally, I went back to bed and fell asleep.
Another Christmas I remember invoved driving out to my grandparent’s house in Carson City. My grandparents had a cool fireplace which you could see in the kitchen/dining and from the living room. There was a gorgeous fire roaring there on this Christmas Eve. The tree in the living room was in front of the large window that looked out on the neighborhood. It was framed by the fancy, gossamer white curtains my grandmother favored. It was beautiful.
My grandparents had the most amazing ceiling–at least for a kid–it was a popcorn ceiling with sparkles in it. We kids loved to lie on the living room floor and look at the sparkles which seemed even more sparkly and amazing with the Christmas lights and the fire.
Before dinner that night, I remember being lucky enough to go with my aunt to fetch dessert from an amazing ice cream store that had 31! flavors–something unheard of in the country valley where I lived. I remember looking in case after case at the store at all of the colors and flavors. My aunt in her wisdom selected a green ice cream that I was suspicious of, but later enjoyed, mint chocolate chip.
Everything seemed more sparkly, fantastic and grandiose at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Grandma had tall, lovely candles on her table and she made her rolls from scratch. All of the food she made was extra delicious. After dinner, gifts were opened. I can’t remember what I received, but I remember my aunts got some cool things like a Spirograph and a Lite-Brite, which my brother and I coveted. I believe we stayed the night, but those details are lost to me.
Another special Christmas was when Santa visited our house and we were still awake. He didn’t have reindeer, but maybe that is because we didn’t have snow that year. I think he drove up with a helper in a Chevy or Ford pickup. Santa brought us some fabulous gifts that night. My brother and I got bikes and my sister got a trike. My bike was a cool purple with tassels on the handlebars and a white basket that was decorated with plastic flowers on the front. We were so surprised that we didn’t question the details too much. We used those bikes for years.
What is it about Christmas past, especially those associated with childhood that make it such a special time? I think that it may be, that as children, we are so focused on the present moment that these memories are seared into our brains with vivid colors, sounds, smells and tastes. It is a cherished time of year for most kids and revved up with anticipation. I hope you have some beloved Christmas memories dear reader and that this year you will have a marvelous Christmas.