the most wonderful time of the year
Photo Credit Free-Photos
Christmas memories are probably some of the most vivid memories I have. There is something about being a kid that just engages all the senses and ingrains them deep in your mind and soul. My favorite memories all have to do with the “community” of Christmas. Most everyone was into the “spirit” of the Christmas season.
At school, you practiced your part, memorized all the great Christmas hymns and some secular songs. You ate lots of goodies that represented Christmas. Pictures were drawn about Christmas, crafts made about Christmas. Your Christmas program clothes and your Christmas pajamas. Kids talked on the bus about what they thought they were getting for Christmas. Some even went so far as to sneak peeks at moms Christmas present stash.
At church, you practiced Saturday afternoons for the big Christmas program that invariably someone either threw up or made the Christmas program director want to pull out her hair out. Christmas Eve comes and sleep doesn’t. So many thoughts about what is under the tree?! And what fun you will have with cousins and family. And finally, you drift off to sleep and you wake up and… IT’S CHRISTMAS!
santa Claus is coming to town
You bolt from the bed and grab family as you go because no one can open any presents till everyone is there! At last, everyone arrives in the living room only for mom to announce breakfast must be eaten first. Good grief mom! What she doesn’t know is we polished off all the Christmas cookies last night before bed, there is no way any of us are hungry! But rules are rules, so you go to your place at the table and you inhale your bowl of cereal. All the while giving the “hurry up” eye to the rest of your clan.
Dad finally closes the feeding frenzy in prayer and it becomes an “every man for himself” as we leave the table. Mom yells that all teeth must be brushed. So, like a heard of wild buffalo we head into the bathroom. A friendly boxing match begins for control of the toothpaste tube. Toothbrushes barely touching three teeth are thrown back into the drawer. No one would be getting a star on their chart today for flossing, no sir!
I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
At last! We are all assembled. A scene from Norman Rockwell to be sure. Eyes are wide with anticipation. This is a pinnacle moment. Hours have been spent pouring over the JC Penney’s catalog, the Sear’s catalog since September. Notes left, highlights made followed with arrows and circles so that Santa would not be mistaken.
Then, it is your turn to receive your gift. Your heart is beating, hands are clapping in excitement. You are ready to wildly rip off the wrapping paper and your mom stops you and tells you that it is polite to read the card first. You sigh. The card envelope is opened, the card carefully is withdrawn and read. There, now the gift can be opened. Paper flys and tada! Yes! YES! A Holly Hobbie General Store by Colorform. I was in love. This is still the best gift I ever got as a kid. I still wish I still had it! Check this out for some nostalgia:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGaF2YfpSUI
It really didn’t matter what anyone else got, you just were happy with your gift! Mom and dad sit on the couch taking in the sight of happy children at peace. Well… for the moment anyway.
God rest ye merry gentlemen
We always spent Christmas Day with the Syens family. Grandpa Syens always held court in the living room with sounds of the football game. The ladies gathered in the dining room, and like prison guards, they patrolled this area making sure the kids and the guys kept the fingers out of the food in the kitchen until it was officially time to eat.
Like rats, we kids would slowly make our way into the kitchen and steal nibbles. Sometimes we would receive requests from the guys in the living room. Carefully we would sneak into the kitchen and make a plate of requests. If we were lucky we could make it through the dining room undetected.
Once the meal was eaten we would gather to open our presents and then run off and play. The ladies would begin the assembly line of cleaning up the table, dishes, and distribution of the leftovers. The men would continue to watch the game or fall into a food coma.
do you hear what I hear?
Photo Credit Jill 111
I like to think that I have matured in my celebration of Christmas. For me, it has become a time of reflecting on the past year. Taking an inventory of where I am at- as compared to where I was. Allowing myself and others room to make mistakes, as well as grace and mercy to make it right. To remember we only have this moment, so love deeply and forgive generously. Holding all my expectations, hopes and dreams loosely. Love people where they are at, not where I want them to be. Celebrating life’s beautiful things and the wisdom to view everything else in light of eternity.
Merry Christmas to you and yours! May the joy of His season fill you and carry you throughout the next year.
Michele Bruxvoort is sure to draw you in with her delightful sense of humor and love for living life. She enjoys reading, repurposing, as well as remodeling the family home with her husband. Drawing from her life experience as wife, mom, and follower of Jesus, Michele brings you a very honest and real perspective on life. When you don’t find her writing, you can find her mowing lawns, stocking shelves, and tackling her latest life adventure.
Wisconsin native and empty-nester, she now makes her home with her husband of 26 years in the South West Prairie plains of Minnesota.