Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas way back when

Today, December 14th, marks the official first day of Christmas. And as I reflect on what the first day of Christmas brings, possibly a partridge in a pear tree, I can’t help but be reminded of my childhood Christmas celebrations.

I have such magical memories of these past Christmas celebrations. My parents always did a fabulous job of making this season the most wonderful time of the year, just as the song states. It always started with decorating the Christmas tree on the first Saturday of December. It was always such a magical day that would not be complete with out Elvis’ rendition of White Christmas. My mom and I used to love that song and of course my brothers and dad dreaded hearing it each year. To this day, I still get teary eyed every time I hear that song because it reminds me of my beautiful mom.

But it wasn’t just that one day that I looked forward to…it was the entire month. I loved everything about the month of December, whether it be one on one shopping with my dad to scout out the perfect gift for my mom, or the solid day of baking Christmas cookies, or sledding with my brothers, or the annual Christmas Eve party at my Aunt and Uncle’s house…every day seemed special, all because my parents made it special!

Unfortunately, through the years, especially since my divorce, I have done a very poor job of making Christmas equally as special for my kids. Christmas has since become a very lonely time of year for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have tons of family and friends who always help me get through the holiday but for some reason it still feels so lonely. Maybe it’s because, to me, Christmas just doesn’t feel like Christmas without a mom and a dad participating equally in making the season so special for the little ones. In fact, there is no maybe about it…I know that it my problem. And since my future doesn’t seem to look any different in the man department, I vow, this year, to get out of my funk, stop living in a dream world, and start making some traditions of my own with my kids. I vow to make the changes necessary to create those fond memories for my kids that I once had…traditions that they will hopefully pass down for generations to come.

So thanks to one of my new favorite blogs, The World According 2 Lisa, I will be stealing some of her ideas and make an annual tradition out of celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas in style…

On the First Day of Christmas, I will sing along with and out loud to all Christmas music that I hear during the day, whether by myself or at lunch with friends.

On the Second Day of Christmas, I will do a Christmas craft with Hamilton and Gibson…maybe we can cut out paper snowflakes or decorate a gingerbread house…who knows where the evening will take us.

On the Third Day of Christmas, we will make our handmade ornaments for grandma and grandpa. Only this year, I won’t worry about the mess that we make or the amount of time it takes to finish the project.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, we will go to our local store and hand out candy canes while spreading the joy of Christmas.

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, we, me included, will write our letters to Sand and drive them downtown to Santa’s mailbox.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, we will each make one home made gift for someone less fortunate and donate them to the local homeless shelter.

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, Hamilton, Gibson and I will watch a Christmas movie while stringing together popcorn garlands. Afterward we will all snuggle together and talk about why we are so excited for Christmas.

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, we will bake our annual birthday cake for Baby Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to Him over and over again. It may be an earlier celebration than years past, but it’s really the one thing that gets us all excited each year.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, the boys and I will drive through the city searching for the best Christmas lights while singing loudly to every single Christmas song that comes on the radio.

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, I will color a picture for my dad and write him a note that tells him how special he is to me and how much I love him.

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, Hamilton, Gibson and I will make home made cookies with cookie cutters, icing, sprinkles and candies. We will play Christmas music very loud and not worry about making a mess.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, I will get up, with a huge smile on my face, no matter what time my kids wake me up. We will stay in our jammies all day, have cookies for breakfast and leave all of the wrapping paper on the floor until later. We will enjoy each and every moment of Christmas morning.

Wow! I don’t know about you, but I’m already in the Christmas mood and starting to have a little of that same excitement about the holidays that I did as a kid. Only eleven more days left!

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