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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Christmas Memories

Christmas is very important to me. I'm not very religious, so for me it's more about family and traditions and making memories. Every year at work, when we choose vacation for the coming year, my first priority is to make sure I have Christmas Day off. I worked a day shift once on Christmas Day when I was a new grad. It wasn't good:-( I have been very fortunate to have been able to get vacation or do a switch to get the day off every year since then.
Here are some of my Christmas Memories. Feel free to post yours!

1) When I was about 7 or 8, I got a Baby Tenderlove doll. The best part was that my mom sewed a doll wardrobe for her, (including matching pajamas for me and the doll) and made a box full of 'baby care supplies' for me to go with it. I still have that doll.

2) I think I was 9 when I got a 'new' bike for Christmas. I remember there weren't many gifts for me under the tree and then Mom or Dad said "I think Santa left your gift next door" and my dad went out and came back with my bike and brought it right upstairs into the living room. I didn't know it then, but it was a used bike that my dad spray painted himself and added new pedals and a new seat. I was so excited! It was orange with a sparkly yellow banana seat:-) Even though I had a cast on my wrist (fell out of my brother's tree fort) I took it out to the street for a test run.

3) One year my sister was sick on Christmas Day. I think she either had a terrible migraine headache, or something like mono. I just remember her being in bed and missing Christmas morning completely. I felt so sorry for her but she was so sick I don't think she cared much.

4) My sister and I used to share a room and at one point we shared a double bed. I remember waking up with her so early one Christmas morning because we were so excited. We knew we couldn't get up yet, so we turned on the radio and listened to someone reading a Christmas story. I remember it was still very dark, so it was probably about 4:00 AM. I think we held out till 6 or 7:-)

5) Every year when I was still at home with my parents, we had Denver sandwiches for Christmas morning breakfast. Now, I make a breakfast casserole and baked french toast so that there's no morning prep work, but Denvers (with ketchup!) always mean Christmas to me.

6) My dad used to get my mom a new Christmas ornament every year and he'd attach it to her gift, which was always beautifully wrapped in expensive paper (probably by a store clerk!) with a pretty card. I don't know where he found those gorgeous ornaments, but they were usually very unique and probably handmade. He wasn't the best at choosing gifts (a microwave oven one year--yikes Dad!) but those ornaments are treasures.

7) My mom's Christmas baking: Butter tarts (my favourite), shortbread, Paul Bunyan sugar cookies, rice krispie squares, nanaimo bars, mince tarts.....mmmm...

8) We always found a mandarin orange in the toe of our Christmas stockings.

9) In 1989, Alison was born on December 23rd. We brought her home from the hospital on Christmas Day. It was the only year of my life that I didn't have a Christmas tree and we didn't even exchange gifts. We got the most precious gift in the world instead:-)
My ex-husband's friends brought over all the food and made Christmas dinner for us. I just remember...all I wanted to do was sit and gaze at my baby. It was a wonderful Christmas.

10) My saddest Christmas was 1998. My dad was terminally ill. We all gathered at my parents' place and tried to have a normal Christmas for the kids and for my dad. He wasn't able to stay out of bed for long, but he watched us open presents for a little while. We helped him open gifts that we knew he would never use.

11) The first year Jon was here over Christmas, he gave me a digital camera. It was the best gift- a gift that preserves memories. 7 years later, I still love my camera and use it all the time.

12) I n 2004, we sold my townhouse in November and moved in to the apartment while we were looking for a house. It was the only time I have ever spent Christmas away from Alison. She was living with her father in California that year. I really missed her, but we had fun in the little apartment, with the Christmas tree squeezed into the living room and the 2 dogs causing havoc. Buster stole a chocolate orange off the coffee table when we weren't looking and we caught him hiding in the bedroom eating it! Frantic searching on the internet followed to determine the amount of chocolate that could hurt and 10 pound dog. Luckily it didn't seem to affect him at all.
Jon created a scavenger-type hunt with clues for Devon to follow to find his big gift. Each clue gave a letter and all the letters together spelled "dryer" which was where he found his Nintendo DS. It was so much fun watching him de-code the puzzle to find his present.

13) Last year, I wanted to send out pictures as a Christmas card. I found some really great ideas on the internet, and ended up coming up with this. The kids had fun with it, and everyone we sent the cards to had a laugh. Couldn't think of a better idea this year though.

Merry Christmas Everyone, and be careful out on the roads. I think this Christmas is going to be remembered as the 'Year of the Big Snow'


Michelle said...

Merry Christmas Helen and Family.Lol at the picture that's great Devon should be glad*relived * that you didn't give him coal after throwing Mum's ipod.Great Memories except for the christmas when your Dad was sick.

Teresa said...

The Christmas photo idea was really unique and funny! :)