Everyone out there reading this has a few favorite Christmas memories, I bet.
I always enjoyed our family Christmas Eve routine.
We went to the children’s service at church where the kids recited their part of the Christmas story, then we’d drive around town looking at the Christmas lights.
We ended up at home to do our family exchange, getting into comfy slippers.
Then sometime during the exchange, Dad would come around to everyone with a bag and hand out a gift, saying “This is from Santy Claus! Here!”
It was always unwrapped. One year he gave out flashlights. We laughed. Another year it was screwdrivers. Another year, boxes of chocolate covered cherries.
We always wandered what he would give out each year!
Another thing that I enjoyed was going to my Aunt’s house in Belleville for our bigger family exchange, with all Mom’s siblings, their spouses and kids.
We greeted each other as if it had been a year since we had seen each other instead of the week it had really been.
We sniffed the turkey scented air, the pumpkin pies, the live tree in the living room.
And when I could, I slipped away to my cousin’s room.
He had a whole shelf of books I would read sitting on his bed or the floor.
My favorite one was “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Suess.
When we got to the gifts, I found a big one with my name on it, from my Aunt.
I guessed it was a dollhouse – it looked about that size. I already had one, so I didn’t want another one.
I unwrapped it slowly, eager faces around, especially my Aunt’s.
Wait – it’s not a doll house! It’s a stuffed dog! A German shepherd stuffed dog!
I was excited. Immediately I named it Ginger, after my Aunt’s German shepherd.
I played with it that entire day, sitting in the box the dog came in, string tied to the dog’s collar, pretending it was pulling me in a sled.
That was a great Christmas.
I still have Ginger. She’s a bit beat up, mended, but still looks good.
She’s sitting on my bed, watching me as I write this.
What’s your favorite Christmas memory?