Well, it's Christmas Eve. I have come to be grateful for the health issues that I have had as they have forced me to slow down and only do the things that were really important. Being down has also given me alot of time for introspection. Knowing I had sinus surgery coming I made sure to get Christmas shopping done in October which was a first for me. That opened up so much physical and mental energy to focus on taking care of me and my family and letting the rest go.
As we got out the Christmas ornaments and decorated the tree, I continued my yearly tradition of opening the small fabric picture frame that I made in 1984. My favorite moment in starting off the holiday season is to slide the photos from behind the frame and lay them out watching the age progression as I added one picture every year and I saw my children as they became adults and had kids of their own. I lovingly reminisced over each Christmas time and remembered who I was and what was going on each year. Some years were joyful beyond measure, others were often too painful to remember. At this stage in my life, even the bad years are important to me because it helped to make me who I am.
When I was a child, Christmas time was very difficult for my Mother and Grandma as they had lost my Grandpa Bill the day after Christmas when I was only 14 months old. Each year I watched my family grow sad and heavy hearted during the holidays. Even so, they always made sure I had a good Christmas and I loved walking down the stairs to see a fire burning bright in the fireplace and finding lots of fun toys under the tree. I remember the music of Christmas. Bing Crosby's White Christmas, Ray Conniff Singers, Eddy Arnold, and even Herb Alpert and the Tijuanna Brass jamming the christmas tunes. I loved watching all the Christmas shows on television in the days before VHS. Rudolph, Santa Clause is Coming to Town, Frosty and the Little Drummer Boy were all worth the long wait to see each year. As an adult I loved to listen to Kenny Rogers Christmas Album and we loved watching "A Christmas Story" and it's a yearly tradition to watch Ralphie as he tries not to shoot his eye out.
I remember the years when my girls were little. I remember the excitement Christmas mornings when they would run to see what Santa had left them under the tree. I remember when Skylar was little and how the girls would wake him up to get him to go out with them to peek at their gifts. I remember the year that I was going to Beauty School and didn't have a spare cent. I remember that a very dear friend of mine chose to give my children a Christmas instead of buying gifts for themselves. They did the 12 days of Christmas and each night the doorbell would ring and we would open the door to a new gift. I still have ornaments that we had been given that year for our tree. I still use them to this day as a reminder of how far I have come and how blessed I have been. That friend had been a true angel and had answered my prayers for help.
There was the year that Skylar got a plastic green "Katar" (guitar). That was the same year that he got a tool box with real tools in it. Imagine my surprise when he pulled out a small hacksaw with a real blade in it and I loudly said to the parent who had given it to him..."A SAW...WHAT was SANTA THINKING!!!" and Sky said "Yeah what was he thinkin'...a wrencher and a bammer and a sawzer...WHAT was HE THINKING"
I looked at all the snowmen that I have built over the years. I think the most famous one was the year Lexie built hers in 2002. She grabbed a branch and stuck it in the lower front nether-regions and when we asked what that was protruding from Frosty's crotch she said..."It he Tail" We still laugh over that one.
I loved the time I was able to spend as a stay home Mom. I loved to sew and bake for the holidays. The kids loved to help decorate sugar cookies and then help eat them all just like I had done when I baked with my Grandma.
This year we were able to have all my kids here at the same time and even had Lexie's brother Brett here. It was the first time in almost 9 years that all of them had been together. I loved watching our grandkids as they got so excited to open their gifts. Chalyce's sweet little girl Sammy Jo opened her gift and when she saw her baby doll she said "WOW...that was on MY LIST!!!"
This year Lexie asked Santa for either a Goat or a 4 wheeler. She wonders daily which one Santa will bring. We are excited for her to see what Santa decides to bring her. It won't be long before she is all grown up and gone and I will truly miss having little kids in the house to enjoy the Christmas Spirit. As we are up to 11 grandkids now, I'm sure we will always have children around to help celebrate the season. Being a grandparent is such a blessing and I treasure every moment I have to spend with each of them. Life on the farm is pretty quiet. The horses are staying warm in the Barn, the chickens are snuggling up to their heat lamp and Myla insists on sleeping at the foot of any bed in the house. Stan always makes Christmas fun as he is an eternal kid at heart. I have truly enjoyed 6 Christmas Days with him and our family. Well, I have truly enjoyed the walk down memory lane and sharing some of my family's favorite memories. Merry Christmas.
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