It’s hard to believe that we are through another Christmas. The presents have all been opened, friends and family have headed home and, for most of us, we are heading back to the normal grind of daily life. How did it go by so quickly. After celebrating my 49th Christmas I cannot believe how quick it went by. It seems as though it was Thanksgiving just last week.
I remember when I was much younger, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas lasted an eternity. Even with family activities like going with the family to cut down a Christmas tree. Then we would spend the whole evening decorating the tree with my mother. While she did that, my father made doughboys in the kitchen and hot chocolate for us to drink. My father and I would decorate the outside trees, which were on a steep hill and always destroyed my father’s ankles. I would always drive him crazy because, to me, they had to be perfect for Santa Claus.
I remember when I was about thirteen or fourteen when my father handed over the reigns to the outside decorating to me. From then on, it was then my job to setup the outdoor decorations.
Even with all of the activities that we did with our parents, it seemed like it took forever to reach Christmas Day.
Christmas Day when I was a child was very special. For the rest of the year, my Mother was in charge, for the most part. But on Christmas Day, my Father ran things, this was the day of the year that he loved. First of all, my Father’s first rule was, there were no chores. You did not have to get out of your PJs and get dressed if you didn’t want to. Second, you did not have to pick up your toys, that is what the day was for, why should they be put away. Third, and this is the major thing that I brought to my family… WE DID NOT GO ANYWHERE!!! My Father believed that why should we have to get dressed and go over to a relative’s house to watch them play with their toys. In my entire childhood, we never left the house on Christmas Day.
As my Brother, Sister and I got older, more of the family traditions were passed on to us. My sister was the first of us to have children, so Christmas celebration was at her home. Then my brother had children and then I did. We all held the same tradition that my father had for us on Christmas Day, our children stayed home and were able to play with their toys.
Now that I am an adult and have my own family, it seems as though time has sped up during that period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My daughters are no longer little and certain aspects of Christmas no longer exist. No longer are the Christmas mornings at 5 a.m. of both of them jumping on my wife and I sleeping and screeching in pure excitement “SANTA CLAUS CAME!!!”. Santa ate the cookies that we left out is no longer uttered on Christmas morning.
I do miss those Christmases and, in a way, wish there were a way to keep them going. I know that I can’t. My daughters are becoming beautiful, intelligent, young women. I know that it won’t be much longer when our Christmases are going to be getting bigger by including boyfriends (not that I have to like that), husbands and then, Grandchildren.
Eventually, my daughters will be having Christmas with their families and it will be the time for my wife and I to be the in-laws and, hopefully, some day, the Grandparents. I only hope that I was able to pass on the traditions of Christmas that my father taught me on to my Children. That their children are able to experience to joy and wonder of the holiday that my parents allowed me to have. So that they can feel the absolute joy as a parent that I was able to feel when my daughters got that “perfect” gift and were able to feel the love that my whole family had for all of us.
Even though it was yesterday, Merry Christmas everyone!!! May you and your family experience joy, love and prosperity in this upcoming New Year!