Christmas Memories

Originally published Dec. 12, 2012 11:00 a.m.

Many of us have all kinds of Christmas memories. Some of them are funny, some are heartwarming, and some may even be sad.

I have Christmas memories of all kinds, but most of them are great memories. There’s even a song by Alabama called “Christmas Memories” that seems to capture what many people reminisce about this time of year.

I remember the year my granddad got caught up in the Christmas spirit—if only briefly!  It hadn’t been long since he’d retired, so he had more free time on his hands than he was used to. He never really cared for decorating the Christmas tree or the house. In fact, sometimes we joke that he reminds of Scrooge. He really does love what Christmas is all about—celebrating the birth of Jesus. But he doesn’t care much for the shopping, the decorations, the numerous parties, etc. So when he brought home brand new Christmas decorations unexpectedly that one year, the family was dumbfounded! I can’t remember everything he bought, but I do remember strings of lights, a big outdoor light-up star, and a couple of tabletop light-up snowmen. We began to wonder if he was feeling alright, but he insisted he wanted to join in on the “Christmas spirit” that year. Some of those decorations still exist, but I have no idea what happened to the big star!

Mitzy at Christmas
Mitzy watches the activity on Christmas Eve 2005

I remember the year our dog was sick. She’d been losing weight for a while, but we didn’t know how seriously ill she was. The day after Christmas, we had to have her put to sleep. That was sad, but only a couple of weeks later, we brought home a free puppy that turned out to be the center of attention in our house for years to come. She always had a stressed look on her face each time we brought down the Christmas decorations from the attic! I have a picture somewhere of her looking inquisitively at a string of lights on the floor as we were decorating the tree.

There was the year that my parents and I took a last-minute trip around New Year’s to Ohio to visit my great grandmother. She lived in a retirement home, and didn’t know we were coming. We wanted to surprise her. We spent part of two days with her, before driving back home. Although she seemed to be in good health then, we all seemed to know it would be the last time we saw her. She passed away the following November.  During our visit with her, we took her out to eat at Olive Garden. She ordered spaghetti. When asked how she liked it, she quipped, “It’s good, but not as good as mine!”

My grandparents’ Christmas tree in 2012

I’ll always remember going to my grandparents’ house on Christmas Day for breakfast and opening gifts around the tree. Their tree is much smaller than it used to be, but all of us enjoy meeting there each year to renew traditions. Often, we’ll have a time of prayer and each person will mention something they’re thankful for. Then, we dig into the food and before you know it, wrapping paper is airborne!

I remember as a young child, waking up on Christmas morning to find a half-empty glass of Coke on the kitchen table with Santa’s whiskers stuck all over the glass. Strangely, they had the texture of cotton!

A dusting of snow in Augusta, Georgia on December 26, 2010

I also remember a couple of years ago, I was planning to enjoy my first Christmas Day off from work in a few years, when the threat of snow caused me to go into work to do live weather updates.  It turned out there wasn’t that much snow after all, but it was a close call—close enough to wait another year to have Christmas Day off!

There are many more Christmas memories I could write about! What are some of your Christmas memories?

2 thoughts on “Christmas Memories

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  1. I grew up in Augusta but the memories are of my grandfather’s house in Robinson Georgia. We would eat the sweetest softest candy but knew Christmas was here when we heard the bell ring

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  2. I used to love Christmas years ago, not so much anymore, but last year, I wrote this:

    The Silver Tree

    While sleeping on my couch last night
    With my pup by my side
    I woke up with a quirky jerk
    And right before my eyes

    The strangest looking man stood there
    One I knew I’d never seen
    A big brass goblet in his hand
    A fur robe of white and green

    Who the hell are you I said
    To the Spectre at my door
    The Ghost of Christmas Past, he said
    The Lord of Nevermore

    I see no decorations here
    No lights, no wreath, no tree
    There’s no sign of Christmas cheer
    Not a hint of glee

    I stood my ground and my defense
    Came forth without delay
    I told him how it made no sense
    Preparing for one day

    You just have to put it all back up
    I can’t be bothered, see?
    There’s no room in my small house
    For a useless Christmas tree.

    I remember long ago
    When you were very small
    You loved the silver Christmas Tree
    You loved it best of all –

    Things have changed I told him then
    From what they used to be
    You need joy in your heart
    And there is none in me.

    You’re wrong, he said and then with that
    He stretched his hand toward me
    We’re going to take a little trip
    And you’ll begin to see

    Before I knew it I was back
    In the sixties’ livingroom
    The color wheel lit up the tree
    Changing every plume

    Then trees from long ago
    All paraded past my sight
    For hours I’d sat in the dark
    Admiring their colored light

    He grabbed my arm and there we were
    In the middle of the lane
    Huge lit stars above my head
    Still etched upon my brain

    All through town the bright stars shown
    In increments of three
    The Christmas lights of our small town
    Always meant so much to me

    He led me to the five and dime
    Where I could still recall
    Daddy sending me to get
    Cheap presents for us all

    Yes, I admitted to this man
    I loved it dearly then
    Then told him how so much had changed
    It’s not like how it’d been

    Those simple things I’d always had
    So much fondness for
    Had vanished with the death of those
    Who were here no more

    I had lost so many who
    My heart had loved so well
    I couldn’t bear the very thought
    Of a cold lonely Noel

    So I would treat this time of year
    Like any other day
    So the pain within my heart
    May perhaps just stay away

    That’s when he looked me in the eye
    And said these words so clear
    Life goes on throughout all time
    Embrace it now, my Dear!

    You have family and friends you know
    Who love to have you near.
    You make their days a cherished gift
    You fill their lives with cheer

    The joy of Christmas from the past
    Can come alive today
    Remembering the way things were
    Should never block your way

    With that I found myself back home
    I sat up with a start
    My small pup looking up at me
    And joy filled my heart

    I knew that this man spoke the truth
    His words rang through my head
    I could remember everything
    This Christmas Ghost had said

    I got myself up off my couch
    And pulled the staircase down
    That leads up to the attic
    Old things there to be found

    Way back in a corner
    I saw the box still there
    I grabbed it up, brushed off the dust
    And handled it with care.

    I took it to my livingroom
    And was quite surprised to see
    That precious silver Christmas tree
    Was still right there with me

    Carefully I took it out
    And placed each limb just so
    And plugged in that old color wheel
    Hoping for a glow.

    I turned off all the lights and then
    Hoping it would start
    The color wheel lit up the tree
    Pride then filled my heart

    My little pup came over
    To inspect that precious tree
    An old tradition born into
    A brand new one for me.


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