With the holidays fast approaching, I wanted to reflect on Holiday Dreams through the years.
My first Christmas, I was 9 months old. At that age, I didn’t know who Santa was or what to think of Christmas. I had no hopes or dreams. I simply experienced it in the moment.
My first Christmas was celebrated at my Uncle Larry and Aunt Lorraine’s house. My parents were both there along with my sister and my paternal Grandmother.
This past summer, at my Uncle’s memorial, a few of us decided to do a 45 year old photo retake. My cousin Brenda, my sister RuthAnn, and my Cousin Annette who is holding me. Being silly we decided a tree in the front yard would do as it was in July not December.
We had relatives telling us what way to move our heads, eyes, hands, etc. Our entire family was laughing at the event.
Like any other child, I have taken my share of photos with Santa. I have two really solid memories from the ages in the photos above.
The first is a book I loved called Santa’s Beard is Soft and Warm. It was a Little Golden Book that I absolutely loved. I searched for it for years. One of my Reddit Secret Santa’s gave me a copy of it a few years ago and the thoughtfulness of it brought me to tears.
The second memory that is really prominent is a toy I had called Milky the Cow. It was a cow with a water trough. You would dip its head by cranking its tail so it would drink. In the Udders you placed some tablets. The tablets make the water turn white. You would squeeze the udders with a little milk pail underneath. I have no idea why, but I thought that was the most awesome toy ever!
My dad was in the Navy when I was growing up. A lot of my childhood was spent in Southern California. My family celebrated many Christmas’s with my Dad’s brother and his family. We frequently lived less then 2 hours apart.
The last Christmas photo I know of as a group is my cousin Brenda, my Aunt Lorraine, myself, my sister Ruth Ann, and my cousin Annette. Christmas at my Uncle Larry and Aunt Lorraine’s house was always magical. I remember waking up on Christmas morning and their living room being wall to wall presents. It was the most incredible sight as a small child. (Mind you there were 4 working adults, 4 children, and a few pets)
At the age of 17, I would celebrate my first Christmas as a parent. My daughter, Holly, was 3 months old. I remember dolling her up and taking so many photos. At some point my dad was like why isn’t the camera out of film yet? Ummm because there was no film in the camera. I could just cry. I had so many photos I knew were going to be incredible. In the end, I didn’t have but a few. The photo above of her laughing was adorable to me and it is how I mostly remember her first Christmas.
At four, I can remember how much she HAD to have Baby Alive. It was one of the impossible gifts of that year. She loved her Baby Alive and took wonderful care of it.
Between the ages of 5 and 6 she stopped begging for fancy dresses, petticoats, rumba pants, rumba tights, dress shoes, etc. I remember her loving being a girly girl at this age. She also LOVED getting her picture taken. Unfortunately my photo albums are in storage right now or I would share some of my favorite Christmas photos of her.
In 2008 my husband Bart and I got married on April Fools Day. We have had highs and lows. There was one Christmas where we exchanged photos cut out of magazines showing the items we wished we were able to buy each other.
Ultimately, you and I know that Christmas isn’t about the presents. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus, cherishing family, and the joys of giving.
Last year, I made sure to seal my Christmas wish with a kiss. Only Santa knows what I dreamed of.
Most of you know grand daughter Nevaeh. She lives near me and is frequently featured on the blog. She was adopted by an incredible lady who has loved her and blessed her beyond words. My granddaughter is so very blessed to have her Mommy in her life.
My husband has a daughter (Stephanie), and two sons (Justin and Camron) who are all adults. His oldest son, Justin, has a son and a daughter. They live in Texas. We have never met Brandon and Aubri in person.
As a parent, and now a grandparent, it is amazing how your focus changes at the holidays. At this point in life, it is about finding that impossible gift and keeping the magic alive for one more year. Cherishing the innocence. Creating memories that will last a lifetime.
I am still Christmas crazy and drive those around me nuts. I am already watching Christmas movies daily. If I thought I could breakout the decorations and get away with it, the house would be decorated already. There have been years where I have sent out hundreds of Christmas cards across the globe. I love sending and receiving cards.
I feel that everyone deserves to feel that they matter, that they are remembered, and they are not alone.
My Christmas dream this year is to not have anyone I know or love feel alone this year.