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My family celebrated Christmas in simple ways. Each year in December our family would take a walk in the nearby woods to pick holly to decorate the house.
Our tree was small, 4 feet tall at most. I have no idea where it came from, as it would just appear in the house. My parents would put it up on a coffee table, probably to make it look taller, and my brothers and I would decorate it. We had one small box of Christmas ornaments and one string of lights.
I remember sitting with my brothers and making ornaments for the tree. We had an endless supply of paper, glitter, and glue. It’s amazing what you can make with those basic supplies.
We didn’t get very many presents, but Christmas was always special. I don’t remember what gifts I received and I can’t even recollect what our ornaments looked like, but I do remember other things
- The mounting excitement as the big day drew near.
- Baking with my mom.
- The smell of the tree
- My dad patiently showing me how to wrap a present, so it looked nice.
- The aroma of the turkey basting in the stove.
- Watching Christmas movies together.
- Waking up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning.
Christmas was a time for family and Christmas Day was spent enjoying the day together (except for the year my brother fell down the stirs and broke his nose). On Boxing Day we often gathered at my grandparent’s house with aunts, uncles, and cousins. The adults would eat and drink and the cousins would play. There was music and laughter and lots of love. My Aunty D. would get everyone dancing or singing.
Yes my family celebrated Christmas in simple ways and yet it was wonderful. I have very happy memories of time spent with family. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t celebrate. I remember the feel of Christmas and the love that surrounded me.
This week we are in the last stages of the Christmas countdown and you may be feeling frazzled. You may have a “to do” list that seems never ending. Perhaps you had a certain Christmas in mind, with beautiful decorations and homemade gifts, but the reality is nothing like what you envisioned.
The truth is that in the end it doesn’t matter. Presents are nice, decorations are wonderful, and special treats are always welcome, but none of those things actually make Christmas. In future years when your children look back they won’t talk about those details. They will remember the joyful atmosphere in the house, the love shared with family, and the time spent doing Christmassy activities with you. If you focus on those things you will have a Christmas to remember.
Photo Credit: Texture by rubyblossom, on Flickr