Lance and I were at a Christmas party last night and the hosts were generating some fun holiday discussions around the dinner tables.
One topic....what are some of your favorite "toasts"? After our group mentioned melba and cinnamon, we realized what they meant. Our table of 8 decided we were "too Baptist" to have any favorite cheers! :)
Another topic, that got me to thinking, was "What was your favorite Christmas gift as a child?" As each person shared theirs, it made me think of lots of Christmas memories from my childhood. (I couldn't really think of a gift that was a standout)
Some of my top childhood Christmas memories:
Spending Christmas at my grandma's house with a fireplace (we didn't have one when I was growing up) - my brother and I LOVED to throw paper in it and see it spark. I can still smell those fires and unique smells to my grandma.
Going to church on Christmas Eve --- to me, it's still the most magical night of the year!
The year Paul (my brother) got a dog for Christmas. The doorbell rang and there she was in a box on the front porch.
Having "snacky" food after church on Christmas Eve and getting to open presents that night!
Some of my favorite adult Christmases:
N's first Christmas, when the little girl behind us in church saw the baby Jesus printed on the bulletin and showed her mom that I was holding baby Jesus --- sweet, sweet.
N's first Christmas, when it was just the 3 of us at our house. We put N to bed and the silence and quiet of those moments. This was also N's first night to sleep the entire night --- Merry Christmas to us!
L's first Christmas, when we knew that our family was complete and we were all together.
This year when we are all together and we are healthy and happy.
I'm hoping these are things I'll realize for my kiddos each year. It's a season for making memories and while I love to hear their squeals of delight at their gifts, I know what they'll really remember is going on a hayride thru the Christmas lights at Santa's Wonderland; making cookies with Nana; playing with the train with grandpa; going to see the trains at NorthPark mall with grandad and grandmommy; acting crazy with their cousins (both the teenagers and the little cousins)reading fun Christmas stories with Lance and I and watching Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and Frosty.
As they grow older, I'm sure some other traditions will begin and we'll embrace those as well.
Gifts don't matter much, but The Gift does.
If anyone still reads my blog, I pray you have a blessed time with your family and friends and that you remember the Baby who came long ago for all of us.