Happy holidays everyone! Thought I’d jot down some random Christmas memories that always bring me cheer. I’m killing time until Steven gets home. Apparently having Christmas Eve off isn’t a thing in Alberta. He’s working a half day. In some ways, I am still getting used to Canada. Then again, Boxing Day is a holiday here, so that’s a nice bonus. When he gets home, we’re going out for Indian buffet and then to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens again. Third time will almost certainly be a charm!
Anyway, on to the random Christmas memories! (And this is me trying to stay cheery, even though the folks involved in these memories are 1500 miles away.)
- We always had music, whether it was traditional Christmas carols we could sing along with (when my dad wasn’t around–he hates those) or The Nutcracker Suite, which everyone could agree on!
- Christmases were always white in Wisconsin. Well, maybe less so in more recent years, but as a child, I remember having drifts well above my head on a regular basis.
- We set up the tree in the corner (can’t remember the kind we preferred, but it had longer needles–see the picture above), and decorating the tree was one of the best parts of Christmas. It got more and more crowded as years went on and we had more horrible (WONDERFUL) hand-made ornaments come home with us from school. I still remember a long, dangly one I made from construction paper and bendy straws in pre-school. I love that thing. Then there was the one my sister brought home that had her picture on it. She hated that picture. To this day, that ornament is mysteriously turned around every time it’s on the tree when Amber’s at home.
- My favorite thing to do as a wee youngster was wait for it to get dark, turn off the lights, ask Mom to turn the tree lights on and light all the candles in the room (no, they were not near the tree), turn on Christmas music (or any music really), and dance around the living room with (or without) my siblings until I was completely exhausted, at which point I’d collapse on the couch and just stare at the Christmas tree in the dark.
- Speaking of lights, we had those old-fashioned large bulbs when I was little–the kind that (I think) used to set trees on fire sometimes. But I loved them. When they finally gave up the ghost, I was crushed–especially since the new lights were the normal twinkle-light size, which I thought was boring and, well, normal. But then I discovered they were computerized and had a remote control. They instantly became my favorite. They had about 10 different patterns, and you could also change the speed at which they flashed! The remote control just changed patterns, and it was basically a squeaky toy; it was a plastic doodad you’d squeeze, and it made a high-pitched noise the sensor on the cord picked up (if you were lucky). I got pretty good at mimicking that squeak so I could change the pattern without the remote. It drove everyone nuts though, because it always took me a couple tries to get it, and that sound was rather unpleasant. Ahh. Good times.
- And under the tree, of course, were presents! We were a open-presents-on-Christmas Eve family. Usually my sis would play Santa and pass them all out. Then the youngest went first opening, and we’d rotate through the family until they were all open and the room was buried in paper and ribbons. And none of us ever knew what we were getting. We all knew where Mom and Dad kept the presents before Christmas–in their closet, which wasn’t locked. We didn’t want to know what was in there, so we simply stopped going in Mom and Dad’s room in December. And when it was time for Mom to wrap presents, we’d all stay in our rooms while she worked on the living room floor. We really were good kids.
And while I won’t be home to experience any of that this year, I’m grateful to Skype to let me experience a little bit of that magic. We’re planning a Skype call on Saturday when my siblings are both at home. We might even try playing a board game across the miles. If we do manage that, I’ll report back.
And now, I’m off to exercise and shower before gorging on dal and aloo and paneer and papadums and naan and kheer and gulab jaman and so much more.
Hope your weekend is spectacular, whatever you’re celebrating, even if it’s just Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!