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The Spirit Of Christmas - Redux

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Friday, December 24, 2010

The Spirit Of Christmas - Redux

I originally posted this last year (December 16, 2009 / The Spirit of Christmas) back when I only had 16 followers.

The memories and sentiments remain true today, so with very few edits, I'd like to share it with you again and from my house to yours, Merry Christmas!


My mother loved Christmastime and our house was always decked out for the holidays. She was the reason Hallmark Cards exists!

We always had a beautiful tree covered with colorful international treasures from our life overseas and all the traveling we had done together.

She loved snow globes and nativity scenes and every year one whole couch would be completely covered with her motley crew of Christmas guys (stuffed animals dressed in red and green).

She had Christmas dishes strewn about the house filled with holiday candy and would have enough baked goods on hand to guarantee at least a three to five pound weight gain after each visit.

She was a big fan of the Christmas letter (writing and receiving them) and she loved shopping for our holiday cards and stationary the day after Christmas for the following year. I remember many 5:00 AM alarms going off on December 26 and the two of us rifling through bins of picked over greeting cards to find enough boxes for everyone on her and my father's Christmas list. I swear they must have sent 300 cards!

I miss my mother every day but especially during the holiday season. She made Christmas special and a lot more fun with her childlike enthusiasm and overall joy. My dad, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. Sure, he loved the Christmas cookies and other goodies, but growing up, his family would put up their Christmas tree the day before Christmas and take it down the day after, or so he said.

He would often tell my mom to buy what she wanted and he would wrap it and put it under the tree. Over the years, he started to get into it more and I think even began to enjoy picking out gifts for all of us and eventually came to understand the element of surprise, however, his wrapping always left a lot to be desired! See picture above; that is VHS tape wrapped around a present. My dad also had a vast collection of holiday music and liked to play it constantly the week of Christmas.

One of my favorite family holiday traditions on Christmas day was after all the presents were opened and prominently displayed in front of the tree (another tradition), we would go to a movie. Many big blockbusters open on Christmas day and we had fun trying to agree on which one to see. After the movie we would come home and make leftover turkey sandwiches and each have a slice of pie. Chocolate pudding for me, pumpkin for my dad, and pecan for my mom and sister.

It's hard to believe that this will be my fourth Christmas without my parents and second with Lucas. It is very different now and for me it has lost some of the magic.

Leah and I have kept the tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day, followed by lunch together, just the two of us. We spend a lot of time reminiscing and looking forward too.

My in-laws have done their best to include me and my sister in their holiday, but I am looking forward to creating new traditions with Lucas and hopefully seeing some of that lost Christmas spirit shine through him.
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Blogger Sherri said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Tonya! I know you sure miss your parents, and it's good that you are starting new traditions with Leah and Lucas and your family.

Love that picture of your mom! She's having a blast....

December 24, 2010 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

I love people who are joyful and make Christmas so special. I'm sure that you'll be just as good with your family. One can tell how happy your Mom is on this picture! xoxo

December 25, 2010 at 1:00 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

Merry Christmas to you and the family.
Enjoy keeping old traditions and making new ones.
As Lucas grows, you can help keep your parents memory by telling him all about them. And all about their Christmas traditions.

December 25, 2010 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

Christmas has certainly lost a lot of its magic for me. I don't think I'll get it back until I have my own family and when I'm able to decorate a house just like mom did and bake cookies, and use holiday dishes and all the other things mom did. I want to be that kind of mom around the Holidays.
I do my best on my own to keep some of that alive but its hard. I have insisted that my roomies and I put up all the Christmas cards we receive this year in our kitchen and that's fun.
I miss every day but I agree, the Holidays are especially difficult.

December 28, 2010 at 8:51 PM  

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