As we get ready to wrap up the holiday season, this week (and I get ready to travel home to celebrate Christmas with my family), I’m obsessing over Christmas memories and traditions that I’ve had over the course of my life. I grew up celebrating Christmas Day on Christmas Eve, so I’ve never experienced waking up on Christmas morning and opening presents. No complaining here!! My Christmas mornings were spent playing with my new toys, instead of wasting time opening things. So Santa wouldn’t feel left out, my siblings and left cookies (usually oreos) and milk out for Santa before we left for church. The mystery over who ate the cookies and milk wasn’t solved until I was a little older and finally noticed that my dad was always the last one out to the car so he could set up presents and eat what we left for him. I would beg my mom to let me open a present early (this would typically happen around 1pm on Christmas Eve) and it was usually the present from my aunt living in Japan. She would always send me the most amazing pencils, crayons, pencil boxes, toys, bookbags, a coat the turned into a purse and when I was older, a kimono. I couldn’t wait to open her present every year!
Instead of fruitcake, my mom used to bake Norwegian Holiday Bread and would let us make sugar cookies that we shaped into candy canes, ornaments, snowmen and santas. Instead of sprinkling my cookies with the requisite green or red sprinkles, I always wanted to sprinkle them with rainbow sprinkles (beating to my own drum was evident at an early age). My mother would also have to watch out for me sneaking into the fridge, because I loved to sneak bites of the cookie dough while it was chilling. Honestly, what kid is going to be able to resist nibbling on that?! I have to credit my mom for my love of baked goods and cookies. I learned it all from her.
When we could, the family used to go up into the mountains (we lived in the foothills of Southern California, so the trek wasn’t a long one) and pick out our own Christmas tree. To this day, the smell of pine reminds me of running through the rows of trees and my mom trying to find the most symmetrical tree for the living room. I loved decorating the tree with the family. My dad would hang the lights. There would always be a discussion of whether or not we would put garland or icicle on the tree and what tree topper should go on top. Then the kids would fight over what album we would put on while we decorated. My favorite was a tie between John Denver & The Muppets and Alvin & The Chipmonks, but I also loved listening to some of my parent’s favorites, which were the Ray Conniff Singers and Perry Como. My mom had these amazing retro Christmas ornaments from the 60s that I loved to put on the tree near the lights so I could see them sparkle. I used to sit under the tree and just look at them when I was little…as well as dream about all the presents I was about to get!
Whatever your holiday plans are this year, I hope it’s spent with people you love, creating memories that warm your heart for years to come.
Until next week (and my next obsession)!
Layout by: Michelle
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