Christmas is my favorite holiday. I just can’t help it, I love this time of year. The decorations, the smell of pine trees and candles, the Christmas carols playing, the squeals of excitement from children. People seem to be kinder to one another this time of year, they smile more.
Now that my daughter is an adult with a home of her own, Christmas at our home is a bit different. While decorating this year, I decided that if I had to climb a ladder, I wasn’t putting it up. Step ladder, was okay, but no more ladders!
We have carefully assessed decades of Christmas ornaments and sadly eliminated some, those that were just worn out. We still have a couple of macaroni and dried bean ornaments with our daughter’s photo in the middle, made when she was in elementary school. What memories!
My friends and I used to do it “all” at Christmas…we baked and cooked and prepared the guest rooms, getting ready to host extended family and friends. We shopped for and wrapped endless Christmas gifts. We stood in line at the post office. We took the kids to “Breakfast with Santa” and “The Nutcracker”. We had Gingerbread House decorating parties for the kids. We went to school programs and visited nursing homes with Girl Scout Troops. We went to Christmas parties, and sometimes hosted them. We shopped for the perfect Christmas tree, sometimes even cutting it down ourselves, then decorated it while drinking hot chocolate and listening to Christmas carols. We popped popcorn and watched “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol”. We went to church on Christmas Eve and helped with the Christmas flowers, music and programs. We made sure the kids found the reindeer hoof prints on Christmas morning and the crumbs that Santa left after he ate the cookies and drank the milk we left for him.
What stands out to me while I remember years of holidays is that it was never about the presents. Yes, the kids loved opening presents and Santa was always generous. And, we love getting thoughtful gifts from our loved ones. But, what stands out is that it was the gift of ourselves and our time that was the most meaningful.
Does your daughter remember what gifts she received when she was four years old? Or does she remember sitting in the balcony at the Crystal Cathedral watching the Christmas program and the angels flying by and saying “Mama, are we in heaven?” Still brings tears to my eyes!
The gift of our time is really what is most important to our loved ones. So, this Christmas, my wish for you is that you enjoy the time you have with your family. The time spent with them is more precious than any gift you can purchase. Cherish your time with loved ones and create wonderful Christmas memories!