Welcome back, join me and my continuing conversation about my thoughts, feelings, and emotions to the world around me.
In this episode, I talk about how thinking about the great Christmases of the past can make you excited for the Christmases of the future. Join me for a few memories with some of the backstories. Oh, and as always, I throw in a poem, no wait, a Christmas poem for good measure.
Ah, the Christmas argument. What’s a Christmas without a good go at it over gifts ideas, and budgets, or how much does that cost? This time of year can bring a lot of holiday cheer but unfortunately, it also brings with it some holiday jeers. For example, last night while shopping I happened to find myself within an earshot from a full-on couple spat one aisle over. You could tell it was one where both parties were whisper shouting at each other. A very awkward moment we can completely relate to because who are we kidding? We’ve all been there at some time or another during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Tensions so high that with one tiny mood swing, all of a sudden everyone is doing a quick about-face, ready to throw Christmas out the door and forget it was even happening. Enough of this, we’ve spent too much money already and half of what is in this cart is the wrong gift idea anyway. So there. I am going home.
I decided to designate a page for my Christmas series. Keep all of my memories and stories about Christmas in one festive place. There is more to come, but this should get you in the spirit of the holidays. Hope you enjoy them. Just click below…
Ah, the ruined Christmas gift. No better way to sabotage your own built-up magic spirit of the holidays than tampering with the biggest most wanted item on your list. I was about six or seven when I began to get to the bottom of this Santa break-and-enter gimmick. As each year went on, the more cognizant I became of the sneaking around my mother, grandmother, and aunt were doing during the weeks leading up. My senses became Santa sharp. I remember starting to spot cover-up Christmas things my family was doing to paint the most perfect backdrop to a wonderful holiday to come. Welcomed, only I was on to them. I became keener on hearing Christmas code conversations that filled the cookie-baking nights of my grandmother’s kitchen. I knew, but the cookies were too delicious. And, one day, which turned out to be the beginning of the end of my belief in a man called Santa, was when I found peace a la resistance. I found the Holy Grail of childhood Christmas holiday wonder. I found the notorious and infamous gift hiding place. Yup, with all those skills I had acquired, and with all the determination of a kid destined to ruin the only magical wonder he would experience in his life, I went ahead and spoiled my very own Christmas with one too many tears in the gift-wrapping.
Ah, the missing gift. Christmastime, a sad reminder that once again there will be a certain To: and From: gift nametag missing from under the tree. A present that no longer finds its way on Santa’s list. A gift we most likely have asked for every year since. It is one of the hardest things about the holidays for me. Though, I learned a long time ago not to dwell on that when it came to thinking of the people that are no longer a part of my life. Instead, I started to think of all the memories I have of them and no matter what, they will always be a part of my life that way. That will never be lost.
Screw the cab, it’s nice out, and I’m walking. Ah, the Christmas Eve Night walk home. This memory is further to the first snowfall entry I posted a few days ago in terms of the atmosphere it creates. A single awesome holiday mini-tradition that we tend to forget about. You don’t realize how Christmassy it is until you’re there in the moment. If you ask me, there’s no better backdrop to a beautiful Christmas then ending it with a brisk cool clean air walk home. Alone, or with a special loved one. Either way, it creates a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. You’re Christmas so far has been nothing but food, drinks, music, friends, and your loving family. Annnnd, the best part. Well, the best part was Santa still had to swing by the old house to drop off the gifts. Score. Oh, and turkey tomorrow…oh my God, Mmmmm, nan’s turkey!!!
Yes, I remember those nights when I close my eyes. How the stars always had the right amount of glow to them. Enough to guide you home. I loved how the streets had just fallen snow that sparkled in the light and covered the whole roadway. The only imperfection was a single set of tire tracks that belonged to that one taxi that was still making runs. I can still see those super big snowflakes as they fell sideways against the shine of the streetlight as I passed the last stretch toward home. By that time all I could think of was how comfy my bed was going to be.
Those chilled-to-the-bone but warm-to-the-heart walks home are still very vivid in my memory. No matter if it’s twenty years ago or just last year, I love a good stroll on Christmas Eve Night. Because in the end, there’s snow place like home and I’m going to jingle all the way.
I haven’t been near a school in a gazillion years, and I have no idea but would hazard a guess that teachers no longer have to wheel things into the classroom anymore to spring an afternoon movie on their students. I’m pretty sure classroom technology has far surpassed what I remember. But, when I do remember, I think about what that feeling was like when I returned to my seat after lunch and my homeroom teacher wheeled that bad boy into the room. There was always the classic wiggly-wobbly one bad wheel too. Here I was thinking the afternoon was going to be nothing but a long-winded boring clock-counting lecture, and now I’m in charge of pulling the thousand-pound navy blue curtains close. This afternoon was going to be awesome.
Ah, the afternoon school Christmas movie. There’s no better send-off to the holiday break if you ask me. It was certainly the case when I was a kid in awe that very day many Christmases ago. Now, with the curtain drawn and my job done there were only the usual five minutes of shushing and the teacher threatening to turn off the movie three times before the room fell pin-drop silent. Followed by a little elementary fart. A quick “I’m warning you!” Then, we were ready. All eyes trained on that teeny tiny audio-video TV, that had just enough light to spot everyone’s smile.
Ah, the first snowfall in December. I have to say, it’s a magical thing! A bunch of huge snowflakes and suddenly I’m ten years old again. Sticking my tongue out as far as I can trying to catch the biggest one. Then, I am running as fast as I can, planting my two feet sideways and sliding halfway down the street. That’s pure joy right there. Yes, Santa is getting ready for Christmas and the snow coming now proves it. I thought that as a young boy and I think that now. It’s the perfect way to bring that smile back to your face that the Grinch might have stolen.
What about you? What special memories of Christmas come to mind for you when you look out the window and realize it’s starting to snow? Does it take you back to a particular moment in time, or does it simply put you in the mood for Christmas?
When I think of Christmases past, I remember the school concerts we had every year. After dark bus rides, pants too short, running around in your classroom at night, and those blinding stage lights. The moment you spotted your family you instantly wished you didn’t. It was usually the moment my voice cracked.
Ah, the Christmas concert, was the only time I ever wore tights and never got arrested.
What’s your memory of Christmas concerts? Come on, let me know in the comments. Don’t give in to stage fright!
Over the holidays I went to the Mall to shop. I hate the mall and the only reason I was there was because I had a gift card and wanted to use it for some last minute presents. It was the 23rd and I had a small window in the afternoon to shop, so I popped by and made a straight dash to this particular store in which I had the gift card for. All I was focused on was getting in and out as soon as possible before the place got too crazy with other holiday shoppers.