My mom, Nancy, is posting a different Christmas memory for 12 days. She gave me her blessing to repost them here. It’s amazing how a life story can be told through the lens of a certain day.
Eighth Christmas Day Memory – Oregon
After three Christmases “alone” in Virginia, we moved back to Oregon. I built a house in Lake Oswego deciding to raise my children where I was raised. My children were my Christmas team. We collected toys for children, we went caroling with the scouts, we baked cookies for the neighbors, and Ryan always helped me wrangle that darn tree (which could makeboth of us cry and curse every year), we did it all.
It might not have felt like the magic was really quite there, but there was food, decorations, baked cookies, a gingerbread house, home-made caramels all wrapped in wax paper (my mom’s recipe), the stockings got filled, the presents wrapped. Sometimes Ryan and I were up late on Christmas Eve putting together a Big Wheel before bed.
These years my brothers and their families and my family got together every Christmas and holidays. These were the years of big hair, big Christmas sweaters and big family events. We usually had Christmas dinner day together – for a number of years Rusty has a restaurant we could use on Christmas for ourselves.
However I liked to have Christmas Eve at my house as I lived so close to our church. Usually I had to work sometimes till 5:00 pm, and guests would be there at 6:00. I would cook the food the night before, bake Jesus a birthday cake, set all the tables, and then leave for work in the morning forbidding the kids from messing up anything or getting hurt and bleeding on anything until I got home.
One Christmas Eve after dinner we were all going to walk over to church for midnight Mass, just a few blocks away from my house. It started to snow lightly and I walked beside my sister in law, Mary, each of us carrying a candle while we softly sang Christmas carols in the quiet and still night listening to that wonderful sound of first snow falling. It was indeed the most picture perfect Christmas Eve moment.
The lesson is that in all the chaos, all the hurrying, and the planning we have at Christmas, when we are quiet and still those magic moments will happen and if we are very lucky we will see them and have someone walking beside us with whom to share them.
Picture captures some of those times with my kids with the cousins on Christmas Eve.