Posted by: thewhimsicalbee | December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

I love Christmas.

I love the getting together, the time with family, the food, the fun, the giving. I do like to receive, but find (as I have gotten older) that it is much more fun to give. I love watching people’s reactions to whatever it is that I have given them. Over the last few years, I have given more homemade gifts. Something about giving a gift that I made with my own hands is more significant than something I bought in a store (not that I never put a lot of thought into what I purchased!). Yes, I do feel proud when there is a lot of oohing and ahhing over what I did. Gives me warm fuzzies. It seems that maybe homemade gifts are  a little bit more appreciated. Or maybe that’s just me.

Christmas memories

One of the best Christmas memories ever is the one with the mashed potatoes. It happened at Grandma’s old house, in the family room. Of course, us children were at a separate kids’ table. Other than my cousin Randy squirting milk out of his nose (a holiday tradition in its own right), nothing unusual was happening. Well, a brother/sister spat broke out between Andrew and myself. Words were flung, and when those didn’t hurt him, I flung a spoonful of mashed potatoes. (To this day, I do not know what possessed me to do that in my Grandma’s house!) He ducked, and they landed somewhere near the Christmas tree. Grandma came to check on us, to see what was the ruckus. I did not own up to flinging potatoes in her house. Later, as we went to unwrap gifts, the flung taters were found…on top of Andrew’s present. Justice was served.

Thank goodness they did not land in the tree.

The Christmas that I found out that Santa did not really exist was a bummer. And it was all due to my nosiness. Like most children, I could not sleep on Christmas Eve. Upon hearing some noises coming from downstairs, I deduced that Santa had arrived and doggone it, I was going to see him! So I crept out of bed and into the hallway to peer through the railing. When what to my nosy little eyes should appear, but my parents toting gifts out of their bedroom! I was utterly crushed to know that Santa did not exist and I had wasted time writing to him and believing in him. Looking back, I am glad that my parents let us have that time of belief and wonder. They even went as far as making reindeer tracks in the snow and walking around outside jiggling jingle bells.

This time of the year commonly seems to be a time of reflection. I think of the loved ones that are no longer here to celebrate on Earth with us, and I feel tears well up, as well as feeling a tad jealous that they are all together up in Heaven, where I am sure they are having a grand ol’ time. Part of me wishes to be there with them, and yet a bigger part of me is so happy to be here enjoying those loved ones still on Earth.

Reflecting on those loved ones enjoying Heaven, my Grampa Smith comes to mind. I smile just thinking of all the delicious goodies he always made at this time of year. The candies, and the cookies, and most importantly, the candy cane coffee cake! As a child, I definitely enjoyed the candies and cookies more than the coffee cake. The taste was one I slowly acquired (it has dried apricots in it, a fruit of which I am not a big fan), but so worth the wait. after having made three by myself last year (okay…Mom supervised to make sure I did not mess up), I can fully appreciate all the work Grampa put into his Christmas treats. It was such fun to open the little white candy boxes and see what he had made that year and if my favorites were in there. I adored the orange and raspberry ones that were covered in milk chocolate. And the divinity! Oh, if you have never tried this, you are truly missing out! He seemed so proud as he passed out those boxes and saw how much we grandkids enjoyed them.

Since Grampa passed away this past May, he seems to be most on my mind lately. I’m sure he’s chatting it up with Grandma Smith, Grampa Norton, Aunt Sandy, and his family that has gone on before him.

Take time to let your family know how much you love them, how special they are to you, and to hug and hold them.

Merry Christmas to all!

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