Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Wrap-Up: The Memories

Christmas brings so many memories as it creeps closer and closer. And as it's almost here, all I can think about are Christmases past. I sort of feel like Ebenezer Scrooge when he's taken on a flight back in time, visiting the key Christmases of his life.

Most Christmas memories center around time spent with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. The best part is being reunited with people you haven't seen in months, maybe even a year or more. And when you're back together, it's like you picked up where you left off last time you were together.

My cousins and I have always had a good time together, whether sledding or getting into mischief or riding around on scooters and playing hide and seek. Our imaginations always took us to more exciting places than closets or basements or bunkbeds, but they were all we needed to have a good time. Of course we all loved getting presents and new toys, but when it came down to it, the best part was being together. After all, 20-some years later, that's what I remember most.

Not that I don't remember presents, especially the years that my relatives "magically" knew just what to get me. American Girl dolls and stuffed animals were some of the things I loved the most. Then when I got older it turned into books, CDs and clothes. The anticipation of what sat behind the multicolored paper and silvery bows was almost more exciting than actually opening them. Almost.

When you're a kid, you sort of expect Christmas to always be the same, but really it's always changing. We have our traditions and things we swear will never change, but the truth is, every year is just a little bit different, and sometimes a lot. Last year was our first year without Grandpa with us, and yet it's still strange not having him here. His wispy laugh and jolly eyes and generous spirit seem especially missing this time of year. It's almost like having Christmas without Santa (if Santa was real, that's still out for debate). We make due and press on, but it will never be quite the same.

Looking back, Christmas really has been the most wonderful time of the year. And though times will always change, we'll look back on the fond memories we made.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and a very happy and blessed New Year.

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