Today I decided to stay at home to spend some time hanging out with my favorite little girl. I think Little Miss really needed the bonding time because she was in a much better mood today. Tuesday is our "date" night anyways...because we are GLEEks! I am so in love with that show. That show always manages to make me smile and Little Miss loves it too. She dances, sways, and claps her hands to the songs. One of these days I'll catch it on video. Tuesday is the only night I allow her to stay up later because GLEE doesn't come on until her bedtime.
The episode tonight got me thinking about how close Christmas really is! It is right around the corner. Christmas has changed so much for me since when I was a kid. My family is from way north WI, but I grew up in the deep south. Every year, we made the long drive to WI to have Christmas with the entire family. My best memories are of the holidays with my family when I was a kid. We would stay with my grandparents who lived at the top of a hill. They had a long windy driveway and it was awesome to sled down. There was always at least a foot of snow so we would build snow forts along the driveway and ask the snow plow not to plow them over. We would come inside totally frozen, warm up with hot chocolate and soup, then head back out. Since they lived on a huge chunk of land, every year all of us cousins and the dads would go out into the woods and we would pick out a Christmas tree. They would chop it down then we would carry it back to the house to decorate. I remember we always kept track of who put the star on the tree. There were always candy canes on the tree. Some of ornaments were antique and some were homemade. The tree was always huge, I am guessing maybe 8 feet tall. After the tree was up, us cousins would go into the basement and start working on our Christmas skit. There were six of us, 4 girls and 2 boys. We were all around the same ages so it worked out great. The adults would hang out upstairs while we were downstairs rehearsing. We sang Christmas carols and I think one year we actually wrote a play. I remember one year recording myself playing the piano on cassette and bringing it up to WI so we could use it as background music for the Christmas Day event. We were no older than 12 when we did all this. Then on Christmas day when everyone was gathered around the tree, we would put on our little production. I remember Grandpa sat in his recliner. He always opened his gifts last. Grandma was always in the kitchen, she would peer over the counter. She even opened her gifts in the kitchen. At least that is how I remember it. There were so many gifts under the tree and so many family members in the house there wasn't room for anything else. We would have a big Christmas day meal. Grandma made the best cookies. Every year we heard the story about how when my uncle was a kid he managed to open up a gift, play with it, wrap it back up, and put it back in its hiding place without anyone knowing. I miss my picture perfect Christmas but I am so very thankful my family was able to give me such great memories! Those memories are irreplaceable.
It makes me teary eyed remembering all of this because it was just so perfect. How badly I want to go back to that place and let Little Miss have her Christmas's or to show the Hubs what a big family Christmas is like. I love remembering those Christmas's when I was a kid but at the same time I hate remembering when it all came to an end after my grandparents passed away. I had the type of Christmas that was in storybooks or Hallmark cards. It was almost too good to be true. One day, I want Little Miss to look back at her Christmas's and have the same great memories. Thank goodness we have a few years to work that out since she won't remember these first few! I know its going to be harder to establish some holiday traditions, especially because the Navy trumps everything. At least I have some great memories to serve as inspiration!
I hope everyone has a great Christmas story too and I hope you are able to share it with the ones you love! If you don't have a Christmas story, then no worries because its never too late to make one!