How sweet it was to have so many of you share your special holiday memories and traditions! There's something very special about them, perhaps more precious than any other life's memories.
I was amazed at how some of your memories were so similar to some of mine. For instance, Ayala's cat in the manger (except ours was a puppy), or Carapace preserving those old salt dough ornaments. (I still save the cookie ornaments my nieces and nephews colored for me, even though a mouse nibbled at them when they were in storage one year!)
Christina talked about her traditional Ukranian dinner, and waiting until the first evening star before they could eat. We always had (still do) a traditional Polish dinner, and my sister's family always made their youngest child watch for the evening star. (They complained about the cold outside, but I think the youngest were secretly proud of their singular importance when they happily and loudly announced the appearance of the first star!)
Many of you spoke about your gift opening traditions, or those special ornaments you were given, such as the ornaments that Olivia's boyfriend gave her. The caroling, Nativity calendars, riding home from visiting family. (I always fell asleep and wished we would ride forever so I didn't have to wake up and run into the house because it was so cold outside.)
I loved Christina's story that her dad would wake them on Christmas Eve and point out that red light in the sky and tell them it was Rudolph's nose! Awww - how sweet! I will probably think of that now every time I see the red lights of an airplane in the sky!
I also smiled at Lisa's story of creating a different kind of very untraditional tree every year. My artist heart loves that idea!
It was such a treat to read ALL of your stories. I thank you for sharing them.
I said I would choose one story that resonated the most with me. The story I chose reminded me that my childhood Christmases were modest ones - nine children in one household did not make for very extravagant holidays. Sometimes I think the only gifts we got were the care boxes delivered by the local Goodfellows charity. But we always had a traditional meal, and we always had a Christmas tree, and we always sang carols, and we always had each other. That's why this story by VERYMARRIED reduced me to tears of sweet remembrance: