When I sat down to do this I tried and tried to come up with one or two special stories to write about our Christmases. But I couldn’t. Our holidays are now and have always been a hodge-podge of small, delightful memories strung together like a string of lights. Individually not much, but as a whole they illuminate the entire season.

I was lucky enough to have both my parents around for every holiday up until this year when my dad passed away in October. I know this Christmas will be hard for us, but we will get through it. Hopefully, instead of dwelling on his passing, we will reminisce about the good times we’ve shared as a family.

Even though we weren’t well off, my parents went all out at Christmas. After a special Christmas Eve dinner, my sister and I were allowed to open one present —always pajamas. But long before the big day arrived we’d pour over Christmas catalogs, making our lists, writing letters to Santa and watching Santa’s Toy Shop with Toy Boy. Several times during the month, we’d pile into our station wagon and drive around for hours looking at Christmas lights. Of course this was before filling your gas tank cost as much as a new pink bicycle with a white whicker basket and streamers dangling from the ends of the handle bars.

After I married and had my own family we started our own traditions and as much as I anticipated Christmas as a child, there is nothing better than experiencing Christmas through the eyes of your own children and grandchildren. Now I understand why my parents looked forward to Christmas as much as we did.


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Hugs,
Reese


17 comments:

Jessica Mobley said...

We always had the best christmas! It is hard to pick out one single memory. Thanks for always making it super awesome mommy! Love you! RIP B:11. :-)

Pat Davids said...

Reese, what a wonderful analogy, Christmas memories like bulbs on a strand of lights. As a kid, we were poor but we didn't know it. Every year there would be a rare and wonderfull smelling orange in our stockings. To me, every orange smells like Christmas.
Pat

Roxann Delaney said...

Beautiful, Reese! Sometimes we focus too much on traditions of the past, instead of making new ones. Besides, making new ones can be fun!

Pat, my mom always put an orange and an apple in my Christmas stocking, along with Christmas candy. One Christmas morning, there was a small hole nibbled in the toe of my stocking. It seems a little mouse decided he needed a Christmas treat, too!

Susan said...

We were another of those families that was poor but didn't know it!

Our parents also went all out to make our Christmases special. Some of my best memories are of the years when it snowed so hard we'd get snowed in and we spent the entire day at home.

Remember the days when if you were warm and dry, had a little candy and a big dinner and 3 presents, then life was good?

My kids would be appalled!

susan meier

Joan Vincent said...

I love the string of lights--bet you have enough to do more than one tree, Reese! Santa's Toy Shop. I loved it and so did my kids. I remember sending in photos of the kids. Now I dvr the new one with Henry's son so my grandkids can enjoy it too.
We always got apples and oranges too and considered them a rare treat--at least the oranges. I still put fruit in the kids' stockings but it's more likely to be a little more exotic than an orange. Our candy was almost all homemade and we had a lot of fun helping mom with that. Sure wish I could whip out the divinity like she did. So "melt in your mouth good." That time working together is a wonderful memory even if touched by sadness now that she can no longer do almost anything. Hadn't thought of all the candy and bread making for a long time. Thanks for lighting a few "bulbs" on my string of lights.

Reese Mobley said...

Jessie, it was you kids that made it special for your dad and I. B-11 is looking down from heaven and wishing us all the best. XOXO

Reese Mobley said...

Pat, we were poor but it didn't matter. We always felt loved. Still do. We didn't do stockings as kids, but I still do them for my grown kids. It's Jessica's favorite thing.

Reese Mobley said...

Roxann, love the mouse story. That has to go in a book someday. It's too cute not to.

Reese Mobley said...

Susan, thanks for stopping by. Seems like we had a lot more snow when we were kids. We'd play out until our we couldn't feel our fingers anymore. Who knew those were the good old days.

Reese Mobley said...

Joan, one of the things my kids love most about the holidays is the candy making. We usually spend all day doing it and then it's gone a few days after and they want me to make more. My mom made the best divinity too--but she hasn't done it in years. My dad's favorite was peanut or pecan brittle. I'll think of him while I'm waiting on it to spin a thread this year. sigh...........

Nina Sipes said...

I always had the best Christmas because my folks had two rules. One, my birthday was always celebrated separately-it is the 23rd. Two, it was at home, for us, so there would be no traveling to other family.

Then my mom, coming from a southern family, would go all out fixin' a feast and we set the table with china, crystal, and ALL the silverware--all of which was exactly placed on the Christmas tablecloth. Besides how to set a formal table, Mom taught us to play with the crystal and make it sing. We had candles and candies. My grandfather would buy a box of chocolates and one of ribbon candy mix and they were HUGE and we shared during the holiday month with everyone who came to our house. That house was 15 miles from town on my Grandmother's homestead in the same county I live in now with only 3,000 people in it, so it isn't as if there weren't plenty of candy to go around. The local COOP would buy salted peanuts and chocolate clusters for the patrons. The PTA gave everyone who attended the Christmas program a sack which contained an orange and a few nuts in their shells, brazils, pecans, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts, peanuts and some candy too. Family came to visit around the holidays depending upon the weather.
My dad liked to play. We built train track all over the kitchen floor, and into two bedrooms. We had bridges and crossings. He made mom let us keep it for over a month. One configuration took it under my bed--it made a great tunnel. We never got clothes except one year when we got exotic nightwear. (remember filmy baby dolls?). Our parents played the games with us and were very much a part of Christmas.

Penny Rader said...

I'd forgotten how much my sisters and brother and I used to love looking through the Sears toy catalog. It somehow made Christmas seem magical. And driving around neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights was another way to fill us up with Christmas. I haven't done that in such a long time. I'm going to have to schedule some time for that this season.

Thanks for the reminder, Reese! I'm struggling to find my Christmas spirit this year, to rediscover the magical part of Christmas and enjoy this time even if there isn't much money to spend on gifts. Guess I better get with it before the season passes me by.

Reese Mobley said...

Nina, your Christmas memories are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Reese Mobley said...

Penny, I love Christmas and it seems the Christmases we had the least money are the ones that stick out the most. Focus on your grandchildren and how wonderful it is for them. PS> saw your cover in the RWA. Too Cool!!!!!!!!!

Starla Kaye said...

Reese, thanks for sharing your Christmas memories. I do hope you and your family will find a way beyond the natural grief to remember the good Christmases with both of your parents. I think I miss my parents both most at Christmas time as we were always together. We weren't wealthy except in having so much love for one another and so much fun together.

Reese Mobley said...

Starla, thanks for the support. It's always nice to know you have the support of your friends. We will make it through and I'm told every year gets easier. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Nina Sipes said...

Reese, your post is wonderful. I've just celebrated Christmas with older daughter Dallas, Kenny, and their daughter London. Several years ago, when I got rid of the Christmas tree, we got a large sled. The Christmas sled gets covered in Presents and then we sit around the living room floor and open them. The sled and a giant picture of Santa Claus is our symbols of Christmas. We played games, oohed and awed over presents and this year made toffee. It only has four ingredients, but that stuff can be tricky! Dallas and I made her some jingle bells for her doors. It has been fun.