We bought Ethan a really cool Lego Robotics set for Christmas this year. I think it will be one of the gifts he will remember for years to come. He took a robotics class at our local community college over the summer and has been talking about it ever since. It started me thinking about my own childhood Christmas memories.
My Dad was a big one for home movies. In those days, the 8mm movie camera had this HUGE light bar attached to it. If you looked directly into it, you couldn't see right for the next few hours. My Dad would keep telling us, look at the camera, get your hands out of your face. Looking at the movies now, you can see us trying to shield our eyes from the burn. There was no sound either, you can only imagine what was being said. Every year, they started with a pan of the tree, decorations and my Mom doing last minute wrappping or sewing. The decorations are totally 60's and would now be considered vintage. Great stuff.
A few weeks before Christmas, we would spend a weekend making cookies. My Mom made the best sugar cookies. She would roll out the dough, let us cut them out and then decorate. I think we got more on the floor than the cookies. Christmas music playing in the background, it was so much fun. She would use the leftover dough to make mini cinnamon rolls for us.
Christmas morning was a flurry of opening presents. It was always fun. Mom was inventive in the wrapping. One year, us girls all got new ruffled butt panties wrapped in a toilet paper tube, bunched and tied at the ends like a popper. One year we got dolls complete with baby carriages. Mom would make us new flannel nightgowns every year too. My older brother, being the only boy then, always got cool boy stuff. One year he got a dinosuar type toy that had flashing eyes and scared the crap out of my younger sister.
Family was always a big part of the festivities. Often, my Aunt, Uncle and cousins would come over. Everyone was dressed in their Christmas outfits, complete with Christmas aprons for the women. I have, and use, one of my Grandma's Christmas aprons. Dad's would drink and watch some sporting event and the kids would play, fight and generally have a good time. Sometimes, we'd go to my Grandma's house. Same events, different location.
The food was always good. Usually a big turkey with all the fixins was the main event. Once in awhile, it would be a ham. Stuffing, my Mom makes the best, mashed potates, sweet potatoes, cranberry out of the can, rolls and various other holiday only foods completed the meal. We always had to sit at the "kids" table. It was actually more fun. In the evening, we would have leftover turkey sandwiches.
As we got older things changed. Parents divorced and familes moved. As us kids became adults, we went on to make our own Christmas traditions with our own families. As our kids become adults, they will do the same. As Christmas and the New Year approach, make some memories of your own with the people you love, even if it does not involve a HUGE light bar.