Okay, I admit it. Half the time I can’t remember why I entered a room. I go in, see something I need to do and do it, then I go back to where I was in the first place and say, crap. I forgot my book, my coffee, my to do list. Worse, I stand in the middle of the room and say, “Why did I come in here?”
Christmas memories are like that. I struggle to remember the best gifts from my childhood and a few things come. The cowgirl outfit when I was six or seven, the walking doll when I was eight or nine, the baton when I was eleven or twelve. Barbies were always under the tree. Heck, I wish I still had them in their original boxes, especially the ones that were released every Christmas.
If I had any bad Christmas memories they are all buried deep in my psyche and will probably remain there.
As an adult, my Christmas memories are different. It wasn’t the favorite gift that comes to mind…it’s the preparations. Lights had to be strung outside, gifts purchased for a gazillion members of the family—many mailed—tree had to be decorated, menu had to be planned for Christmas Eve when we returned from church and Christmas Day.
Cookies were made a few days in advance along with my mother’s cinnamon coffee cake. I did all this while working full time, dealing with the inevitable stuffy noses and barking coughs, and cleaning until everything was shiny and bright. Yes, I did most of this alone. You see, Capt. Mark was a closet Grinch. He didn’t see the point of all these preparations and chose to sit on the sidelines.
But I admit, I didn’t mind. I loved doing it. It was—and still is—my favorite holiday.
When the kids became old enough, I had help because I raised a couple of Christmas nuts, just like me. And like the character in Dr. Seuss’s famous book, Capt. Mark eventually changed.
So I will keep any bad memories tucked away (who wants them, anyway) and enjoy the good ones. You do that, too.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you celebrate. Enjoy!