I've been thinking a lot about my own Christmas memories lately, it is that time of year and having a little guy tends to make me more sentimental than I might have been in the past. I was never one of those kids that super loved Christmas, I've always been more of an Easter person myself. Something about the candy was always so tempting, although Christmas presents are pretty sweet too. This of course is extra hilarious given my religious beliefs (or lack thereof) at this point, but lets face it celebrating either a virgin birth or the resurrection of a guy who's been dead for 3 days is pretty crazy. Unless you're into that kind of thing, in which case, carry on.
I won't even get into the "war" between Santa and the Easter Bunny that was waged through the notes they'd leave for me. For some reason Santa always wanted a beer and not milk... My father really is a character.
Where was I?
Oh yes, my Christmas memories.
One of my first Christmas memories involves my dad dressed up as Santa. That pretty much put a wrench in the whole "Be good so Santa will give you gifts" idea. I believe that Christmas we also got to see reindeer on the radar screens at his shop. We were in semi-tropical Okinawa, Japan at the time, so it probably didn't seem too holiday-esque. I don't remember much else from those Christmases. (I just googled the weather in Okinawa right now and its exactly what it is here in Baltimore - mid-60's.... go figure the only difference is that we're at 50% humidity and they're at 72%).
Wow, I am prone to tangents today, aren't I?
Another thing I loved about Christmas as a child was decorating the tree with my mom, dad, and brother. Every year I would be so excited to see "my" ornaments from years passed. Almost every year my mom bought an ornament for Travis and I, so there was a good collection of them. Even now when I look at those same ornaments on my own tree, I feel that excitement, if only for a second. We always had fun putting up the tree, taking bets on which of our cats would climb it first, and making Christmas an exciting time.
Something that I didn't realize about my childhood Christmas experiences until I was older was that we were never with family during the holidays. As a military family, we were always out on our own and while part of me envies that (because really, going to 3 different people's houses for the holiday is a bit overkill), but the other part marvels at my parents. They always made the day special for me and Trav, but I know it must has been hard to forge ahead with new holiday traditions without their own parents.
I think that leads to a favorite Christmas memory - the scavenger hunt. One year (after I woke my sleeping brother up, because he would have slept until noon without his nagging little sister) we found a clue, which lead to another clue, which lead to our present - two new bikes in the garage. It was so fun to have to look around and find our clues, occasionally going to ask mom and dad for help when we were stuck, and then find our presents. My mom will now admit that they thought it was a great way for them to sleep in a little longer! I can see her point, I was definitely an early riser and eventually there was a "Don't wake anyone up until 9AM" rule in our house. The next year we also had a scavenger hunt, I believe we found a Sega Genesis under Travis' bed.
So those are some of my Christmas memories. I am so excited that I get to help makes these memories for James. And since part of me is still a little kid, I can't wait to open my presents!