posted on Dec, 25 2019 @ 04:45 AM
Do you have a Christmas which you remember above all others, that one Christmas which sticks in your mind as the defining moment of Christmas??
If so, what was it?
I don't remember the exact year, but it must have been about 1971 or so. I think I was about 8 years old or so. I remember there was a lot of
stress in the couple days leading up to Christmas day. I wasn't really old enough to understand why all the stress, but as I recall it had to do
with whether all the family members would make it home. I remember it was the only Christmas where everything seemed like the 'last minute' and
everything coming down to the wire. The whole family always got together for Christmas, both grandmothers, both sisters, their husbands, nephews and
Mom & Dad. This Christmas just seemed like it all came together at the very last moment for some reason.
I remember decorating the Christmas tree, and how perfect it looked, better than ever before. I remember the giant stack of pile of presents under
the tree, it seemed like more than ever before. And I remember on Christmas Eve in the late afternoon how it began to snow, really snow! I can
remember looking out the window next to the tree and wondering to myself if we'd have a "white Christmas". I couldn't ever recall a truly white
Christmas before that. I mean sometimes there was still remnants of snow around, but Christmas was usually brown. Did I mention it started to snow?
I remember thinking how it would be difficult getting to midnight mass with my sister, but we made it. Saved us from having to go Christmas day was
about the biggest memory of that event.
By bedtime on Christmas Eve my heart was racing like never before. For some reason I was amped up to the Moon. I was always amped up on Christmas
Eve, but this time was different for some reason. There was no way I was going to get any sleep...so I thought.
When I awoke on Christmas Day at oh-dark-thirty the ritual was the same, sneak down and get your stocking and open the goodies inside. My ritual was
to put my covers over my head like a tent and open my stocking goodies by flashlight. It wasn't that you got a whole lot of stuff in your stocking,
just some treats and a few nick-knacks, but it was Christmas! Christmas was finally here!
My parents had this agonizing tradition of having my favorite breakfast (French Toast) with all the fixings BEFORE anyone could open presents. I only
got French Toast about twice a year, and I remember the frustration of having to try to hurry through my favorite breakfast to see what Santa had
brought for everyone. It was the only time I gobbled it down, and anxiously helped Mom clean the table and dishes. C'mon people, let's get to the
presents part! When breakfast was over we all went to the living room, and I remember it struck me that I hadn't really looked out the window yet.
Oh my gosh, we got dumped on with snow!! There must have been 24" of snow and it was still snowing...a truly WHITE CHRISTMAS!
Now, I'd never seen the 1954 movie 'White Christmas' with Bing Crosby (at least I don't think I had) by that point in my life, and I would later
see the similarities between the movie and that day in 1971, but it was a very similar feeling. It had snowed so much we were actually snowed-in!
All of us, together, snowed in. There was a fire in the fireplace and food aplenty, but just that insulated feeling of everyone together and being
snowed in was magical.
I remember I got just about everything I could have wanted for Christmas...and then some, but for some odd reason that wasn't the point. I can even
remember thinking to myself I would always remember that Christmas, and how I needed to take advantage of everything about it. Suddenly opening
presents didn't seem nearly as important as getting outside and trying to make a snow angel, but the snow was too deep for that. I remember getting
a couple gifts where it would have been better if there was no snow to try them out, but it didn't matter. It snowed, it was Christmas and we were
all together. That's what mattered.
To this day, I look back on that Christmas nearly 50 years ago as the moment Christmas became more about the moment than about what 'stuff' you got.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
God Bless, and Merry Christmas!