Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Memories

Christmas has been and will always be my favorite holiday. My childhood was filled with many joyous Christmas celebrations. I can close my eyes and recall the bright lights on our Christmas tree, how my mother carefully hung our handmade Christmas ornaments (think reindeers out of ice cream sticks, paper snowflakes, etc.), and how we would all rush outside to see how the tree looked through the window.

As I got older, the Christmas traditons of my childhood seemed a bit "hokey" to me. I was a cool teenager, and as such, thought spending too much time with my family was uncool. I would grudingly participate in the tree trimming, then rush out the door to hit the mall with friends. I assumed that I had outgrown the need for these silly traditions. And I retained that view, until my junior year of college, when a job committment prevented me from participating in my Traditional Christmas .

On this particular year, I was unable to go home until Christmas Eve. And I had to leave again shortly after unwrapping my gifts on Christmas morning. I was unable to share our family's Christmas dinner, or the tradition of riding through the town to view the Christmas lights. Instead, I spent the majority of my Christmas holiday driving the lonely stretches of I-16 and I-75, which connect South Georgia to the big city of Atlanta. On Christmas afternoon, I returned to an empty apartment and an overwhelming since of loss. For the first time in quite awhile, I actually missed those "hokey" things my parents, sister, and I shared. Luckily, K.D. invited me to share the remainder of Christmas with her family, therby rescuing me from my doldrums.

After that year, I renewed my participation in those traditions. No matter where I am each year, I return home to help my parents trim our tree. And I always spend Christmas morning in my parents house. In the past 3 years, my Christmas traditions have expanded to include celebrations with my Aunt and Jamie's family.

The days continue to pass by and as such, my mind fills with Christmas memories of old and the promise of Christmas memories to come.