These (and many, many more) are all the memories of Christmases past, and I know there will be many more ... especially as Aaron eventually starts a family of his own. They are memories that I cherish, and I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. Merry Christmas!
Christmas has always been a time of memories for me, and as my husband and I get older, we find ourselves hanging on to those memories more and more.
When I was very small, my parents would not decorate the tree until after I had gone to bed Christmas Eve. Tree decorating was apparently one of Santa's many duties when he made his whirlwind trip around the world that night, and it was always a wonderful sight to get up on Christmas morning and find a beautiful, real tree with all the colorful gifts underneath.
I, in turn, always left Santa a piece of my mother's traditional coconut cake waiting for him on the kitchen table. After all, decorating all those trees and leaving all those presents all over the world had to make him pretty darn hungry!
The amazing thing was, even after I was old enough to realize the real Santa lives in our hearts, there always seemed to be a rather large piece of coconut cake that disappeared before Christmas Day dawned. I'm sure it didn't have anything to do with the fact that coconut cake was one of my dad's favorites.
Later, when I had a family of my own, we never considered the fact that tree decorating was one of Santa's duties, especially since our home usually has at least one tree in every one of our eight rooms –– counting the bathroom –– and often more than that.
In those early days, we also often found ourselves quite occupied with elf work into the wee hours –– trying to read the directions to some complicated toy and finally just balling the directions up and tossing them in the trash, finding the Nike motto (Just Do It) a much easier and quicker method.
Instead of coconut cake, our son would leave cookies and a Coke because everyone knows Santa drinks Coke, which would taste mighty good after several hours of “insert Tab A into Slot B.”
One year, my husband and I gave up on the elf work and solicited the help of one of his siblings in putting together a battery-operated Power Wheels Jeep. The only problem was, they put the rather large Jeep together at their house, and then we had the task of bringing it home unnoticed by our son Aaron and getting it into the house.
Dropping Aaron off for a while at another family member's house, we found we had to take the Jeep back apart again to get it into our van for transport back to the house. So much for our wonderful idea.
As any parent will tell you, though, it was all worth it when we saw the look on our son's face as he came down the stairs that morning and saw the humongous Jeep sitting among his other gifts at the foot of the Christmas tree.
He climbed into the Jeep and refused to get out. He opened the rest of his gifts while sitting in the driver's seat. At one point, he accidentally hit the “gas” pedal, mowing down all the gifts in front of him. Instead of stopping, he, of course, hit reverse and finished off the gifts behind him. Luckily, nothing was broken.
The little guy drove the Jeep to grandma's house for Christmas dinner that day. I don't remember how we got him out of the Jeep to eat, but I'm sure it was not easy.
After he got bigger, the toys became more expensive, but I have to tell you that some of my fondest memories were formed after the busy-ness of the day was over and the leftovers put away. He would take his latest Xbox game to his room and invite me to sit and watch him win the race, shoot the bad guys, or (my favorite) master the latest Guitar Hero song. Sometimes he even invited me to play, but he soon realized I wasn't much of an opponent. After all, I grew up even before Pong and Pac-Man were blipping across the screen on many families' televisions.
These (and many, many more) are all the memories of Christmases past, and I know there will be many more ... especially as Aaron eventually starts a family of his own. They are memories that I cherish, and I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.
May your Christmas be filled with wonderful memories this year. Merry Christmas!