I never feel relieved when the holidays are over.
In fact, I wish they'd stretch out just a bit longer.
I must confess, I love Christmas. And Easter. And even Thanksgiving.
But Christmas... What other holiday has an entire season dedicated to it?
The best part of Christmas? The memories it creates.
Sometimes it's the little things. Last year I saw the play "Christmas Shoes" for the first time. In the weeks leading up to Christmas our church performed one scene every week at the beginning of Sunday services. I couldn't wait to see the entire performance on Christmas Eve. And it was amazing.
Many years ago Spendy's mother-in-law sang Silent Night in German, the language it was originally written in, during a Christmas Eve service. As the last notes of Silent Night were sung last week and we blew out the candles at the end of the Christmas Eve service I had tears in my eyes, as I always do. My brother-in-law turned to me and said what I was thinking - "I'll never forget hearing my mother Silent Night."
Taking Moose to cut down a Christmas tree for the first time.
The Christmas I let someone else talk me into a scrawny, sad little Christmas tree that try as I might, still looked like the ugly stepbrother to Charlie Brown's tree.
The year Ziggy was allowed to choose her own gift for me. I wore those shiny gold slippers proudly. (But not publicly).
The best Christmas gifts don't have to cost a lot, it's the memories they create. I love the nook I received this year but I'll never forget the year TK framed the wrinkled and torn piece of paper we had written our wedding vows on.
We decorate our tree with ornaments that have withstood years of abuse - from Moose's Baby's First Christmas ornament that has the wrong year written on it to the red handprint from a three year old Ziggy. We have tried to purchase or make a special ornament each year to add to our collection on the tree. The tree whose theme is simply "Us."
Cinamon rolls and orange juice while opening presents. I can't remember a Christmas without them.
Santa wrapping his gifts in special paper that features his smiling, bearded face. Every single year. Something I just recently learned has gone entirely unnoticed by everyone but me.
This year, as we prepared for Christmas with the added bonus of two new members of the family, memories of Christmases past kept coming back while new memories were being created right before me.
We've had a lot of firsts. First Christmas with Moose. First Christmas with Ziggy. First Christmas as a single parent. First Christmas as a blended family. First Christmas without my family. First Christmas at Beck House.
This year we add another first to the list of firsts - our first Christmas with the Rugrats. And with that, so many happy moments and memories to reflect back on in the future.
Isn't Christmas great???