What Is Your Best Christmas Memory?

presentsToday was a red-letter day for me. I got taken out for a small excursion to Home Depot to buy a lightbulb, look at the Christmas plants and trees, and enjoy a hot dog for lunch.  The trade-off was sitting in the SUV waiting for my driver to run several of his own errands, since it was neither practical nor timely to lug my customized wheelchair out from the back; assemble it; and afterwards, disassemble it at every stop.

Mind you, my driver would have been quite happy to do that, I know – but since the other stops had no Christmas plants and trees to look at, it was a dark, ice-wet day and I was guiltily full from the hot dog (besides having zero interest in car parts or groceries), I opted to stay in the nice warm SUV and listen to the radio.

I was glad I did. A Dee-Jay from a Barrie station down south (whose name I unfortunately didn’t catch) was speaking about Christmas. He offered his listeners a challenge. His topic was the insanity of Christmas shopping, and how gifts have gotten away from being meaningful, personal tokens, and are now all about high ticket items, with children not even taught to write thank you letters any more. (That last bit was mine, and probably dates me.)

Was It The Presents or The People?

The Dee-Jay wanted to know… what do you remember most about your most special Christmases from childhood? Was it the presents… or the people?

For me it always was – and still is – family.  It was singing carols with my dad, decorating the Christmas tree, our Polish Christmas barzcz and pierogies, the fairy lights, going to Midnight Mass and just the whole feeling of Christmas in general. For me, since Christ is the core of my life, it was a very Holy time.  Which was a good thing, because in post-War Glasgow, presents were few.

Oh, I have had some memorable presents – but they weren’t “big” ones. And the presents I do remember were all meaningful because of the connection; because of the love put into them…  like the rag doll called Julie that my mother sewed herself…  the “real” doll she saved up for in the local Greengrocer’s Christmas Club when I was 8 (the year after my brother’s death), putting in precious pennies a week…  her Christmas Orange Pomanders… knitting from my sister… carved wooden toys from my brother. And nowadays, my mother-in-law Gwen’s special shortbread.

What about you?  What do you remember most about your Christmas past: the presents or the people? What was your most memorable Christmas – and why?

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