Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas memories...

The hubs and I have been up in the "maker" room the last few days...I'm working on gifts, he's working on all our old photos. He came across some old cassette tapes and decided to plug them in to see what was on there. One of the tapes contains all my kid's at a much earlier age singing Christmas was something we always did this time of year, they'd gather around the piano while I played and they'd sing their hearts out.

This particular recording was without the piano however, and I think they were "practicing" before walking over to Grandma's to sing for her out in the yard! It brought to mind the last year we did this, it was the first Christmas after my brother Steve had passed away from a motorcycle accident...Mom was standing at her back door listening when we decided to sing "I'll be Home for Christmas"...tears began to form in her eyes as she recalled to us a phone call from Steve years ago when he was stationed in Greece. He'd called to tell her he'd been listening to the song and wishing he was "home". I think Mom had already been revisiting her memories, both happy and sad, before we had arrived, because she also said Steve had been on her mind for some reason that evening.

My kids were concerned they'd upset their Grandma and commented on the walk home "we'd better leave that one out next year"! I recall telling them no...that such is the way of grow up (as they had done), move on and life changes. I was already feeling the changes within our own family and knew there would come a time when all those things we had once done would be no more. My children now all have children of their own and they're making their own memories....some are reminiscent of their Christmas's past and some of them are new ones they are now adding.

Does it make me sad? In some ways it does...I couldn't help but tear up myself listening to their voices on that tape and the memories that came flooding back of the many past Christmas's. I could see my youngest daughter breaking into a jig dance in the middle of the living room to a bluegrass style Christmas tune...once again I see the oldest daughter in her bathrobe and "high kicking" across the kitchen to the tune of "Mandy" from White Christmas, and there was our son, with a rubber band around his forehead attempting to do some kind of Chinese kung fu face and hollering because the rubber band got caught in his hair!!

Perhaps it makes me sentimental and sappy, but I love Christmas! It's always been my favorite time of year because it seems to always be a time of "revisiting" memories, but that is the part I love the most, even with the sadness thrown in. I decorate my tree to the sound of old CD's where a particular song brings to mind my dad and those things that might have been or even could have been, the year I was ice skating on the pond and just "knew" my grandmother had passed away, or one that reminds me of the year we lost my nephew Bub at such a young age. I see my mother decorating our Christmas tree, and  I can hear another brother pointing out to me a red light making it's way across the sky one Christmas Eve was in fact Rudolph pulling Santa's sleigh! Some are sad, some are happy, but they are all a part of me and I love to bring them out this time of year, dust them off and recall them all.

We'll never tromp up the driveway to sing Christmas songs again, but who day it may be me standing at the back door listening to my grandchildren as they sing Christmas carols and more than likely, I will still be recalling our Christmas's past...both happy and sad. What would sadden me more would be if we cease to make memories at all.

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