Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ghosts of Christmas Past

My children and I decorated our Christmas tree last night and I got to thinking about all my Christmas yesterdays. There is 40 of them. I got engaged on Christmas Eve, slept through Christmas Eve and almost beat the crap out of my ex sister in law on Christmas Eve. Good times, good times. 

The first Christmas Eve I really remember is when I was five years old, so that was 1979. My dad had remarried and won custody of my sister, me and my baby brother. He married Faye and she brought into the marriage her nephew who would become my new brother because my Dad adopted him. David was the same age as my brother Donnie, they were both born in 1976. What is special about that Christmas is my parents really went overboard with the presents and David became one of us.

Another Christmas past I was mad at my sister in law. She was married to my brother David and she wasn't ready for children in my opinion. My niece was having a lot of problems and the sister in law had been shaking her. She was running her mouth and I went off...you guys should have seen it, my sister was holding me back and my fingers were grasping out trying to get my hands on her, it was a sight and I was slightly embarrassed to be acting so trashy on the holiday because I was at my Granny's house. My cousin Mike joked with me about how he knew we were related after watching that debacle. 

Bo asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve one year. I thought I'd be married to him until forever. It was not meant to be though and that's okay. It is a bittersweet memory now and I try not to dwell on it in my mind because he is another woman's husband now and everything is as it should be. 

Then there was the Christmas Eve that I actually slept through. I was being a bit Bah Humbug that year because being a 22 year old that worked third shift and that partied every day, I was exhausted or so I thought. I got off work Christmas Eve morning and went to bed and woke up Christmas Day. I missed all the festivities so I drove to Granny's house as fast as I could to explain. She was very understanding and I spent a few hours with her that day. 

My step mom would play a record with the chipmunks singing Christmas carols and plug in the tree and we would listen to those songs and look at the lights dancing on the Christmas tree while waiting for the bus to come pick us up before school. Every time I hear one of those songs that is the memory that comes swooping back in. 

My granddaddy would hang mistletoe every year at his house between the living room and kitchen and as a kid I would randomly stand under it so someone would hug me or kiss me on the forehead. We would sing Christmas carols, exchange gifts and have a delicious meal. It's A Wonderful Life would be playing in the background on Channel 7. I'm closing my eyes right now and I can see him, my granddaddy, playing his harmonica and taking pictures. He really valued family and the time spent with them.

Those are just a few of my many memories of Christmas. There is a definitive magic in the air during this time of year. Time to make new memories with my boys and remember the old and incorporate some of the old traditions with new traditions. Your past does mold you and it becomes part of the landscape of your experience.