Christmas memories. Ah, the holiday of all holidays. Every year I wished we could be like normal families and celebrate Christmas. Every year my parents insisted on keeping the No Holiday rules. I decided that if I ever had children they would at least get presents on Christmas.
I met the husband and we danced around the whole Christmas issue. After all, being faithful to our high calling was very important. There would be no first Christmas together. No memories made. It seemed that my life would be a continuation of the holiday ban.
Then the boy was born. It took everything in me to not want to buy the kid a Christmas present. At the last minute the husband agreed. We could at least buy our kid a gift…or two.
I was ecstatic. I bought him a couple presents. Purchased wrapping paper and couldn’t wait for the time. He was only 8 months old, but I was determined to make my son have a Christmas. There was no tree. No lights. Nothing to say that it was Christmas. Just the boy, two presents and his parents. I was hooked.
Each year I began to bring Christmas into our home as much as I could. Snowmen seemed to be acceptable, so snowmen began to show up on the piano, the window, the table. We let the boy watch the Christmas movies we remembered from our childhood. I became brave and sent cards to our families (outside the church of course).
Then the girl joined our family. We lived in the country, far away from the church. No one visited us. Finally, in the solitude, the husband let me have Christmas. I had icicle lights and I loved them. I added pine and twinkle lights on the mantle. Because we were both convicted about idolatry we agreed to no tree. It was enough for me.
I loved shopping for my kids. Thinking of ways to surprise them on Christmas morning was a blast. It was during this time that I began the stockings.
The kids would wake up on Christmas morning, sit on the couch and find their surprises in the stockings. How much fun it was to stuff those stockings! Candy. Socks. Gloves. Toys. Each year was something different. I loved to watch their faces. It was everything I wanted Christmas to be.
I’ve kept the tradition. Even when we made trips to Grammy and Grandpa’s house in Phoenix. As the kids grew they began to sneak down and get their stockings before waking us up. I’d giggle as I heard their little footsteps running up the stairs, bracing for the impact. They’d jump on the bed, diving in to see what surprises momma had in store for them. Some of my favorite memories are those times.
This year, I just wasn’t into Christmas. I made a comment that maybe we could not do Christmas this year. No tree. No lights. No stockings. The protest was loud! I didn’t realize how much my kids enjoy the effort I have taken to make Christmas for them. So, I began the task of shopping and filling their stockings. And I once again found my Christmas spirit.
I know my years of stocking fairy are coming to an end, which is sad. However, I’m happy that I made the decision to make memories for our kids. Even if it defied the rules or made my kids different from the other kids. Because at the end of my life, I know, my kids will look back and say that their momma made Christmas fun.