Eighteen. That’s how many Christmas mornings I spent with my family growing up before moving out on my own.
Of those 18 Christmas Days, my fondest memories involve the excitement surrounding Christmas Eve. Yes – Santa. We were kids, so of course we were excited about Santa. But midnight Mass was always cool. There was something neat about seeing your friends in the wee hours of the night. The snow always fell behind the altar at St. Robert Bellarmine in Redford, Michigan. It was so very Christmas card worthy! And remembering the birth of Jesus always came first!
The rush to get home in the silence of a snowy night was always exciting to me. Exhausted from staying up so late, my sister and I would fall asleep easily in our new flannel nightgowns, even while listening for Santa’s sleigh bells.
My stocking every year had lifesavers candy in it. My mother always made us new clothes for our dolls, and one year I received Chrissy & Velvet Dolls. When I was older I remember being excited about a manicure set, some little girly stuff from Avon, and my first bottle of perfume – Charlie! In the afternoons we’d get dressed and ice skate in front of our house while Mum got dinner ready.
My favorite Christmas was when I had the Hong Kong flu, the doctor made a house call on Christmas Eve, and the next morning I was too sick to open presents. Why one of my favorites? Because I can still remember the feel of my lavender colored flannel pajamas with the wide purple ribbon that was weaved in and out of a piece of lace horizontally across the top, meeting in the middle to tie a perfect bow. How I loved those PJ’s! They were so pretty!
Mostly though, I remember just being able to stay in my pajamas all day, and enjoying the smells coming from the kitchen of a dinner that would be unforgettable, followed by home made apple pie. We always had apple pie!
My favorite memories involved people, the kitchen smells, the time together around the table, and being home – in our own house.
I think this year I’m going to have a very childish, reminiscent kind of Christmas. I may even get on line and order myself a new pair of flannel pajamas from the Vermont Country Store tonight. You won’t catch me attempting to ice skate, but I just might bake an apple pie!