Christmas Happens

Christmas has that unique ability to take us back to a special memory or moment in time, which we only think of during the Christmas season.

And as my girls get more and more into the Christmas spirit, I am reminded of many great Christmas memories.  Memories that are probably only be special to me, but that is exactly what makes them so special – the fact they’re mine.

However, what good is a good memory if it can’t be recalled.  About the same as a good story that can’t be retold.  So, here are a few of my favorite, or most unique, memories of Christmas:

  • Night before Christmas
  • Not so much the evening before Christmas as much as the time between evening and morning.  I could never sleep Christmas Eve.  I would fight going to sleep until I finally gave in to exhaustion only to wake up at 4:00 am. Only problem was I was not allowed to leave the room to see if Santa came until 6:00 am. This meant 2-3 hours of Nintendo, reading, movies, etc… By lunch on Christmas Day, I was shot. And to be honest, I still get excited and don’t sleep very well.

  • Complete football uniform complete with helmet and shoulder pads
  • After seeing the complete football uniform, I opened it right of way and put it on. I then marched into my parents room slapping the helmet and pads thinking I was ready to play some ball. After getting into a three point stance and yelling “Hut, Hut” a few times, I was quickly reminded it was only 6:05 and everyone else in the house was still asleep.

    The uniform set got much play as we used it for every game. To make it fair, we would separate the set so one person got the helmet and the other got the pads.  Didn’t take long to figure out you wanted the helmet.

  • My first bottle of cologne – Stetson
  • The cologne didn’t last long as I tried to put it on that evening for dinner and it spilled. I didn’t care as I figured I was just being covered in more awesome. I no longer wear nor own cologne, but every once in a while I’ll get a smell of some good stuff and want to bathe in it.

  • My first Walkman
  • The very first “Music Monday” occurred on a Christmas morning as I received a Walkman and two full length cassettes. My introduction – Vanilla Ice’s “To the Extreme”, with smash hit Ice, Ice, Baby and my favorite Stop that Train, and MC Hammer’s “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em”. It’s been downhill from there.

  • Alan Kulwicki remote control race car
  • Complete posthumous replica of Kulwicki’s championship car. This was the fastest remote control car I’ve ever driven (from what I remember) and Dad and I enjoyed racing and playing with this thing. However, the car didn’t last long though as it met a brick wall and rolled a few times on the driveway/street. The debate still rages as to who really finished it off, but this is my blog, so I’m laying the blame on Dad (even though he could literally drive circles around me).

  • The scooter
  • My favorite memory of all. Some of the details are fuzzy, but I remember coming upstairs (my room was on the bottom floor) for Christmas and everyone was already awake. And as I came to the top step, I was able to look into the living room where Santa leaves the gifts. However, it wasn’t Santa’s gift area I noticed first, but my grandmother, Memaw, riding one of my gifts around the living room.

    This was the year of the scooter and its first foray came not from me, but from Memaw. I’ll never forget her trying to figure that scooter out and having the worst time trying to stay up. Not because it was hard to ride, but because she was laughing too hard to keep her balance.

We try hard to make Christmas special for those around us, and we have good intentions. However, it isn’t the parties or the gifts or the sweaters we remember the most, but the moments. And these moments can’t be bought or planned. They just happen.

And they are better than any gift I’ve ever received – outside of Vanilla Ice, of course.

And my goal is to create memories and moments for our girls to have, because they’ll soon forget about the tea set and the dollhouse and the dress up clothes, but hopefully they’ll remember me the way I remember my youth.

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