Growing up, we lived in the same area as the majority of our family.  All our aunts and uncles and cousins got together every Christmas Eve (Mom’s side of the family) and Christmas Day (Dad’s side of the family).  I miss those family gatherings and the chaos of so many people in one house during a Wisconsin winter. 

The adults would catch up with each other on the important goings-on of their lives, and us cousins would play games and anxiously await for dinner to be finished and the dishes to be cleaned.  At any one time a cousin would be asking a parent in an exasperated breath, “Can we open the presents NOW??”

These days the family gatherings are missing some people and they don’t happen on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day anymore.  Everyone has so much going on that planning all the get togethers is a mission in compromise.  There is only so many times that we will make the trips back to our hometowns in the winter.  Last year we had a harrowing drive home, and I don’t want a repeat this year.

Our children…what will they remember of the Christmas season?  The gatherings may be smaller, but they are still full of love.  The grownups still wait until the dishes are cleared and cleaned before the unwrapping furor begins.  The anticipation of the Christmas chaos is still there. 

We make our memories every year, and each year I want to make sure those memories are full of love, laughter, family and friends.  I want to make sure they understand why we are celebrating, and that giving is as wonderful as receiving.  I think we are starting down that path.

Here is a scan of a scrapbook page that my mom did for me.  If you click on it you can see it bigger.  That second picture?  That is an expression I see on my own little 3 year old. The past is present. 🙂


What memories do you have to share today? 🙂