It’s been a busy lead up to Christmas this year, between a late Thanksgiving, my birthday, holiday planning, and looking for work once I was notified that my temp job would be ending in January. (Still working on that one.) Christmas has always been a special time of year for me, as for many other people, and I’m so happy to be spending it in my own place this year with Thad. We have it all decorated with a tree, candles, and my grandma’s Christmas village. Grandma Jean and I would always put up the village together, so when she died, I inherited it. It glows so warmly in the dark. I wish she was here to see it.
Christmasses as a kid were always BIG. Grandma Jean loved to shop, so each of us would have a big pile of presents that we’d take turns opening while munching on snacks from the kitchen. Periodically, Papa would go outside to get more logs for the fire, filling the living room with a refreshing *woooosh* of chilly air when he opened up the door to the porch or Uncle Scott or Uncle Lee would toss discarding wrapping paper on the fire. Every once in a while, one of my cousins (usually Chase) would yell out “KIDS’ TURN!!” and we would all unwrap something at once. For me, it was usually Beanie Babies, Littlest Petshop playsets, Poly Pockets, or something 101 Dalmatians or Lion King-themed. (When I got older, it was Breyer Horses.)
Thinking of all my favorite ’90s toys is making me super nostalgic. Out of all of the presents I’ve gotten, two stand out as being most memorable. By my best estimation, the first one was in 1997. I just loved dogs as a kid, and like I am now, was very into sci-fi and fantasy. When I saw the “Dog Wars” t-shirt in the Big Dog Catalogue, I wanted it really badly. I honestly do not think I’ve ever wanted a “thing” so much as I wanted that shirt and I ever had the picture taped onto my desk for a while. It was a dog-themed Star Wars parody, and the characters had super-clever names like “Poochess Lea.” I did end up getting it for Christmas that year, as my last gift of the holidays. I must have outgrown it/don’t have it anymore, but I did find a picture of one on ebay so you could see it in all its glory.
I got my second most memorable gift in 2008. When I was a kid, I wasn’t terribly interested in the concept of future relationships or weddings or anything and didn’t spend much time thinking about it. However, for whatever reason, I did have the notion that if I had a boyfriend, he would buy me a special necklace that I’d wear all the time. No idea why. 2008 was the year Thad and I started dating and thus it was our first Christmas together. His gift to me that year was a silver heart necklace. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it was simple, very pretty, and very me. True to my childhood conception of what I would do, I’ve worn that necklace pretty much constantly over the past five years and don’t feel completely dressed without it.
Tonight we’re opening our presents together, tomorrow we’re spending time with both our families, and this weekend we’re going to a wedding in Virginia so we’ll continue to be busy. I’m looking forward to slowing down and reflecting at the Christmas Eve service tonight, though, and thinking about the birth of Jesus and all the great and crazy changes that happened this year.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Bonus discussion question: what was your favorite Christmas present(s)?