As Christmas comes closer and closer, I begin to reminisce about the magical days of childhood. I have so many favorite memories of Christmas. It is hard to keep everything in order, so each little story listed here may or may not be in correct order. Blame it on the fact that it's 9:20pm, and I'm already feeling like it's an hour past my bedtime. I can't hang like I used to...
One of the clearest memories I have is also one of the most precious ones. My sister and I had wanted a dog for awhile. One of my mom's students had puppies at his house. I think their last names were Hammond. Anyway, we went to see these little beagle and cocker spaniel mixed puppies. We fell in love with a little white one with black spots. Christmas Eve rolled around, and my sister and I couldn't sleep a wink. This was nothing new. I could never sleep well on Christmas Eve. I still don't to this day:) If I remember correctly, my parents had kept the puppy over at the neighbor's house until Christmas morning. I think my dad put the puppy in a box and carried her into the living room. She jumped out and raced back to our bedroom! I believe she went straight to my sister, who has always had a special bond with any animal. This sweet little dog was named "calamity", after my mom's dog growing up. She truly did cause calamity, but she was so loving and loyal. Every kid should have a dog, and I hope one day we can give a puppy to Jonah. It HAS to have a red ribbon, just to make it picture perfect!
Another Christmas memory I have was when we got bikes. We had picked these out earlier, and mine was a white background with different shades of purple. My sister and I sneaked into the living room early that morning to check it out. We had to tell each other to act surprised when we came back in. Sorry mom and dad.
Another year, we both got "Baby Talk". Does anyone remember these babydolls? You would press a button, which I think was on their body somewhere. It would talk to you and bat its eyes. Kinda creepy now that I think of it, but my cousin Jenny had one, and we were smitten! My mom got two straw baskets and placed pink blankets in them. Our baby dolls were then placed in the baskets. How cute! We loved those baby dolls.
It is not only the big gifts that I remember well. I will never forget a sweater my Nana gave me. I'm not quite sure why this sweater is so vivid in my imagination. It was cream-colored with pastel pinks and purple flowers that had some glittery sequins in certain areas of the flower. Sounds so 80s doesn't it? I loved that sweater. I felt pretty in it. I also got a walkman. Now that was too cool. Along with the walkman came a tape: CARMAN!!! O my...that was a fun tape. I still remember all the songs. We also got sleds. Blue with yellow handles. We probably used them once, but it sure was fun. We would walk around the neighborhood to a huge hill and slide down with our neighbors Katie, Tammy, and Michael.
Now Christmas is not complete without the Wentz tradition. Every Christmas morning, my sister and I would have to stand at the end of the hallway and pose for a thousand pictures. We would be in some scratchy wool pajama that had a peter pan collar. We would kneel down, and wait in anticipation! We had to wait for the Christmas music before we could run into the living room. Now, this Christmas music was played on a record player! There is nothing like the sound of music from a record player. I hope to have one again someday, because it is something every kid should hear around Christmastime. So, my dad would dramatically take forever to turn the record player on, and eventually we would hear it and dash down the hall!
Once into the living room, I wouldn't dare look at the tree, under it, or on the couch. See, there were presents under the tree wrapped and on the couch unwrapped! I had to focus on one thing at a time. We would go to the stockings first. There would always be socks, underwear, candy, gum, probably thank you notes, and a beanie baby. Well, not always a beanie baby, but we would have some sort of cutesy stuffed animal sticking out. Stockings are so much fun. We would then go to the couch, where some clothes would be laid out. You could always count on a special book. Oh, and don't forget the calendars and the Bath and Body Works! We also would have a little Starbucks iced coffee tied with a ribbon on the coffee table. Then, head for under the tree! You would probably find an ornament somewhere in one of the wrapped presents! We get an ornament every year, and I am always curious to see what it will be.
Growing up, we weren't the richest nor the poorest family around. I know my parents worked very hard to provide for our family, and they still do. As they both were teachers, I am sure some Christmases took sacrifices. I never knew anything but pure fun. I never felt that I lacked anything. I had magical Christmases, and I remembered why we celebrated Christmas. See, what I didn't mention here was that I knew we gave gifts because God gave us the greatest gift: Jesus. Christmas Eve was always spent at church, singing carols and seeing long lost friends. We would eat dinner at Bobbie and Dan's house, and we would have wrestling matches with our cousins Hugh and Charles. I cherish these times, and I still stand at the end of the hallway with my sister. Patrick has joined in now, and we still pose for the cheesy picture. This Christmas, cherish the time with your family. Make Christmas last longer than just while opening presents. Don't think it is over just because the presents are unwrapped and the turkey is half eaten. In the silence on Christmas Eve, when you can't sleep, and you refuse to admit it is because you are excited, remember the tiny baby. Remember the sacrifice, and don't feel silly for running down the hallway in your red nightgown with its peter pan collar.