Christmas is almost here.
This magical time of year means so many things as it brings people together. It’s a celebration with family and friends, sharing good times and traditions, with holiday decorations throughout the house. And the food. Almost every family has a special recipe or two for Christmas.
Memories are powerful as we reflect.
How many of you would step back in time to Christmas past? Maybe Christmas as a child, for just one day?
Can you see your parents wrapping presents on Christmas Eve, thinking the kids are asleep? Or putting that bike you wanted together? A freshly cut Christmas tree, dripping with tinsel you put on one at a time? A Christmas stocking with your name on it, hanging on the mantel?
Or friends and family arriving, bringing laughter and memories? Special dishes?
It might be a fond memory of your mother or grandmother in the kitchen finishing those wonderful dishes for Christmas Eve. Oh, the aromas as cookies and pies baked in the oven. Do you remember helping your mom make cookies or other Christmas treats?
Did you sit at the “kids table” wishing you could sit at the “adult table?”
Carolers went door-to-door singing Christmas carols. Your mom may have given them a cup of hot chocolate and some of those homemade cookies.
Your parents may have read to you “The Night Before Christmas”, a classic by Clement Moore.
You eagerly awaited the arrival of Santa Claus, and left cookies for him and carrots for his reindeer.
Waking up early Christmas morning, you found cookies gone, carrots gone. Yes! He was there, and he left a stack of presents under the tree.
Every family has their own traditions of the season, unique to themselves or their culture, which are handed down through the years and become the wonderful things you look forward to every year.
A friend shared the tradition of their parents hiding Christmas presents in a garbage can, thinking the kids wouldn’t find them there. The family of another went to the movies on Christmas Eve. Some open one present the night before Christmas.
A Christmas Eve tradition of my family, that I continue to this day, is the Italian feast of the seven fishes. My father would go down to the Fulton Street Market in Chicago and get fresh fish for our Christmas Eve Dinner.
I hope you enjoyed the look back.
A very merry and blessed Christmas, everyone!
This column was first published in the December edition of InMaricopa magazine.