Nothing like Christmas to really make you appreciate your family. The week of Thanksgiving, we bought our Christmas Tree and got it decorated and I thought about the day after Thanksgiving, which is usually when we used to decorate the tree at home. Even if we had to work that day, someone would just save the ornaments that were ours, and we'd put them on later. So it was fun to let Cole hang up his first ornament that was just his! He put on a few of mine, too, but I didn't mind sharing. I just rearranged them a bit later. We couldn't have ALL the ornaments at the bottom! Some of them were given to me by my parents, but I remember a Christmas in West Valley and getting bears with knit caps from Aunt Suzanne and Uncle Brian. At least I'm pretty sure they gave them to us... :) And then there are the wooden block bears we made at the Godfrey Family reunion one year. I guess I made mine a little wrong, but then again I've always had a different artistic view than the instructions say I should have. Each one reminds me of some Christmas moment with my family at various points in my life. I like those reminders.
I baked some Christmas cookies, too, and remembered the cookie tube things my mom had to squirt out the dough (not squirt exactly, but I don't know what else to say) into various cookie designs. I remember the Cathedral Window cookies and how I always liked the butterscotch better than the chocolate. Mom knew this, and there was always two butterscotch to one chocolate since I wasn't the only one with that preference! I remember her buying the sugar cookies from the store with designs already colored into the dough, and getting the red-filled oreo cookies. They looked weird but always tasted good!
We hung up lights in the house, and I remembered how the house was always decorated inside and out. I put out the santa and snowman pillows, and Cathy has the same ones I do somewhere. I've hung up my stocking with care, and picture the other matching stockings, cross-stitched with care by my mom that the rest of us have, too! (well, maybe not everyone, but we can't expect my mom to whip those out THAT fast!) The apartment is festive and I'm going to hate taking it all down!
There are presents under the tree in various papers with bows, some without, some with tags, green paper and red, plaid, and even a little bit of blue! I remember my Dad handing out the presents one by one, and hoarding his presents in a pile because he was too interested in watching the rest of us open things up and exclaim over the wonderful things we'd been given. "It's just what I always wanted, a Christmas de-light!" And then finally we'd make HIM open up a few. And then we got to see HIM get excited about his gifts which was fun for US.
The first year I spent away from my family was last year. I spent it with a friend and although the people were different, somehow it felt just about the same. This year, I get to have it with a new family, and I'm excited to see their exclamations of delight with their presents! I always like to search for that elusive PERFECT present for my family... it seems like I can only find one or two things per year that are just right! This year I think it's for Cathy's family and Jesse. I'm pretty sure I struck present GOLD for both of them. I guess we'll see. It makes me happy to know they're so happy. For some reason this season, in spite of a few troubles, I feel fair to bursting with joy and happiness. I hope you are, too! And may all your Christmases this year be as merry as I feel right now! Cuz if they are, you can bet they'll be great!