Thursday, December 10, 2009

Memories of Christmas Past

I can remember being a child and being downstairs with all the other kids on Christmas Eve. We were sitting on the steps looking up trying to see anything under the door... we saw Santa's red boot under the door. Just a bit... we all scrambled so fast to our new assigned beds. Usually we slept upstairs. And so the dreams of Santa continued on that night. By this point, my brother was telling us that he wasn't real. I think he was more excited that night than we were.

(I'm in the middle)

Then there was the year that I had the chicken pox on Christmas day. I'm walking around polka dotted in the living room and crying cusp we couldn't go see my grandma and grandpa. God bless his soul. The cheer and laughter that was shared among my family was so amazing. The look of happiness upon my mother's face as we all giggled and unwrapped gifts. My mom has always done Christmas to the hilt. She has always spoiled us all rotten. Christmas was to me as a child one of the most joyous occasions. It was one of the most special moments of seeing my mother so incredibly happy.

As I grew older and got married the first time, I remember the very first Christmas that Michael and I shared as a married couple.  The love that was in our hearts and not much else.  We had just gotten married come this Monday, December 14.  The excitement that was on his face.  The joy in my heart.  We had his foster family around us to celebrate.  Marsha (my kid's biological mom) was part of that joy.  She was 4 years old.  There was so much laughter in the air.  We decorated trees and we laughed together.  Michael told me that year that if he had known me before he would have changed everything about himself.  We didn't know that in a month he would have no sight.  We were dirt poor and so in love that it simply didn't matter.  Isn't that a wonderful feeling? 

After he was gone, I created a new tradition where I would go to my sisters and send them out for the night so that my niece and nephews could make a gingerbread house.  We would laugh and giggle as the house would fall apart on some occasions.  I remember watching as the gingerbread house started from one little house to a landscaped house later on in another year.  I knew by this point that I would not be having in children so I chose to take whatever time I could with my nieces and nephews to fill that void in me.

Then there was that beautiful first Christmas with my husband, Ken.  My family had always been dysfunctional.  Actually sometimes I think we gave new meaning to that word.  Here I was in a family that was so incredibly close to me.  Let me tell you it scared me.  I didn't understand this closeness.  I always (even to this day) have to put space between us.  I didn't grow up with this closeness in a family.  Oh I dreamed about it but to see it up close for the first time.  It was sooo eye opening and my heart felt as if it would burst at any time.  That first year when Ken goofed up with my present..we bought the same presents for each other.  Something that I knew he wanted.  He thought my hints trying to figure out what he wanted was about what I wanted so he bought me the same thing.  Honestly, at this point in our relationship, I didn't think that we were going anywhere together.  I never dreamed there was a future.  Ken was so young.  I do mean young.  He was 22 years old.  I was 32 years old.  I knew that he saw life through totally different eyes than I did.  But he didn't.  I just wasn't aware that he had such an old soul.  That year he apologized because his cousin was giving his girlfriend an engagement ring.  Ken wasn't giving me one.  It was way too early and I never dreamed we would get married.

But the following year, Ken did get me an engagement ring for Christmas.  We were so in love.  I told him that we had to wait for a while until he grew up.  Yes I did say that.  I was so scared to marry him.  I knew that I couldn't have kids.  I didn't think that I should make him miss out on being a father.  He told me that it didn't matter he didn't want kids.  Problem was he was 23 years old.  I don't know most men that don't some day want kids.  I was suddenly part of the family for real.  I can't explain it but it did feel like his family treated me differently since I was going to be in their family legally.  I know they didn't mean to.

Then came the Christmas before we got married.  We both knew it was the last one.  We were getting married on Valentine's weekend.  We were teased that it was the last time.  We were so very much in love and we were fighting constantly.  I was being plagued with these doubts about never having kids.  The doubts were stupid but they were there.  You see, I couldn't shake the notion that Ken would eventually leave me so that he could have kids.  Or the thought that I didn't have the right to take that from him.  I so desperately wanted children myself that it was inconceivable that I could do this to him.  Thank Goodness we survived that.

The following Christmas was a totally different experience.  We had Faith for two months by then.  We were struggling financially but so very much in love.  Ken decorated our house for the first time.  We decorated the house very lightly.  I kept saying that Faith wouldn't know.  But that thought changed when Faith's face would light up with every twinkle of a light.  But sadness was in the air.  Ken's father had passed away on December 14 of that year.  His mother wasn't his mother anymore.  She never has fully come back to us.  And Ken was suffering with thoughts that his dad should be there to help him raise his daughter.

The following Christmases have been totally amazing.  There was Faith's next Christmas where she was walking.

The year that she knew what Christmas was.

The year that my grandma and her great grandma was able to be there.  See the idiots in the back?  My family won't let you take pictures of them.  Sighs.

Which was the same year that my sister's bird came.  Faith was fascinated with it.  I was terrified for Faith.

Then as she started to grow up and understand all the great things about Christmas.  We were broke that year.  We had just remodeled our kitchen.   See the awesome counters?  We went to Home Emporium for them.  They were 1/2 of the price of what Home Depot wanted.  I am telling you if you are remodeling check to see if you have one local.  Of course, our counter tops are granite.  They came from the Tile Shop.  Absolutely awesome having granite in our house.  It cleans up so well and very sanitary.

They call it Green Diamond but it looks Black with gray in it.  Its absolutely gorgeous.  Funny store... we were so poor that I lived with a cardboard counter for almost 2 years waiting on us to have the money for the countertop.

We have been so blessed and then Jason came to the family.  We went through a year of hell with foster care as we tried to get Jason into our family.  Christmas as a complete family was incredible.  When I say complete, its because all of a sudden we felt complete.  We had our boy.  Of course we never realized that until after we got him.  We went to the train display with him.  We had his first real Christmas with him.  The first one that he remembered well.

And that brings us to Christmas Current... what wonderful gifts do we have in store.  What memories do you have?

Side note:  Why do men think they can get you an engagement ring for Christmas and nothing else?  And why do they try to combine Mother's Day with your birthday? 



my little world said...

wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing. Christmas does hold some of the best memories! Especially from when we were kids. It's such a magical time of year!

Anonymous said...

Aw, Tami. I so enjoyed this stroll down memory lane. Your kiddos are very lucky.

As for your last question, I think I would be okay with an engagement ring as my only Christmas present. But that is just me!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Lady, you've have some incredible times! I love the countertop! Oh, and you poor thing, having chicken pox on christmas!

Heart2Heart said...


I guess in response to your last question it depends on each person. I too, would have been happy to receive it after waiting so many years.

Loved reading about this beautiful time of Christmas' past!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Sophia's Mom said...

What a wonderful recap of Chirstmases past! I loved taking a trip down memory lane with you.

You have a lovely family and wonderful memories! God bless.

p.s. who got your sister the bird?

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

That was a wonderful post. Being the Jew, I don't have any christmas stories, but why do men do that, combine gifts,...cuz their idiots!!

Amy said...

thanks fro taking the time to share these stories. I am so happy for your family.

yonca said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing Tami. God bless you and your family. I always ask this question why do men combine gifts??
Ok, i don't want to answer:)

Menopausal New Mom said...

My gosh Tami, things have certainly evolved over the years for you. For me too if I stopped to document it. I love the photos, the memories you are sharing with us and of course, that Granite!

blueviolet said...

Thank you for giving us a peek back through the years. That was fun!

I'm also very jealous of your granite countertop. I want one desperately but we can't afford it at all. It's so far down on the list of things needing to be done. Actually it's not even on the list. :(

Christmas and chicken pox = nightmare

G-Zell said...

Thank you so much for sharing. What a touching piece. So happy for you mommas! <3

You know that totally is a question i have been asking why the heck do they do that crap! Now i am really ticked off.. I think I might leave a note LOL...... I think because they hate shopping and cheap... suckers :P

Noelle said...

what a wonderful heartwarming story! thanks for sharing!

as for your last question...i am really bad about this! my hubs birthday is two days before our anniversary and i always try to combine the two. i think it's because we have so many birthdays and holidays packed into november, december, and january that by the time february rolls around, i'm ready to BE DONE WITH IT ALREADY!

Arizona Mamma said...

I adore the picture of your son resting his head on his sister. It looks like they have a great relationship. Amazing how life works out, isn't it?

Kristie said...

Thank you for sharing all your wonderful Christmas memories. I hope this Christmas is as wonderful and memorable for you as those in the past! :-)

kys said...

I loved your stroll down memory lane. The pictures are great, too.
My b-day and anniversary are on the same day. And a get a combined gift of...... (wait for it).....,


Alexis AKA MOM said...

Chicken pocks on Christmas oh sweetie!

wow that was really a beautiful post and so moving! Just wonderful, love the family and all the memories! Very sweet.

Plus love the countertops!

Corrie Howe said...

Very nice tribute to your family, I took all the detours to read about each one. Thanks for sharing about your hearts making families.