It was Christmas Eve. My brother and I were sitting with our parents listening to Christmas music while we got ready to open presents. It never failed, every year when Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" came on, my dad would start lip synching to it, with gusto.
My parents divorced about 13 years ago. I was 26. It's weird the things you miss when they're no longer around.
"DAD! We know this song is your favorite!" (On to John Denver and the Muppets)
My mom was so funny. We'd get everything spread out, Jerrod and I would count gifts (duh, we had to have equal!) and start reaching for one. "No no, not that one!" my mom would say. "Open that other one first!"
And for some reason, nothing was ever in the correct box. One year I remember opening a cordless phone and asking if that's really what it was. (It was)
And let's not forget the year that Jerrod was 3, and he was helping my mom wrap gifts. He came downstairs holding a box and said, "Daddy, this ones for you!" In true Dad fashion, he said, "What is it?" And without skipping a beat, Jerrod replied, "A belt." Gotta love preschoolers!
Maybe he learned from that, because a while later, he came down and said, "Tina, I'm not telling you what this one is, but it has a lot of legs!"
And there always seemed to be one gift that was forgotten, either hidden, or whatever. One year Jerrod got a calendar from my Dad. The following July. Thought, right? Ha.
And the shape cookies. Oh boy. Love me some shape cookies! I know I have pics on Facebook of them, I'll dig them out eventually. We still make and decorate the shape cookies. Angels (one with a giant head, one with a tiny head), snowmen, and santas. One year, about three or four years ago, my mom decided to make different shapes, like a star, a tree, etc... That was the year that Jerrod and I had coronaries. #changeisbad
For those of you that think Christmas is about getting the best gifts, or buying the biggest presents, let me tell you that of all the things I have ever gotten for gifts, I barely remember any of them. These things I'm thinking about? Memories. I'm 39 years old, and to this day, I can't listen to Nat King Cole without wiping away a happy tear from my eye.
One year we were with my Dad's family, and my grandma dropped the pie on the floor. Granted, it was still in the box, but now we refer to it as French Spilt Pie.
My grandma on my mom's side had ceramic NOEL letters on the fireplace. For as far back as I can remember, my dad would change them up to say LEON. Took my grandparents DAYS to notice! Now Jerrod has some letters, so of course we all take our turn moving those around now.
I have never been able to spend tons on my kids, and this year is no different. But I hope that years from now, as they sit blogging in the Food Ave at Target about their memories, they'll have fond ones to look back on. Because really, what would Christmas be without family, music, laughter, and French Spilt Pie?
Have a great holiday season, everyone. :-)