Children Need Happy Christmas Memories
are a special house
build inside ourselves
love and laughter linger,
all our past life dwells.
holidays like Christmas
can draw upon the store,
feeling all that warmth once more.
we may travel,
house is always there
help to blend the old and new,
build on ... grow ... and share.
house can never get too full,
grow from floor to floor,
the joy of memories
always making more.
my cherished memories upon which I draw each year as I look back on Christmas
with a mixture of melancholy and humour are those magical christmases
when life was so simple and yet so all encompassing for a little
girl who lived for the moment, and those wonderful Christmases spent at
my grandparents' farm.
this time of year 'family', and what it represents is truly brought
home to me more than at any other time of the year. The realization of
just how much this modern busy world we live in today has cost in family
values, closeness, and the sheer joy of being together, brings with it
a regret which is extremely difficult to express in mere words.
recall as if it were yesterday the excitement, not of waiting for Santa,
nor opening gifts in the morning, but of rushing to get ready to go to
the farm and to be sure nothing was forgotten in our haste to be
on our way as we looked forward to the adventure ahead. We had to be on
time or we would cause everyone else to be forced to wait for us.
Perhaps they would leave without us!
see, we could only get so far by car. Once we arrived in the small village
and were leaving the main highway for the narrow concession road leading
down to the farm, the car became totally useless as a means of transport.
In those days we really got snow and plenty of it! That was the best part
of the entire trip, parking the car in the church yard as we gathered
there, family by family, to await the arrival of all the aunts and uncles
and cousins, and the most important arrival of all - Grandpa with the sleigh
laden with blankets and the team of horses festooned with all
the bells with which he had decorated their harness and reins - this was
the beginning of Christmas Day for us. Even the adults
seemed happier, freer, and yes, even younger as we all climbed aboard that
four mile trip was so much fun! I am certain memory has even enhanced the
pleasure and conveniently made the cold seem insignificant in hindsight.
But nothing matches looking back and remembering adults and children alike
singing carols with such joyful abandon as the horses' bells provided
accompaniment. The laughter and family closeness warms me still.
the adults were happy to see the farm as we approached the laneway but
we kids could have ridden quite happily for hours more. We had waited for
this all year!
of us was the absolutely best meal of the year - one which had taken days
to prepare and one which so many family members would happily share. The
adults at one long table, the kids at another. Christmas dinner has never
tasted quite like that since those days. Nor
has the company ever been better.
after dinner came the concert. Grandma, who was bedridden most of the year,
would join us all in the front parlour as we kids provided the after
dinner entertainment for the adults. Each in turn must offer their performance
and hope that they were no worse than those who had preceded them.
Some of us were really not very musical when not part of the family
choir! But no one dare laugh as their turn was coming! And in any case,
it was family and it would be okay even if we were off key. Grandpa
always made us feel we were stars of the first magnitude. His appreciation
(always so important) was the best Christmas gift of all.
sure by the end of the evening the adults were quite happy to see the day
coming to a close but there was still the ride back to the village
upon which we kids could hardly wait to embark. Somehow the adults' enthusiasm
didn't quite match that of the trip earlier in the day but we more than
made up for that as we tried to show Grandpa how much we were loving it,
and him most of all.We knew he had to make the trip back to the farm
alone and we wanted to be sure he would remember the fun all the way home
when he would have only the horses and their bells to keep him company.
arrival in the village we said our goodbyes and each family went
to their respective vehicle and snuggled in for the ride home. After all
that cold crisp air from the ride, as well as all the excitement of the
day and evening, we were more than ready to fall silent and before we had
travelled more than a mile or so each of the youngsters would
be asleep - but I guarantee you, with smiles all around.
like those are precious but each Christmas as my son was growing
up, although so very different, gave me so many precious, irreplaceable
memories to add to that store that they sustain me even today. Each
time I hear Jimmy Dean's 'Blue Christmas', I think of my
little boy and how very much I loved him and what a precious gift those
years as he was growing up truly were. That song has very special
meaning to both of us and has always been very much a part of our Christmas.
he is a Daddy himself and like all of us busy keeping up with living, but
to me he will always be that little boy who so loved to sit in the dark
watching the star twinkle on the top of the tree covered in lights as he
watched all his favourite Christmas TV programs. The same ones every year.
Each one had to be seen no matter how many times he had watched them in
other years, and always that Jimmy Dean Christmas Card album played throughout
I think, so often with regret, of the times in later years as life became
more difficult and more demanding, when perhaps the store of memories
should have had more replenishment than time and circumstance allowed.
In this modern world with all its demands on our time, unfortunately
so many of us sometimes forget to prioritize.
hands were busy through the day,
didn't have much time to play
little games you asked me to.
didn't have much time for you...
wash your clothes, I'd sew and cook,
when you'd bring your picture book
ask me, please to share your fun,
often I'd say, " A little later Son."
tuck you in all safe at night,
hear your prayers, turn out the light,
tiptoe softly to the door.
wish I'd stayed a minute more...
life is short, and years rush past,
little boy grows up so fast.
longer is he at your side
precious secrets to confide.
picture books are put away,
are no children's games to play,
good night kiss, no prayers to hear
all belongs to yesteryear...
hands once busy, now lie still
days are long and hard to fill,
wish I might go back and do
little things you asked me to.
love you Son.
What priceless gifts. Yes indeed, children do need Happy Christmas
Memories. But the title of the introductory poem for this page is
not quite accurate. It most assuredly isn't only children who need them.
Please do take time
to cherish the moments. And your children. Not only at this
holiday season, but all year long. Childhood is so fleeting. Almost before
you realize it they are grown. The moments go by so quickly and once gone,
they are gone forever.
I truly hope you
enjoy your visit as you wander through my Christmas pages and thank you
for dropping by. Have a wonderfully Happy Christmas, and may the New Year
and New Millennium bring Happiness and Good Fortune to you and all those
whom you love.