Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Memories

This year will be the first time I have ever spent Christmas away from my family. I guess one of the bad things about growing up is that every year Christmas seems a little less special and losses some of it’s magic.
As I have thought about making plans for Christmas this year, I have unintentionally been thinking a lot about the past Christmas’ I have shared with my family. Even if we can’t be together this year, nothing can take away the past 27 years of Christmas’ I have share with you guys, so I thought I’d share my top memories with you here.

#10- Christmas 2006. That year was my first year in Long Beach. My first year living as an adult, in an adult apartment. My roommate Jami was huge on decorating the apartment. For her birthday party we had a tree decorating party. I have to admit I was in a major funk that night but when she finally got me out of my room and got a cup of spiced rum apple cider in me, we had the best night ever. I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome that night was, but the memory will last my whole lifetime. Jami even made Lucca and I, our very own stockings that she hung on our walls.
#9- Christmas 2005. This was the last year we had Christmas with my Nana and as of now stands as the last true Christmas I have ever had. It was the last time our whole family got together for Christmas. I remember at Thanksgiving that year, my Nana had talked about skipping tradition for a year and buying Christmas tamales instead of making lasagna. I of course, always trying to grasp on to tradition, threw a fit and protested as only I can. So my nana caved in and made her famous lasagna. Even though I know I was a brat, I am so glad that our last Christmas all together, was one of tradition, and I am so glad for that one extra year of eating Nana’s Lasagna and a worry free mentality.
#8 Christmas 2007 - After my Nana died, the keeper of tradition in our family, no one really knew what would happen during holidays. Well for this one year after her death we all banned together, minus my grandpa Tom and tried our best to have a good Christmas. Even though our hearts were not completely in it, I think the little ones had a good time. It was also the year I took over my Nana’s torch and began making the Christmas Lasagna.
#7 There is no year to this one because there isn’t one specific year that it happened, but I can’t have a best Christmas memory list without including my Grandma Shirley’s Rice Pudding!! I have been attempting to make her recipe for almost 8 years now and nothing will ever come close to hers! The taste of cinnamon will always mean Christmas to me because of her famous pudding!
#6 A few years ago, which year it was escapes me, my dad gave us all a very special Christmas stocking. He MADE my mommy make us chocolate chip cookies, which for some reason felt to me like the most special chocolate chip cookies in the world. He also gave us a letter that he had written to each of us kids specially, and what he wrote meant so much to me. I just loved the true Christmas spirit of that year, that really in life it’s the thought that counts, not the gifts you are given.
#5 Christmas 1990ish- One thing about my Papa is that he always wrapped his presents in comic strips, and the memory of the comic striped presents under the tree with a huge train running around them will always make me smile. But specifically this year makes me smile cause this year my Papa gave me a present that no one will ever forget. He gave me a basketball. I was about eight at the time and had just began playing sports, but still very sensitive about being a tom-boy. When I opened the present I threw it and stopped away yelling through my tears, that’s a boy’s toy, I am not a boy! I look back and laugh at how much like my cousin Lyndsay I was. Funny thing is I really loved basketball, and always had, but all the other little girls got dolls and I was mad that I didn’t get one too.

#4 Christmas 1989- This Christmas my parents were separated and me, my mom and my sister were living with my Nana. The thing about my Nana, is that she was Susie homemaker, especially when it came to Christmas. She always had the most beautiful Christmas tree, with long red bows flowing down each side. She also always put the Christmas presents under the tree about a week or two before Christmas. My parents never did this, they waited until Christmas morning. Well being a little girl that had never seen so many presents in my life, the temptation was too strong, I couldn’t keep away from that tree. So I convinced my sister to help me take a peak. We poked holes in the bottom of pretty much all our presents to see what we got!! My grandpa Tom was so mad when he found out, but I can’t help but smile as I look back and think of lil me and Bri shaking gifts and poking holes in them!
#3 Christmas 1991-ok the year on this one is a guess, it might be 1992, I don’t remember. This was the first Christmas that my mom and dad had got back together after being separated. They had absolutely no money at all and couldn’t afford a Christmas tree. But nothing can stop my dad’s Christmas spirit, so he decorated his desk like a tree. We called it the Christmas desk! The few small presents we could afford that year fit nicely under the desk and we were no worse for wear for it. I am glad I had parents who only spent what they worked to have. They never did that whole credit card Christmas thing where they would spend beyond their means. I mean this year, we got trolls and tapes, but it was awesome anyways!
#2 Christmas 2006 again- This was my first Christmas with Lucca and it was also the first Christmas that I actually had money to buy people good presents. I had done all my Christmas shopping really early that year, and had bought my brother a super nice 250 dollar watch. I bought my sister a really nice purse that she still uses to this day. Me and my sister together made my mom a gift basking present, filling it with new make-up, hair appliances, and all the stuff she never buys for herself, as well as some nice shoes. This is also the only year I ever got something for my dad he liked, a book that had been recommended to me by my Religious Studies teacher. It felt so amazing to be able to give people things I knew they would love… .
This also happens to be Lucca’s first Christmas. I was such a proud new pupster momma, I had to get her the best presents. I spent Christmas Eve, wrapping up all her gifts, and putting small treats in them so maybe just maybe she would try to open them. I had little hopes, but it was worth it for me. The result was amazing. Not only did she open all her gifts when I gave them to her, but she knew they were presents for her and gathered all of them into her new dog bed. She would open one and then carry it over to the bed and drop it there. If anyone got to close, she would go nuts!! She would bark at them, as if saying these are my presents, and you can’t take them from me!
#1 Christmas sometime when I was about 7 or 8- Christmas Eve has always been the big deal for my family. Christmas Eve is when we all get together and see each other and open presents and eat a nice lasagna dinner. I use to brag about how amazing our Christmas Eve’s were. One of our traditions when we were little and my Nana still lived in West Covina was to drive around and look at the Christmas lights in the neighborhood. When we got back from this trip, we walked in the living room, and “Santa” had been to my Nana’s house. The tree looked as though it was exploding presents! But better than that, under the tree were two matching bikes for my sister and I. I can’t remember a time being more excited for a gift as that. It was so magical at that time in my life, when we still believed in Santa and were so excited we couldn’t sleep at night. We would stay up giggling and talking about how we couldn’t wait to ride our new bikes. We woke up so excited in the morning laughing and playing games and sneaking a peak at our own tree until our parents woke up. When I was little Christmas was enchanted, and I am so grateful for my wonderful grandparents and parents who did all they could to make it so special for us. Especially my Nana, who I loved so much and one day hope to plan as beautiful parties and holidays as she did! I can never take her place, but I hope for my family I can carry on her traditions.

I love you family and hope that during these difficult times, you will remember all the amazing Christmas’ we have had and it will lessen the burdens in your heart.


  1. I loved reading your memories, aren't they wonderful to have, especially during difficult moments in our lives. Hold on to them and smile!

  2. I love you and your big heart! You made me cry in this one.... I honestly don't think that I could remember 10 different Christmas' and that makes me sad. I wish I were as sentimental as when it comes to things like this. Merry Christmas <3

  3. so I am pretty sure it was you poking holes in presents and I was the lookout. I only shook presents because I never really wanted to ruin the surprise.

    The Troll Christmas is also one of my favs. Dad that year also decorated the house after him and Mom had gotten in a fight I think. I remember little nesting cups decorating brick.

    The bike Christmas is also made an indellible mark on my heart and that is exactly how I remember it too. Very magical.

    Do you remember the year we lived at Grandpa's and they put a boot in the fireplace and said that Santa had left it behind along with soiled footprints in our living room. I searched forver for the other boot trying to debunk that mystery but when I couldn't i was forced to believe for another couple years.

  4. Sister, what a great recap of your Christmas Memories. I would be lying if i didn't say I had little Baby tears in my eyes right now. I've missed you so much. The other day I was in another room and Brianna showed up to our house, when she buzzed in Alyson said, "Ohh Alyssa, you are here." Well Brianna had been holding up the portable you, but as I wasn't paying enough attention at that moment my mind believed you had come back to surprise us! When I realized what had happened I felt a wall of sadness hit me as it was the first time I had really taken in the fact that you weren't going to be here for Christmas. I love you so much. I'm saving my best memories of Christmas for when you come back!