Remembering Christmases of the past is what will get me through Christmas 2020. We all know this has been a year of odd holidays under circumstances we would have never predicted. Everything that we have ever enjoyed at this time of year has been turned upside-down dealing with the Covid-19 virus. Our Christmas spirit has even been affected and we feel a little odd because of all the changes in our daily lives since March of this year.
As a grandparent, I too have been feeling let down instead of uplifted because I am unable to see my grandchildren. It has been months since I traveled to Iowa or they have traveled to see me. Our Thanksgiving was a Zoom call where I could at least see how much they have grown this year. Our Christmas 2020 will be another call, but at least we have the technology in which to see them in a live setting.
So I will be remembering Christmases in the past that will brighten my holiday. My Illinois Christmases were mostly snowy and cold but there was always plenty of food and goodies my mother would make that we loved. I would always be trying to improve on one of my 4-H baking projects so that was always a good time of year to have taste testers in the house. I would always go sledding with my brothers or friends, and I always enjoyed a good snowball fight! I can also remember shoveling all that snow too!
There were a few times when I was young that at Christmas time we would take the train from Illinois to Missouri/Kansas to see grandparents. I loved riding the train and seeing all the people who were going somewhere just like me to see their loved ones. My aunt and uncle always meant us at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. It was an exciting time with all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. We never missed a chance to see the Christmas lights on the Plaza, it is one of my favorite places to this day.
In the early 1970’s I moved to Missouri and got married and started my own traditions at Christmas time. I loved to decorate so I would plan out in advance how things would be set up. I always like to make a few new things each year to add to my collection of other things. My daughter always made Christmas decorations in preschool and elementary school so those would always be added to the tree every year.
My mother made an interesting Christmas tree years ago. She made it out of old jewelry she had and added lights to it so the light would reflect off the jewelry. She would put it on the wall at her house every year and received lots of compliments, when she passed away I took on the role of displaying it in my house. It will be given to my daughter someday.
There were always neighborhood parties or school parties to attend which was always fun for everyone. There were the White Elephant parties that were very interesting with the wide variety of gifts that relatives came up with to add to the fun and merriment.
The food — we all remember the food at Christmas time as family and friends gathered at this time of year. The back and forth chatter of what each one would bring what dish. There were new recipes that needed to be shared with others. Cookie exchanges of all kinds, and candy that melted in your mouth. I have prepared all of this many times over the years.
Yes, Christmas 2020 will definitely be different this year, but if I close my eyes I can see all of the loved ones again, I can hear the noises of the grandchildren opening all of their presents, and I can smell all the wonderful flavors of this holiday. I think I am pretty lucky to have so many memories to remember. I will be looking forward to next Christmas when we will be back with our families. Remember your past Christmases and tell your stories, they need to be remembered.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!