Christmas is special. The weather, the lights, even the feel in the air are all different than any other time of year.
We have different traditions at Christmastime — events, activities and people that we remember all our lives. We send beautiful cards, cook special meals and drive long distances just to be together on this one special day.
I will always remember candlelight Christmas Eve services. I have memories of family gathered in the living room, playing outside in the snow and wonderful food piled on the table. These are moments that are ingrained in my mind because they only happen at Christmastime.
You have many of the same memories and many of your own. Here are a few that your friends and neighbors have and would love to share with you.
The beautiful tree
I have so many wonderful memories growing up in Southern California and spending Christmas at the beach or working at Disneyland on Christmas Day, but my favorite is my first Christmas with my husband Duane. He was working at a TV station in Laughlin, Nev., and I was working at the local hospital. We had long hours and had just been dating for a couple of months. He showed up at my home with the most beautiful 12-foot Christmas tree. Duane knew by then how much I enjoyed collecting ornaments — and I had boxes and boxes of them — and that they would all fit on this big tree! Well, they did, and it stayed up until Feb. 10! I liked the tree so much I could not bare to take it down. I loved that tree, but by then it had become so dry that all the needles were gone, but those ornaments were still on it! To this day I have not had a tree that large, but I still remember it with great fondness 15 years later!
Lights on Christmas Eve
We would usually go to my grandma and grandpa’s house on Christmas Eve. Afterwards, my parents would pile all three of us kids in the back seat, and we would drive around and look at the Christmas lights. To this day, it’s still my favorite Christmas Eve activity. I’ll drive around with some hot chocolate, listening to some Christmas music while checking out the lights. There is just a different feeling in the air on Christmas Eve, and it is the best time to just relax and enjoy it before everything gets busy again.
A Christmas surprise
My favorite Christmas memory was in 2009. My now husband and I were living in Washington, D.C., and had the honor of getting to tour the White House all decorated for Christmas. As we entered the Blue Room (which houses the main Christmas Tree), my husband proposed to me. I was on cloud nine, and the memory will always be my favorite. It took a lot of planning and he had to be sneaky to get the ring past the security! This year we hope to start our own Christmas traditions with our daughter, Eleanora, as she experiences her first Christmas.
My fondest Christmas memory is the candlelight Christmas Eve service at Willard Street United Methodist Church, attending myself, with my parents, and then with my own children, reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.