Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Time - My Favorite Time of Year

The Christmas season is hands down my most favorite time of the year. I love the focus of the season, celebrating the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I enjoy watching people as a whole reach out towards each other, think about others and give of themselves. I find so much joy in thinking about the people I love and deciding on what to give them.

As a kid, my family of 11 had a tradition of buying/making and giving gifts to each and every member of our family. My parents suggested, more than once, drawing names to lessen the amount of spending we would have as kids, but we would have nothing of it. My favorite part of the season was thinking about each person to pick out and give them a gift meant specifically for them. We all felt the same way about Christmas. It was such a magical time for my family.
I and my siblings would work for months, saving our money to ensure that we would be able to give each person what we wanted to. Christmas morning was SOOO magical for all of us. Dad sat next to the tree and passed out each gift, one at a time, reading who it was to and who it was from. We all sat in anticipation and to watch each gift be opened. Tears of joy and gratitude were often shed by both receiver and giver. The opening of each gift was ALWAYS followed by a hug between the giver and the receiver. This wasn't anything ever taught or prompted, but just done out of the sheer love we felt for each other. Love that was accentuated by the giving and receiving of these thoughtful gifts. Because of our desire to savor the magical moment of each gift, our time spent unwrapping presents often took several hours.

One of my most cherished Christmas memories is when I was probably around 9 years old. My then, 8 year old brother Brian had worked for several weeks for my Dad's business to earn my gift. He was so excited about it, he talked about wanting me to open my present for weeks leading up to Christmas. On Christmas morning, I was shocked to see a remote control car we had admired together. This was not just an ordinary remote control car, but one with a price tag of $120!! I still get tears in my eyes to this day at the thought of how much love, work and excitement went into this gift for me! All the memories I have of past Christmases are sprinkled with sweet, tender memories like this one.

Dad instilled in me a love for Christmas music. I think every time he was home in the month of December, Christmas music rang throughout the house. I remember us all singing to it as we got out the several boxes of decorations and helped to adorn our house inside and out. Mom stayed inside with most of us as we spread out the tree skirt, hung the ornaments, put of the nativity and the Christmas calendar and set out the statue of Santa kneeling, hat off, over the baby Jesus. Meanwhile, Dad and Brian went outside to hang the lights on the house.

I just hope that I can create the same kind of magical memories for my kids as my parents did for me.

My favorite way to spend the Friday after Thanksgiving is not out among the crowds at the malls, but at home with my family. My sweet hubby pulled out all of our Christmas decorations from the shed and we spent the morning putting them up. Brad and Kishawn then went outside to hang the lights on the house.

That night, we went to the temple to enjoy the lights there.

Saying that Kishawn loves his daddy would be a huge understatement.
He adores him.

I can understand why,
because I do too!!

Of course Jada brought along Abby.
We saw my Uncle Jerry while we were there and after he gave us all hugs,
Jada informed him that he forgot to give Abby a hug.
G-G even came with us!! We had so much fun.


Karol Turley said...

I loved this, as it brought back so many treasured memories! I'll have to tell you though... Justin walked in as I was reading and glanced over at the picture of you and Brad and said, "Whoa! I thought that was Andrea! That was weird!" I love you all and am SO HAPPY to be your mom!!!

Hadley's said...

You are absolutely AMAZING!! I am so in awe of you and all you do. CONGRATULATIONS on the adoption and pregnancy. I hope all is going well. You have a BEAUTIFUL family!!

Julie said...

Heather, the more I learn about you, the more I adore, admire and love you! I'm glad you are a part of our family. We need to get our families together and hang out.

Maegan said...

Man, reading your blog about christmas brought back so many memories. I'm excited to make and start traditions with my own little family we have going. Yay! How exciting! I loved how you said that Kishawn and Brad went outside to hang christmas lights, just like Dad and Brian used to do. That is so cool.
I love you Heada!
You guys are so cute at the temple. I loved your pictures! Jada is so cute with Abby in the front seat! and how Jada said that" Uncle Jerry forgot to give Abby a hug." What a precious girl!
I love you much! Can't wait to read more, and look at more fun pictures!

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