Holiday Memories and Traditions

Jingle bells
Is it just me, but do the holidays take on a different feel at different points in your life, or maybe at different places you have lived? My family celebrates Christmas and I am sure my thoughts about what Christmas ‘should be like’ were solidified in my childhood. I have written a lot about my Christmas memories on this blog.

I’m not sure why, but I more relate Christmas to my father than any of the other adults in my life. Maybe because he was alive and in my life longer than others or maybe it is because his outlook on Christmas was always very childlike and I found that appealing.

This morning I was listening to ‘records’ on YouTube trying to find the version of “A Christmas Carol” my parents had on a record. I have purchased a couple of old records trying to find it, but none of them sound ‘exactly’ right. I can still remember that first line so well “Marley was dead”. Well, I thought I remembered it, but now I question myself. I have listened to Basil Rathbone, Orson Wells, Sir Ralph Richardson, Lionel Barrymore, and Sir Lawrence Olivier – which ‘may’ be the recording I remember. I have written here about that record before and it is a memory that will always come up for me.

If you click on the post above you will also see a photo of the silver Christmas tree that my father loved. It is a good memory for me, but I never loved the tree. It’s funny when you think about how traditions are born and what we decide to take with us into our adulthood and what we choose to leave behind.

For example, my Dad loved opening presents on Christmas Eve. I hated that. I like easing into Christmas morning and the anticipation leading up to the day. I did not like waking up Christmas morning and all the hustle and bustle was already over. I left that tradition behind, like I did the silver tree.

We also put an array of colored lights on our tree, the same as we did when we were both kids. No ‘all white lights’ for us. (My dad was very fond of outdoor decorations that were all blue lights, but he never used them himself).

It’s funny. In my head, due to the pandemic, I keep thinking how different it will be to be just the two of us on Christmas day. But when I look back through my blog, most of our Christmas days since we retired, we have celebrated just the two of us. Our children have so many families to split their time between, we always just celebrate with them when we can. When we lived in Florida, my daughter and her wife would always be with us on Christmas Day and we always spent Christmas Eve with them. I miss that and now even more so because they have a little girl. Somehow we thought it would be different when we retired closer to family.

So, while this year will be different, many things remain the same. We will keep the reason for the celebration uppermost in our thoughts and hope that next year we will be able to spend a little more time with our family.

(My vertigo is better, bur I am taking it easy as I get back to doing more. This is the post I wrote about abandoning in my draft folder, so I decided to use it today.)


13 thoughts on “Holiday Memories and Traditions”

  1. I think this year will help us focus on why we celebrate.

    It’s funny how we remember things our parents liked even if we don’t. And then there are the things we just can’t escape.

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  2. We always had a hodge podge of lights too. Never some organized look. Today we have the same look outside our home. The only change is that we could no longer buy the replacement bulbs for the strings so they now have long lasting ones that look “almost” the right color.

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  3. I will miss the family, but I want us all to survive this, so it’s video calls for us and hubby Ruby and me. We love our boys and daughter in law but they can’t come so we will cope 💜💜💜

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  4. Thank goodness we can at least have video visits. I’m so glad you’re feeling better. Keep going slowly.
    I always love your childhood memories and traditions. We had so few.

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      1. Very different and not really warm and fuzzy, unfortunately. I think we at least made lasting memories for our kids though.

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