I have 'TONS' of family CHRISTMAS MEMORIES. . .in the form of decorations. . .Christmas décor was the one and only thing that my MOTHER did not throw out. . .She was never a collector 'pack rat' like my DAD and I were. . .She had TREE ORNAMENTS that dated back to my childhood. . .each year adding to them. . .I was always the crafty one who made ornaments every year. . .decorated packages to the point that the outside was as much a GIFT as the inside. . .Mom saved as many as possible. . .along with everything else 'CHRISTMAS'. . .
That time of the year at the Duncan home was so FESTIVE. . .A CHRISTMAS TREE in almost every room. . .PARTIES. . .BAKING. . .HOMEMADE GIFTS. . .Lots of WHISPERING going on. . .CHRISTMAS PROGRAMS at the church and school. . .ANTICIPATION for the BIG DAY. . .
The PRE-CHRISTMAS time was as FESTIVE as the actual day. . .
When CHRISTMAS DAY did arrive, our entire FAMILY--and extended family--came together. . .always at 'GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE'. . .which later became our home, too. . .and where the gathering continued for years so come. . .
I remember the WOMEN in the kitchen. . .putting the last touches on the Christmas feast. . .the COUSINS (all boys) sneaking off and getting into mischief. . .the MEN getting caught up on the recent harvest and politics. . .DADDY moving from room to room with his camera. . .taking photos and documenting the day. . .photos that would mean so much to all of us years later. . .
The house was ablaze with LIGHTS and CANDLES and JOY and CHEER and all those things we sing about every Christmas even now. . .
THIS CHRISTMAS 2015, I began pulling out all the boxes of MEMORIES. . .not only collected by MOM. . .but also the ones I inherited from my AUNTS. . .and my GRANDMOTHERS. . .Boxes and boxes of them. . .many of which will end up being donated to the museum. . .a Christmas past LEGACY for future generations. . .But there are a few outdoor ones I selected to display one more time. . .in CELEBRATION of my Mother's life.
You see. . .We lost MOM this day. . .eleven years ago. . .and DADDY the next year. . .No Christmas has ever been the same. . .Not the same. . .very different. . .and then--finally--it became a celebration once again. . .a CELEBRATION that cannot be enjoyed without Wonderful Memories of Christmas Past. . .but also in APPRECIATION and joy for Christmas Present
Although MEMORIES flood my mind. . .I am once again full of HOPE and JOY and CELEBRATION of the season. . .of family and present friends. . .Of continuing to make Christmas memories. . .And in it all, recognizing this really is. . .
THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR