Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. Christmas time brings back wonderful childhood memories that will always stay with me!
As a child the excitement started on the morning of Christmas Eve. From the moment I woke up the countdown began; the countdown to Christmas Eve Dinner at my grandparents house, opening gifts from family, writing a letter to Santa and finally the big moment – Christmas morning when we woke to see all that Santa had brought!
The day started with going to my grandparents to help my grandma wrap presents and help Grandpa prepare the dinner for that evening. All the while watching the clock and counting the minutes. After a day filled with helping, my parents, sister and I would attend evening Mass before joining the rest of the family at my Grandparents. It was a family tradition to have a traditional Polish dinner for Christmas Eve but there was always some “normal” food as well for the kids! After dinner was complete the family sang Happy Birthday to Jesus with a cake. My sister and I would anxiously wait until it was time to open presents, which happened only after the dinner dishes were cleaned. As the table was cleared there was always a knock at the door, we would fill with excitement knowing that it was Santa coming for a visit and bringing us some presents! For many years when we were young going near Santa was not happening, nevertheless every year we waited for that knock and the sound of Ho Ho Ho at the door! Once we said goodbye to Santa it was time to open presents! Every year my sister and I would argue to be the one to hand out the presents to everyone, it was a task that we both truly loved to do! Once presents were opened and the mess was cleaned up it was time for the late night snack to come out. In the Polish culture it was not permitted to eat meat until midnight so my grandpa would then bring out baked ham, fresh sausage, and smoked sausage for sandwiches. With our bellies full and car loaded with gifts we would head home to prepare our letter and snack for Santa. After an exciting and fulfilled day we would climb into bed, excited and hoping to quickly fall asleep so that morning could arrive!
My sister and I always awoke very early in the morning, sneaking to peak at the gifts under the Christmas tree. We would crawl back into bed wondering when we should wake up our parents, it never took us long! Christmas morning was filled with opening presents and playing with our gifts, spending most of the day in our pajamas. As I write about Christmas as child I am filled with good memories of the Holiday Season.
As I grew up and had my first child a new memory was made that I will always cherish. Not only the excitement of being able to open presents with my baby for the first time but also a new Christmas morning tradition that was started. After opening presents at home we would head to my mother-in-laws house for Christmas morning breakfast. I will always remember the smell of her amazing biscuits and gravy filling the house when we arrived. I remember watching and waiting to be able to fill my belly with her wonderful recipe! Although times have changed and this is not something that is part of our Christmas anymore I will never forget that memory.
The Holiday Season is a wonderful time for traditions and the making of new memories every year that we will cherish for many years to come.