Merry Christmas! It’s Shelley and I love hearing about family holiday traditions! Our morning show has decided to revisit some of our childhood traditions, as well as what we do now with our own families to get ready for the holiday. JR even included recipes! Well, today I’m including embarrassing pictures…of my kids! They’re going to love me!
When you have kids, you know that someday, they’ll grow up. While I have REPEATEDLY asked them to STOP growing up, as usual, they don’t listen. I keep trying to tell them, someday, you’ll long for those days again! Sometimes, I think how simple life was then and how wonderful it would be to be ten again, especially at Christmas. I remember when I was little, the house smelled amazing, there would be hundreds (yes HUNDREDS) of Christmas cookies, everything would be decorated…We just couldn’t wait until Santa came! But first, we had to go visit Aunt Rose and Uncle Mutz and Aunt Toots and Uncle Don…yeah, Italian family..strange nicknames! After we did our Christmas Eve visting, we’d drive around Butler to see everyone’s Christmas lights and decorations. I STILL love doing that! The whole world just looks prettier…Then, it was home to read, Twas the Night Before Christmas. It was the last thing we did before we had to go to bed and wait…and wait…and wait some more. I know we never got more than a few hours sleep and we were up SO early hoping mom and dad would join us, but they always made us wait! They were so mean! I truly have such wonderful memories of Christmas. Such a special time for me and my family…
Well, now that I’m all grown up, I’ve been building memories with MY daughters, Alex and Sarah. When they were little we would still go to my mom and dad’s house and enjoy many of the same traditions I enjoyed as a kid. But the girls got all the gifts, and gifts they did get! Seriously, there were many times we’d have to bring two cars because we couldn’t make room for the “plastic stuff” in one! My mother tended to go overboard. They did love going to Grandma and Grandpa Houllion’s!!
As they got older, we started our own wonderful traditions. I’ll never forget buying them matching Christmas jammies!
Actually, I always had them in matching everything! Is that a girl thing??
They’d get their baths, and put on those adorable PJs and we’d get the cookies and milk ready for Santa. Then, we made sure we went outside to leave carrots for the reindeer. (‘m tearing up as I think about it). They’re so grown up now! But then, they were so little, so innocent, so full of excitement..I, too, would then read them, Twas the Night Before Christmas (and I do to this day!). Then we’d go to the window to wish that Santa would have a safe trip, and say a prayer for the families who weren’t as fortunate as our family was. We prayed that they were at least safe and warm…I always tried to include the girls in the different charity events I was involved with just to remind them that not everyone has a life like theirs. We always said EXTRA prayers that night, for a better year for those who’d fallen on hard times.
Well, fast forward to 2010!!! Tomorrow, I will go pick up my daughter Sarah from IUP. John, the girls’ dad, will drive to Dayton to pick up Alex from the University of Dayton and then the holidays really begin!!
When you’re kids leave home, it can be brutal. You learn to adjust but there’s always a little something missing. I can’t wait to have that activity, that noise, that love, that closeness in my house Friday night, because that’s what makes my house, a HOME….I miss my girls so much when they’re gone, but it isn’t until they come home that I realize just how much. It’s when they’re home that I realize I miss hugging them, talking to them, going shopping or just out to lunch with them. When they leave, you adjust all over again and kind of shut down a little, until the next time you can give them a hug.
I’m so fortunate to have two beautiful, healthy daughters coming home tomorrow. THEY are my Christmas gift. That…and lots of laundry, cleaning up after them, telling them to stop fighting, hearing how they need the car again….But you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this whole wide world.
Welcome home Alex and Sarah. Can’t wait to enjoy this holiday and many more!