I grew up in a family where Christmas was celebrated with so much enthusiasm. My parents always made sure we always got what we needed. Christmas was a time of joy, love, happiness, and giving. We had lots of toys, my dad always made sure of that, part of me thought he was trying to make up for all the time he was away at work. It was the time of the year when we get to be spoilt rotten, my favorite time of the year. I read somewhere, “The smells of Christmas are the smells of childhood”, this is so true.
Growing up my mum made sure we had extra during Christmas. Christmas clothes, shoes, socks, hats, name them, we had Christmas everything and some more. The Christmas clothes were bought in pairs, I and my sister had matching clothes. We had three or four, one we wore on Christmas day, the next was for the boxing day when we would go out to visit relatives and friends of the family, the third we’ll wear on the new year. If my mum was feeling extra generous, she would buy four clothes. Well, I was happy about the matching pairs till I became a teenager and I had a different idea. My brothers also had matching clothes, everyone was happy.
I remember a memorable Christmas morning, on the breakfast table. We had dressed for church and sat down to a quick breakfast of bread and tea. As we ate, my little brother who was about five or six years old slipped out of the table with his cup of tea and came back like 5 minutes. I watched him as he sat back down at the table and continued eating. Every few second he bends his head and blows in his shirt, I looked around the table to see if I was the only one that noticed what he was doing and then I went back to watching him. He caught my eyes briefly as he bent down to blow again and before I could say anything, my Mum who I knew never lets anything get by her asked him why he kept blowing in his shirt. She stood up and came to where he was seated beside him and bent an unbuttoned his shirt, there was a round scald on his chest like hot water poured on him. Turned out my little brother needed some more hot water in his tea and instead of asking for help, he went into the kitchen and used the tiniest cup we had to get water to pour in his tea, the cup slipped and the hot water poured on his chest. Well, it was still an awesome Christmas. We went to church, but he stayed home with my mum who was really mad at him. Plus, he cried.
I have lots of wonderful childhood Christmas memories, I know lots of people do too, after all, it the season of love and giving. The presents, the people, the joy in the air, the difference, it felt so good, still does. We would dance around the sitting room and listen to Christmas music, singing “Felix Navidad”, at the top of our lungs even though we didn’t know the words, we just sang what we thought they said in our heads. Funny, I don’t think I know the lyrics to date, I hope I am never asked to sing it. My dad will drive us to the different towns to watch the masquerades, we visited our grandmom who always made sure she stuffed us up. I remember one of our neighbors, who never failed to send a tray of food every Christmas, she was one of the good ones. I enjoyed every bit of it.
Christmas is my favorite tradition, my favorite time of the year. One of my best childhood memories, one which I would love to pass over to my kids, give them the best Christmas memories. What can I say? I am a sucker for Christmas. It’s true what Laura Ingell said, “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time.” “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ”