Maybe I'm just getting old...I find myself looking back on things more and more these days. Little things, like a certain Christmas ornament, trigger memories of my father putting up an identical ornament to the one I have now hanging on my tree. I remember him putting the delicate Christmas ornaments up at the very top of the tree where little hands could not get ahold of them and break them. The Christmas angel at the very top of my tree was given to me by my dear mother-in-law. Looking at it takes me back to Christmas Eve 29 years ago to the first time I met her and my father-in-law. I can clearly remember not only the love they showed me but the gifts they gave me and what my father-in-law ordered for dinner when we went out after the beautiful Christmas Eve service. Baking Cranberry Orange Bread takes me right back to my mother's kitchen where she would turn out loaf after loaf of this wonderful Christmas time treat to give as gifts and for us to enjoy. I decided to continue this tradition with our friends and family many years ago and found a recipe for it in an old cookbook. Mine tasted a bit different than my mom's and when I asked her about it she told me she used Bisquick to make hers. :) No wonder it tasted different. To be honest, mine tastes better. ;) Sorry Mom. :)
Maybe becoming a grandmother this year has triggered so many wonderful memories of my own grandmothers and my great grandmother (Tutu). I used to look at my grandparents and think they were old. Then I looked at my mom when she became a grandmother for the first time to my children and was amazed to realize how young she really was and looked. The day I became a grandmother I was overwhelmed with love for our Bradley but confused when I looked in the mirror and didn't see "Grandma" staring back at me. ;) Memories of my dear Tutu and her delight in getting to spend some time with her great grandchildren come flooding back. I only wish my Grandma could have had that same pleasure and am so thankful that my Grambunny, Grandma Hazel, mom and mother-in-law have.
I guess Christmas is a time for nostalgia, of remembering the past. The memories we hold dear of happy times spent with friends and family. For me that includes our hanai Auntie Joyce and Uncle Lorne along with my "brothers" Glenn and Drew who spent Christmas with us every year. It was not Christmas in my mind until they arrived from California. The atmosphere always changed to one of laughter, love and fun once they arrived and all the stresses in the world seemed to melt away. Sadly we have now lost my Uncle Lorne and Auntie Joyce but some of my fondest memories of them will always be of doing the Hokie Pokie with my Uncle Lorne to ring in the New Year and my Auntie Joyce's infectious laughter. I will forever be grateful for those wonderful times and so thankful that my husband and children got to know and love them like I do.
This year I am looking forward to adding new memories that one day I will look back on. Our first Christmas of being grandparents is yet another milestone in our lives. My husband and I have been having so much fun picking out just the right gifts for our grandson and starting to build traditions and memories with him. We are looking forward to spending some time of Christmas Eve with my mother-in-law and father-in-law just like we have done since our boys were little but this time we have Bradley. It will be wonderful to have those memories of Bradley with one set of his great grandparents to look back upon one day. Christmas day Bradley will have both sets of grandparents, along with at least 1 uncle and possibly a set of great grandparents and another aunt, uncle and cousins to celebrate with. I am going to take it all in, gets lots and lots of pictures and finally get to experience first hand what my grandmother, mother and mother-in-law have...the joy of watching your grandchild at Christmas.