Through The Eyes Of A Child

Austrian stained glass

Memories…as warm and cozy as a blanket. Memories that I am able to wrap around me, even on the coldest of days. Memories that make me smile, even now, years past my childhood. Memories that are ignited for me, when the weather gets cold and Christmas is right around the corner.

Getting the live Christmas tree from the sale at the local fire department. “This one is too skinny. This one looks like a bush. This one has a bare spot.”  One year we did have a Christmas tree that resembled a pine bush. It was short and fat. Didn’t really matter though, because to a child it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen, when decorated. Pretty glass ornaments that my mom had…blue bells, pink icicles. A ton of tinsel….which my mom had a special way of adding to the tree. She did not appreciate my sister and I throwing the tinsel on in “clumps”. Why not?

My sister and I got dressed in our Christmas Eve outfits. We went to Mammaw and Pappaw’s house for a HUGE family dinner. My cousins and I would sneak upstairs to the living room while all the adults were downstairs still eating and socializing. We would look to see the gifts that were addressed to us. We’d carefully shake them…try to see under the wrapping paper. The anticipation was too great!

Footsteps!!! An adult! “What are you kids doing?” Nothing, was our reply. My aunt knew we were lying…and we knew that she knew we were lying. But, it was Christmas Eve….and sneaking a peek at gifts was part of the fun. After the meal all of us went to church for the Christmas Eve service. Our church was made from stone with beautiful stained glass windows. The church was built in the 1800’s and I heard that the windows had been imported from England. The candles glowing in the windows made the stained glass come alive. I have some wonderful memories of that church on Christmas Eve. All I have to do is close my eyes to see it once again.

Back to my grandparents house for dessert and the opening of gifts! It’s funny the things I remember from childhood. When I was very little I got a small, brown toy puppy. His head moved back and forth and his tail wagged and then he would bark. I thought it was the neatest thing. As I got older, the type of gifts changed, but it was always the family get togethers that I loved so much.

Christmas morning was fun with all the usual excitement of unwrapping gifts, giving gifts, and the expressions on each face. I remember one year, I think I was 13 or 14, I got a miniature “boom box”.  To those of you that lived in the 80’s, you know that was a cool gift! Before we knew it, it was time to get dressed and start the holiday trek to family houses. One relative would have breakfast, one would have lunch, one would have dinner/dessert. This was a great way to visit, see everyone’s tree, get to look at all my cousins Christmas presents, and enjoy family. I have such good memories of my growing up years.

I feel extremely blessed to have such wonderful memories from my childhood. Family, friends, church services to celebrate the Savior’s birth, food, and gifts. All these things wrapped up, making a gift that my heart can open each Christmas…as I reminisce .