Holidays should be a memorable and loving experience for families, friends and for the everyday people that pass by each day that are rarely greeted anymore with a kind nod and smile. There should always be a beginning, middle and an end to every holiday especially a holiday like Christmas. Lately, it seems that Christmas is rushed and the focus tends to be more on buying gifts because for some reason that equates to love. Will the latest tech gadget under the Christmas tree make a long lasting memorable experience that will be talked about for generations to come? What will connect others to the warm holiday memories?
When I was a young boy I noticed that my mother loved the holidays especially when we would have special visitors like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. She would clean the house from top to bottom encouraging my father to help her. She told my brother and I that Santa Claus wouldn’t be happy nor leave any gifts under the tree if our place wasn’t cleaned. My poor father took the brunt of those cleanings especially one year when my mother convinced him to clean our carpets with some kind of carpet cleaner and a scrub brush. Dear old dad was on his hands and knees coughing and scrubbing. The coughing might had been due to some allergen in the carpet cleaner not because the place was dirty nor filthy but the place had to be cleaned for Santa. Sometimes I wondered why my mother never made such a fuss for the tooth fairy then I realized the tooth fairy doesn’t have a holiday like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
After all the cleaning and coughing was completed, my parents went upstairs to their bedroom closet to get the boxes of holiday decorations, the artificial Christmas tree, and the box of blinking lights. When they placed all the boxes on the floor in the living room my brother and I were advantageous to help. We grabbed various Christmas decals from one box and leapt on and off furniture with joy as we hung them up around the living room!! My Father concentrated on setting up the tree while my mother sat in her chair with the strands of blinking lights. Sometimes they were tangled in the little box that she kept them in but she patiently unraveled them before plugging them in to see if they worked. Once the lights were plugged in she sat there and waited to see if they started blinking. If one of the blinker lights didn’t blink she grabbed another one from the box and replaced it. Dad took his time with the tree because he usually confused himself with where the branches were to be placed on its pole. Sure the ends of the branches were colored coded to match the pole of the tree but some branches didn’t have color and some spots of the tree didn’t have the right colors altogether.
While everyone seemed occupied with getting things ready for Inspector Santa my eyes concentrated on a small plastic white bowl that sat on top of a small tv tray stand by my father’s chair. Usually the little white bowl had snacks or treats in it and my father wasn’t one to eat such things all in one sitting. Since it was the Christmas season the small plastic white bowl contained what would be now referred to as, “Old fashioned Christmas candy.” I would nonchalantly sit in my father’s chair and tried my best to sneak a piece of candy from my father’s candy dish. As my hand was over the candy dish my mother would say, “I’m watching you!” I pulled my hand back quickly and pretended that I wasn’t doing anything as my father turned to look at me. When his attention returned back to the Christmas tree I waited to be certain that no one was looking. Again I stretched my hand over the candy dish to try to get a piece of candy. My father then looked over his shoulder at me as I quickly dropped my hand on the arm of the chair and pretended once more that I wasn’t up to anything.
To me those treats in the candy dish were and still are my favorite holiday candies of all time. Some were filled and others weren’t and the thing I remember best is that after eating them I had candy stuck in my teeth. It was fun digging candy from my teeth and my fingers were sticky because of it. Sometimes my father had ribbon candy in his candy dish too. Ribbon candy definitely made my fingers sticky and that got stuck in my teeth as well. Those moments are what I cherish most about Christmas and I enjoy sharing such fond and loving memories with you the reader. What is your most favorite loving memory of Christmas? Please comment below. Remember, you are loved and appreciated!!!