As a little girl growing up in a family of four sisters and one brother, mom and dad always made Christmas special for us. Of course we all believed in Santa Claus and when we stopped believing, we never let on to mom and dad, I guess we wanted to keep Christmas special for them also.
I remember the dozens and dozens of cookies our mother made, chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, and best of all sugar cookies cut out in various shapes topped with homemade butter cream icing in different colors. I remember dad going into the kitchen opening a tin and mom saying "Herb, get out of those cookies." Every afternoon during the holidays between 2:00 and 3:00, we would have a "tea party" consisting of cookies and eggnog. As a matter of fact, as adults we kept the tradition of the "tea party."
I remember waking up very early Christmas morning to find a nylon stocking tied to the bedpost filled with apples, oranges, nuts, and Christmas candy. We would rush downstairs with big smiles on our faces to see what Santa Claus brought us, we were never disappointed.
As adults, and some of us living in different states, going home for Christmas was a lot of fun. With our parents older, it was our turn to make Christmas special for them. I remember mom and dad telling my daughter and me that we made Christmas for them, because without fail, we went every year and stayed until New Year's. Little did they know they were still making Christmas special for us.
Our family enjoyed playing games at Christmas. Dad's favorite was Monopoly, and mom's was Scrabble. The all time favorite family game was Bingo. All during the year each of us would collect inexpensive gag gifts to wrap for the big game. The winner of each game would choose a gift from the laundry basket. In a paperbag, we had pieces of paper with instructions such as: take a gift from the person on your right, give a gift to the person on your left, etc., that we passed around, and each person had a chance to get a gift if you were lucky, or give up a gift. The hours of fun and laughter we had together playing Bingo will never be forgotten.
Unfortunately this is our second Christmas without dad, and our first Christmas without mom. Even though they are no longer with us, they left each of us with special Christmas memories of our time together. Now it is our turn to take the reins and continue to make Christmas memories together. Merry Christmas Mom and Dad.