Christmas is..

Christmas Is...Memories

I was talking with my sister the other day and she was sharing a few memories from one of her first Christmas’ spent living away from home.  She shared with me how when she puts up one of her Christmas trees it reminds her of a Christmas long ago and far away.  Our conversation got me thinking about things…like what Christmas is and isn’t. 

Christmas is not… only about a big tree loaded down with expensive store-bought ornaments.  It is not only about what you can buy at the big box store. It’s not even how many gifts are wrapped up and nestled under the tree.  It’s not about decorating your house to look like Christmas exploded on your front lawn..  It’s not about parties, presents or plates piled high with pastries…Christmas is not a lot of things.

Christmas Is...Memories

But Christmas is…about the memories of Christmas’ past that come flooding back when you begin unpacking boxes of  old ornaments collected over the years.  It’s the memories that are attached to a special ornament or two that make you feel a bit melancholy or nostalgic.  For me it’s the hand embroidered ornaments made by my Mom when she was recovering from back surgery. The detail is incredible, the colors are still vibrant after all these years and they remind me of how much she loves her family.    I also have a few handmade ornaments from my sisters and mom that bring a smile to my face every year when I unwrap them and hang them on the tree.  When I hold these ornaments in my hand and look at them it’s almost as if they are right here with me in the moment.

Christmas Is...Memories

For my sister her memories are attached to a box of $1 store ornaments that remind her of her first Christmas starting out as a family and funds were tight. The ornaments remind her that the joy on Christmas Day does not come with an expensive price tag…she remembers a Christmas when the toys purchased at the general store brought the same kind of joy to her childs face on Christmas morning just as if they had come from an expensive retailer. When my sister was unpacking her special ornaments she was also reminded of a wonderfully happy day spent in 4 story mall where all the shopping that was done was window shopping because that’s what they could afford.   These special ornaments also reminded her of coming home to find a box of groceries on the front porch complete with everything for Christmas Dinner and how a tradition of sharing Holiday meals with Friends began…

Unpacking ornaments is a great way for us to unpack the memories of what Christmas is really all about…making memories with loved ones that can carry us through the coming year.

Christmas Is....Memories

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, family, postaweek2011

25 responses to “Christmas is..

  1. Your mother’s hand embroidered ornaments are GORGEOUS! Love the colors she chose. 😀

    Christmas memories are a delight to re-visit each year.

  2. You have hit it on the head. Especially what Christmas is. And your Mom’s ornaments are beaurtiful!

  3. I agree. The ornament box should not be labeled as Christmas or ornaments. It should proudly wear the name my memory box.

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    • Thanks Becca, its was easy to articulate my feelings but putting my sisters thoughts and feelings into words was much more difficult. I am glad the post turned out so well. Merry Christmas!

  5. Hi Jeanne you are spot on when you say
    “Unpacking ornaments is a great way for us to unpack the memories of what Christmas is really all about…making memories with loved ones that can carry us through the coming year.”
    Sometimes I think the recession has made people stop and reflect and appreciate things more and make do with less.

    Boas Festas e Feliz Natal!

    • PIP, you are right about the recession giving people pause to consider what is really important in this crazy, gotta have it, microwave world…I really enjoyed looking for ways to upcycle and recycle things around the house and incorporate them into our Holiday decorations and gift giving.

  6. A very touching post, Jeanne. You got me thinking about my huge family and the wonderful Christmases we had going to Midnight Mass and going to our grandmother’s afterward for sandwiches and, of course, cookies. Wonderful post. ps lovin’ those embroidered ornaments.

    • Terry, I was so moved by sisters sweet recollection of that Christmas so many years ago…I am happy I could put her feelings to words and share it with my friends. Merry Christmas!!!

  7. We should re-name the old box of decorations as “Memories”, because that’s what they are – each one holding a special one.
    I love your mom’s embroidery decorations, they are exquisite, so beautiful, and very unique!

    • Barb, I love the handmade ornaments that I have been given…when I unpack the special box they are stored in its almost like opening them for the first time.

  8. Your mom’s handmade ornaments are absolutely gorgeous. Unpacking and decorating with our memories is a wonderful part of Christmas each year. (I get a little sad packing them all away on New Year’s Eve, though.)

    • I was just telling my husband how much I enjoy the house being all sparkly and festive!!! I do agree that it is a bit melancholy when it’s time to pack up the memories.

  9. You are so right, Christmas is about memories , past and present. It’s remembering and reliving the happy and loving moments with our family. It’s finding joy in being simple but sincere in our affection. it’s about the magic of family and our love for them. It’s those things that are priceless and treasured. Merry Christmas.

  10. Jeanne, Your Mom’s ornaments are beautiful! Last year when I was packing up my ornaments I wrote notes and tucked them in with the boxes saying where or whom they came from or why I got them. I take it for granted sometimes that my children are listening or “I’ll remember” and so I want to keep somethings recorded. It brought back the same enjoyable memories for me that I think about when I put them on the tree! Thanks for sharing your memories!

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  12. Your mother’s ornaments are beautiful and made with so much love. Each design is so carefully composed.

  13. Handmade is always great. Happy Christmas!

  14. Christmas means a lot of things to different people; family, Christ, celebration, love and more. 😉

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