Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Eve Memory

My favorite Christmas Eve memory happened in 2007.  Little did we know then that everything would change in two months.

At that time, I was still working and had not gotten a chance to go in and get my hair cut, so I had an appointment that morning with my hair dresser.  On my way home, I decided to stop at Mom and Dad's house since their house was on my way home anyway.  If I wasn't at my house, you could always find me at Mom's. 

Because it was Christmas Eve, Brian only had to work a half day, so on his way home from work, he ended up at Mom and Dad's house, too.  If we weren't at home, chances were we were at Mom and Dad's house.

Mom and I had to run to the store to go grocery shopping, so we went together, and Brian stayed home with Dad. Mom and I used to turn grocery shopping into a game.  We would combine our coupons, split Buy One Get One free deals, and ended up paying half of what we should have paid.  We also had store issued coupons that would give us $5 off of a purchase of $75 dollars or more and $5 off of $35 or more.  Because it was impossible for either of us to spend that much on groceries separately, when we reached the checkout, we would combine our groceries on the belt.  Mom' would put hers up first, and mine would go up after her.  When we reached a combined total of $75, we would ask the cashier to stop hand him/her our coupon and any other coupons we had for the items already scanned, and then continue with the next order.  Mom and I walked away excited about the savings number on our receipt.

On our way home from shopping, Brian called me to say that we were going to go to my parent's church for Christmas Eve rather than attending our church.  Mom got so excited!  She started saying, "Oh, that is the best Christmas present you could have given me!  You can take all of the other gifts back, this is my gift!"

Brian and I went home to change and met back at my parent's house so we could all drive together.  And what a drive that was!  We played Christmas music, sang along with the CD, and Mom even made up her own little back up part to one of the songs.  The scene on the way back home was exactly the same.  For 5 people in one car, we made a lot of noise!  I remember thinking in the car that this was the way Christmas Eve was supposed to feel.

Back at my parent's home, Mom had made a huge Christmas Eve dinner for us.  It was wonderful.  And then we were off again, Christmas caroling around their neighborhood.  Everyone was so excited and happy when we arrived, and seeing a very pregnant mother-to-be seemed to make people smile even more. 

Around 10:00 p.m. Brian and I headed back to our home.  In the morning we exchanged our own gifts, and by 10:00 a.m. we were back at Mom and Dad's house for Christmas round two.  We exchanged our gifts with the family, and as usual, Mom couldn't find some of the gifts that she had gotten for us.  She was notorious for buying things throughout the year, hiding them, and then not being able to find them for Christmas!  We always heard, "I know I have more gift!  They are around here somewhere! Freddy, do you know where I put...?"  After her passing, we found some of the missing gifts as we went through her things.

I am so thankful for the memory of that Christmas Eve and Christmas.  It is one that I will always hold dear.  And now it is time to make new memories.  So may you and your family have a Merry Christmas and I will see you on Monday, Lord willing!


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