Another Christmas has come and gone, my heart is filled with love and my stomach with goodness.
Watching the joy of Christmas through the eyes of a 9-year-old and a 4-year-old is about as good as it gets. Their glee-filled joy at every gift, while their kindness and appreciation for everything they receive is heartwarming and their genuine excitement to give the gifts they have picked out for others is even more of a blessing.
Christmas is my favorite time of year, we honor traditions that have been part of my life since day one and create new ones each year. My favorite day of the Christmas season is Christmas Eve, now at my house, on that day I feel closer to my mother than any other day of the year.
I do my best to make it as special as she always did, I don’t come close to her expertise, but I do my best.
As a child we always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve and had Santa on Christmas morning, now, we have turned Christmas Eve into our “tacky sweater” competition, and like most things we do, we all compete hard to win!
Christmas Eve is also filled with lots of laughs, at some point everyone is the butt of a joke as we tell old and new stories on each other. As the night ends, we depart, hopefully with memories of fun and love that will be called upon again and again in our minds and hearts.
Christmas morning, everyone heads to my niece and nephew’s house for Santa, breakfast and gifts. An embarrassment of riches fills the floor of my childhood home, now made anew by my niece’s family.
The giggles and joy of sweet girls now fills the room where rambunctious boys once played. More memories are made and heartfelt gifts with special meaning get interspersed with toys, clothes and housewares.
After breakfast, we all return to our respective homes, I usually take a nap while my sister-in-law is busy preparing one last Christmas feast.
In the early afternoon, we gather at my brother and sister-in-laws home for a traditional meal and more laughs. Another new tradition we have incorporated over the last few years is board games after we eat and clear the table, once again we fight to win and play hard to come out of top.
As evening approaches and the sun sets on another Christmas we make our way to our respective homes, filled with love, laughs and stomachs bursting after the consumption of more food than humans should eat.
Now in my mid-50’s Christmas memories are even more precious than when I was young. It no longer has anything to do with the brightly wrapped gifts, the real treasures I get on these days are the memories and gifts of time that I am able to enjoy with my family.
We aren’t perfect, we all know how to push the buttons of each other and sometimes do, but overall, I can say we do a pretty good job of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, the one where love prevails and the joy of that first Christmas miracle is celebrated. We’re definitely not Normal Rockwell, but we are about as good at being Rumsey as you can get!
I hold these memories close to my heart, I try to remember each word, each laugh and each expression of love, I hold these memories in my heart in hopes of many more with the people I love most.
Merry Christmas friends and to my family, thank you for another great celebration, filled with the magic of Christmas!