Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Magic Lives On

 Alpenrose 2011


The magic, though dwindled at some point in our adulthood is brought back to life through the eyes of our children. Even though there are so many years of memories when I was a little one, there is usually one that stands out where that magic is powerful, coming from somewhere unexplainable . Just ask Ralphie in the Christmas Story, the Griswold’s, or those lucky enough to meet Buddy the Elf. 

What is your favorite memory from your childhood of Christmas where you remember the magic the most?

I was around 6 years old coming back from a gathering of extended family in Salem on Christmas Eve. It was an icy and snowy night and our journey home would be an unforgettable one. We barely made it out of the city and still had quite the journey to go in our old Ford pickup truck. For those that know me, you remember the trek up to the house in the country. It was a dark and snowy night and the snow drifts up in the hills made us feel like we would leave the road at any moment. My father was one heck of a driver in the snow, but even with his expertise and relentless will to get us home, Old Man Winter taught my dad a lesson. We hit a drift which sucked us toward the side of the rode where we would stop in silence. I remember my parents looking at each other with the “What are we going to do?” look. At this point we were only about two miles from our house, but a family trekking through this snowstorm at around midnight put us in a position of helplessness. I remember my dad getting out of the truck to try to dig us out of the drift, wanting to get us home to a warm bed to get ready for Santa’s visit. I knew there was nothing we could do when the only thing that came back to that truck cab was a discouraged face. 

We huddled together in that truck for about 15-20 minutes when we heard a vehicle and saw lights. Could that be Santa’s sleigh? It wasn’t, but it was just as magical. Out late that night were some neighbors that lived down the road that just happened to have a nice big truck. Even though there was no room in the cab, we jumped in the bed and huddled up for the two mile journey home. As the snow fell on my face I looked up at my mother with a worried look on her face and asked “Mom… can Santa come in this weather? Did we miss him?”. Her response….”Santa will come….he always does”. 

That was a night that was unforgettable. Not only because of a higher power watching over us and helping us get home safe, but the feeling of how close I was with my family and them reassuring me that everything was going to be ok. 

Other memories I have as a child?

-Singing hymns at church, and seeing friends and family
-“Cousins Christmas”, with great-grandmas homemade fudge and grandma’s cake and bean dip.
-The yearly tradition of going up into our own forest to cut down a Christmas tree.

I never had many presents as a child, but I was always thankful for what I did get and the luckiness of the experiences I had. 

The fun of being a parent is to create our own traditions and to pass those magical experiences on to another generation. 

-The yearly trip to Alpenrose to see Storybook Lane (I’m so glad it was back this year)
-Every two years going to Dilley to see the other Storybook Lane.
-Disneyland many years (including the monsoon in California last year)
-Always opening pajamas on Christmas Eve (Keely and I have been doing that for 17 years now)
-Going to the Holiday Food and Gift Festival and eating snacks
-Getting our tree the few days after Thanksgiving (definitely dead this year at this time)
-Decorating the tree together
-Driving around in our pajamas looking at Christmas lights.
-Having white sauce enchiladas at Grandmas on Christmas day
-Heading to the local pub on Christmas night (this is the adult tradition)
- And so many more

Hopefully, your traditions are continuing to live on and you are making new ones every year. I hope all of you have had a wonderful day. Happy Holidays!