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All I Want For Christmas Is My 2 Front Teeth

Ok, if you’re reading this you are way beyond that season of life! lol

How would you fill in that blank now?

As a child I must confess, I don’t remember thinking that’s all I wanted… even that particular year that it may have applied. Having grown up in a home with a mom and a dad and 2 sisters on a farm in Iowa I have memories of wanting to see Santa Claus and his reindeer and trying with all my might to stay awake to hear the jingle bells. Like most I wished for a baby doll, a chatty Kathy doll, a Barbie doll and I do remember the year wanting a Creepy Crawler set!

Yes, we thought it so incredibly cool to make ants, worms, and lizards in the brightest hot pink and lime green colors out of soft squishy spongy material of some sort! I found something similar this year online… shhhhh… don’t tell my grandsons I’ve ordered it for them:)

I was incredibly blessed not necessarily with vast amounts of expensive gifts but with an amazing Christmas tradition.

I’ll attempt to paint you a picture…

Christmas Eve was an evening at my grandparents just down the gravel road in their large 2 story farm house. We would start the evening standing inside the front door singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and spend the evening enjoying the German tradition of a steamed pudding meal by candlelight and my grandmother’s amazing homemade creations of wispy clouds and angels hanging from her dining room light before adjourning for unwrapping of gifts that were lovingly homemade and usually wrapped in newspaper!

Having survived the depression, my Grandma Klahn was incredibly frugal (or was it that my grandfather was a spend thrift!? probably a bit of both!) never wasting a thing but using the most mundane item to create a thing of beauty or practicality.  One year I recall she took some fur off a coat no longer worn and added scarf material on both sides creating a warm and fun winter head covering. I loved it, not because it was trendy or fashionable but because she made it and it was so soft! 🙂 Often we would leave there to attend the Christmas Eve candlelight service at 11 pm at church and of course fall asleep on the 10 minute drive home to be carried to bed and no surprise,  miss the jingle bells!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

As most children we would wake early with excitement to see what Santa had brought us under the tree.

We NEVER ran down to the living room without being greeted by huge movie camera lights in our eyes as Dad filmed his excited girls with messed up hair and flannel jammies and fuzzy slippers. He at this early hour of 7 a.m. had already been out in the snowy cold feeding the animals.

One year I am certain I saw reindeer tracks in the freshly fallen snow!! I remember nothing else from that year… sure that was proof of the fact that Santa had been there!

By the time we emptied our Christmas stockings of the traditional orange, a box of Barnum & Bailey’s Animal Crackers and chocolate candies and ate the breakfast prepared by Mom there was little time to play before we dressed in our best dresses and winter coats to head to my other grandparents home 5 miles away in the little farming community town. They owned an old house on Main street that used to be the town hospital now turned into a home with 2 rental apartments. (Yep, income property existed before HGTV!! lol)

Here was the large extended family consisting of my mother’s 2 sisters and 1 brother and their families. As the years went by of course the number increased consisting of 9 cousins and 6 aunts and uncles, 2 grandparents and our family of 5.

It was a splendid time with a full turkey meal spread and a large pile of dishes to be done… no dishwashers other then those of us that were old enough to help and eventually do on our own:) A fine and reasonable tradition! I believe we really learned to appreciate the hard work of those who had prepared all that food, as well as having the additional purpose of keeping us busy until the gifts were opened! Grandma Garvin would always read the Christmas story before opening gifts lest we forget what we were really celebrating.

I believe it was here that the tradition of opening 1 gift at a time from the youngest to the oldest so all could enjoy what the other’s had received began. A tradition we continue to this day. It was also not uncommon for our cousins to join my sister and I putting together a little Christmas skit for the adults entertainment! We certainly weren’t Broadway bound, but oh so fun with lots of laughs all around!

I would not be honest if I didn’t confess that as a child the gifts were definitely desired and exciting to receive and yes I still enjoy receiving the gifts but…as you may notice what stands out to me are the experiences, the people that were part of those experiences and the “little” things more then the gifts…singing inside the front door, doing skits and even dishes, reading the Christmas story from the Bible, and waiting with anticipation for the time to come.

We often lose, break or simply outgrow all the “gifts” we receive, but the memories and the blessings with those we love remain. Could it be that “less is more”, that less gifts leave more time and energy for more memories with people? We seem to remember the experiences more.

So with that, “What might you want for Christmas this year?”

I hope you want and will have a time of family and friends sharing whatever traditions you may have. Take notice of the little things that remind you of the blessing that Christmas time is… sharing love and laughter and the gift of life! Don’t disdain or regret another year passing and the changes you see… be thankful for the blessing of it!