I do like the baking. I love giving presents that people like. There are good parts to it.
I was thinking today about the Christmases I enjoyed growing up. There were quite a few.
My grandma and grandpa used to come stay over night on Christmas eve. I wasn't allowed to open any gifts early but my grandparents would bring a stocking and I was allowed to open that. I don't remember a lot about it (other than I loved opening it early) but in every stocking was a hand held toy that you pushed, the tree spun and opened and revealed something on the inside. Much like this:
Those were fun.
One year, my grandmother was sick and in the hospital over Christmas. My mom and I bought a small tree (maybe 4 feet tall), decorated it and put it in a big trash bag. I took it up to the hospital and left it in her room as a surprise for her. But I forgot her gift. I drove home (about an hour away), got the gift and went back to the hospital. She was asleep but woke when I was trying to sneak the gift under the tree. She cried when she opened package and saw the pin (pearl, marcasite and sterling silver). I get teary eyed when I look at it in my jewelry box.
The early Christmases with my girls were fun. They loved the boxes and the crinkling paper. They didn't much care about the gifts. They were so much easier to buy for back then. I loved the pictures with Santa. Some were more successful than others. Luckily through the years, we never had a pee or puke on Santa event so I call them all a success.
The Mormon temple here has an amazing Festival of Lights. It's always one of my favorite places to go during the holidays. I think the girls were about 3 years old when I took them to see the trees and nativities inside the visitor's center. Inside the center is a large statue of Jesus. He's wearing a robe and sandals. One of my kids, M, I think, went up to him and started doing "this little piggy....". Some of the old people there were not happy. It amused me.
My favorite Christmas was when I was about 19 or so. I had just started my first business - Discovery Records. My brother still came home for the holiday at that time. I don't remember much about it all except coming down the stairs and seeing him and my mom. I guess we had started opening gifts when I noticed the card table set up in the corner. On it was my first desk top computer. I was so excited. I can still see it all clearly in my head. We spent hours going over everything - it was so exciting. I'm pretty sure he has no idea that's my favorite Christmas memory.
It's harder to please my kids now that they're older. And I date someone who is unbelievably tough to buy for. Every now and then I get it right with him, though. Hopefully everyone will have a good day this year.