So tonight is my family Christmas party and I couldn't make it down to Cedar City to be with them, so today I have been reflecting on childhood memories. I grew up in a large family and at the time I thought it was annoying, but I am so glad to have each one of them. As I reflect on my childhood memories of Christmas at the Caldwells (realize my memory is going) so this could be a figment of my imagination. I remember that my Mom had made us these great stockings. I loved them and thought my Mom was the most crafty lady around. We had an advent calendar that I thought was truly wonderful. The only thing I didn't like was that with 6 kids it seemed like you had to wait so long for your turn to pull the next surprise out and hang on the tree. My Mom always decorated the house so warm and cozy. I still love going to her house at Christmas and feeling that same feeling. We acted out the Christmas story a few different years at FHE. With 6 kids there never seemed to be a shortage of a baby Jesus. Every year we helped my Mom make hard tack candy. It was so fun. It probably was a big hassle for her, but we loved being in the kitchen with her. Every Christmas Eve we got to open one present(I think it was usually PJ's). It seemed like every year my Mom was explaining that with a big family we wouldn't be getting as many presents as other kids in much smaller families. We usually got three presents, which I think was just enough. I wish I had stuck to that quota with my own children. More isn't always better. My Mom was always making gifts for my grandparents. Money was tight with a big family and she was always tried to do something meaningful for the grandparents and still save money. I remember her crosstiching, making quilts, and some kind of dough project that she baked after. I know that description doesn't do the project justice, but it was once again another crafty thing that only a very crafty lady can do (why did I not inherit this trait?) On Christmas Eve Mom made lots of snacks and we got to eat up and I think we even got to drink pop, which was a real treat. We played games and before we went to bed my Dad always read the Christmas story out of the bible. What a dear memory...the whole family together listening to the story of the birth of our Savior. After that we all "slept" together in the same room (I don't recall much sleeping.) We watched the clock every hour, knowing we could not wake Mom and Dad until 6:00 a.m. Then we were able to get up and each of us watched as each of us unwrapped their presents. Of course we always had our traditional quiche, bran muffin, and wassil breakfast. Mom spent so much time baking and cooking to make the holidays nice for us all. I guess that's why I feel like I need to do the same. Mike always tells me to do something easy for Christmas breakfast and I insist on following in my Mothers footsteps. Although I really don't like wassil so that is not a part of our tradition.
So I guess the point of this long post is to let my family know how much I love each one of them and how grateful I am for fond memories of Christmas' past. Thank you Mom for putting all that time into making everything so nice. You probably wondered at times if it was worth it and I think it was. Thank you Chris, Jon, Robyne, Tom, and Kari for the long chats on Christmas Eve wondering if we heard the reindeers on the roof and what our gifts may be. Thank you Dad for reading to us from the Bible. Reminding us what the real meaning of Christmas is. I love all of you and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!