My Favorite Christmas Memory

Everyday this month, our company CEO has been sending out emails related to Christmas, most of them have to do with Safety because this is the time of year we see an increase in accidents. Some of the emails have been fun, for example the one where he asked for people to share their favorite Christmas movie quote or the one where he asked what your favorite Christmas memory was. I was thinking really hard about my favorite Christmas memory. I didn’t actually respond to the email because people were replying all, which is a major pet peeve of mine. I did not want to reply all, but knowing that everyone seemed to have replied all, also made me not want to just respond to our CEO so that he didn’t think anything about it, not that he would, I’m just paranoid that way.

I thought I could share my favorite Christmas memory here because I do love Christmas! I love the ambiance, the feeling in the air, the music, the decorations, the peppermint mocha, the fun print Christmas pajamas, and Alex’s cookies. My very favorite thing is usually inviting people to my house to see how jolly it is, share a meal, drinks, talk, and laugh, but obviously this year that is not going to be the case.

So why do I love Christmas so much and what is my favorite memory?

Growing up I was always hopeful for Santa Claus.  Even though I knew he wasn’t real, I secretly questioned whether he could be real, what if he does exist and he is the one who delivers presents. If by chance he was real, I didn’t want to miss my opportunity, so I secretly waited for Santa… but he never came. I remember going to church and being aware it was Christmas Eve; church usually gave us a small present which I happily accepted, but I so wanted to go home to sleep and wake up in the morning just like little kids always did on Christmas mornings in the movies, I wanted to wake up and see that Santa had stopped by my house. I know Christmas isn’t about the presents and I do have fond memories of the season, I’m just setting the stage for my favorite Christmas memory.

I think the magic of Christmas that you see on TV or in the movies really has a way of making you extra hopeful and inclined to believe things you wouldn’t normally, especially at a young age. Santa did not appear that year, even when I woke up and didn’t see presents, I rationalized that I must have the dates wrong or that he hadn’t quite made it to Los Angeles yet, what did I know, I was only a kid. I know if my parents could have, they would have gotten us something. My mom always did what she could by signing us for things or taking us to community events.

That Christmas evening, my older brother Tony came to visit us, he no longer lived with us because he was now in college and guess what guys?! He brought us Christmas presents! I had to be 7 or 8 because my little sister was was still a baby and not quite walking well yet, which I remember because he got her one of those walking corn popper push toys. I got real Barbies, you read that right, plural! I know to most 7 or 8 year old girls, it might not be a big deal, but this was the first time I remember owning a real Mattel Barbie. Not a dollar store plastic wanna be Barbie whose limbs fall off every second and whose body parts deform if you hold it too tight. I played with these same dolls well into my tweens. I cannot explain the feeling I get just thinking about it, its a high I want everyone to experience and it is the reason I love Christmas so much. I want to make the people around me feel the way I felt when my brother showed up with love, its not even about the Barbie, its about the thought, that even though he was older and I’m sure too cool to be thinking about his little sisters and probably too broke in his own right as a college student. He showed up and made our day. That Christmas is the only picture I have of me with Christmas presents.

I’ve always rocked Christmas sweaters. That baby doll is the present I got from church the night before and those are the most awesome beautiful Barbies, best presents ever!

That is my favorite Christmas memory. I have spent so many holidays with very little, even after that one, so I overcompensate now by going all out for it. After thanksgiving I blast the Christmas music and put out decorations everywhere I can fit them. We always had a Christmas tree, but I always wanted a picturesque holiday home and so I go a bit mad with the decorating each year. I also want to be the person my brother was for me, that’s why I always try to go out of my way to get something for everyone I care about, to let them feel the joy I felt that Christmas I got presents, not because getting Barbies was awesome, but because my brother took the time to think about me and make me feel joy.

One consistent happy memory I do have of my childhood was when the City of Bell city hall/community center had their annual holiday. This was a day where it felt like everyone in the city would stand in line to meet Santa, take a picture, and get a gift. After standing in line and receiving your present from Santa, you would exit the hall and be able to participate in different stations with activities, things like making a popsicle stick frame ornament. We would get there really early and stand in line drinking hot chocolate, I should say my mom stood in line while I ran around just like all the other kids. We never paid to take pictures with Santa, I actually hardly remember going to the mall in those days, but the one and only picture I have with Santa was taken at this event from the City of Bell. I hope they know how big of an impact things like these can have on a child, sometimes it’s the only thing they get. These days I volunteer my time as much as I can, not only during the holiday season, but during this time of year it feels extra special because I know how much I appreciated all those people volunteering their time.

My only picture with Santa taken at the City of Bell community center during one of their holiday events.
This was our second Christmas in Fort Worth, this was our living room. We hardly had anything, but we always managed a Christmas decoration and I believe the presents were from a Catholic charity my mom had signed us up for.
This was my tree the first holiday I hosted in San Antonio about 5 years ago.

I will have to post a picture of what my house looks like now when I don’t have wrapping paper and ribbon everywhere, prior to this I spent my evening wrapping homemade Nordy Bars and Cookies to take to all my coworkers tomorrow. Life is good. Happy Holidays!

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