Memories, of the Christmas Kind

Personal

When I think of Christmases past, I remember only the best moments. Experiences that made me appreciate the true reason of Christmas and feel fortunate to live the life I am. Here are few memories of my favorite Christmases…

1986: My twin sister broke her arm while playing in a city park. The city gave my parents money to avoid legal issues. My parents bought us new bikes with big, red bows. I never owned anything so beautiful in my life.

1988: My father worked two jobs to make ends-meet. But times were extraordinarily tough. Two days before Christmas, our doorbell rang. My family found an anonymous donation of wrapped gifts and bags of groceries to make Christmas dinner.

1989: Times were still tough. Bills had to be paid before gifts were purchased. Our church gathered gifts to donate to children in Mexico and my father was in charge of distribution. Our family packed our semi-working Volkswagon van to the brim with new toys and drove to Tijuana, Mexico to give gifts to orphan children. Mobs of children swarmed our van and stuck their sticky hands through the windows for gifts. We felt like the luckiest people to be alive.

1992: Stuffing my little brother into a stocking and taking pictures of him amongst my stuffed animals. He STILL hasn’t forgiven me.

1994: My family moved. Our house was pretty empty, but I was given brand new sunflower bedspread. And a bottle of Armani Aqua d’Gio perfume. That was a day when I felt like true royalty. Don’t ask me why, I just did.

1997: My first Christmas with JD. He bought me a teddy bear, a ticket to Disneyland, and the new Boyz II Men CD. I bought him a pair of white jeans, a new pager, and M&M’s. Oh, Internet, cut me some slack…it was the 90’s!!!

2000: Our first Christmas with a bald mom. Cancer brought us even tighter during the holiday season. St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton chose our family to be recipients of their Adopt-A-Family charity, and we received so many gifts and well-wishes from doctors and nurses. Their support renewed our hope mom would make it through.

2002: I was working as a manager at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza on Christmas Eve. I swore to myself I’d never be forced to work on a holiday ever again.

2005: My first Christmas as a wife. Trying to be a domestic goddess, I bought every Christmas decoration available at a discount store near my house. JD said our living room looked like Las Vegas and The North Pole got into a fight. And I was all, But doesn’t it look AMAZING?! He almost wore sunglasses that night as we decorated the tree.

2008: I don’t know what’s in store, but I do know one thing: I am happy. I honestly don’t want a single gift this year because I have everything that truly matters. A healthy family, a hopeful future, an amazing husband, fabulous friends, and the world’s most adorable dog. I couldn’t ask for more.

Special thanks to my good friend, Rita for sending me this gingerbread house. When my mom asks me to clean the dishes after our Christmas morning breakfast, I’m going to say NO. Why? Oh, because, MY NAME IS WRITTEN IN ICING. And I’m sure that makes me famous in some parts of the world. Just Google it.