The holiday season makes one nostalgic about Christmases past. There are some wonderful memories and some memories not quite so wonderful. There are warm scenes that flash through my mind of children opening gifts and getting excited about a new toy. As a child, Christmas was more about family gatherings, music, lots of tamales, laughter, dancing and less about gifts.
Later, with your children it is glorious gift festival. Large piles of gifts spread all over the living room. Some gifts were well hidden, lest they be prematurely opened by curious children. I remember one season when both our older children were very sick with a virus.
My wife and I slept the night in the living room floor with the two children. We awoke every hour to check on the children. We spent Christmas Day at home and didn’t celebrate Christmas until the following weekend. At that time we lived in a small one bedroom apartment on Riggin Avenue, near Atlantic Square.
Christmas the following year was great.
Then there was the Christmas Eve I put together a bicycle for my son. I struggled for hours to put it together until the early morning hours. I gave up, much to the disappointment of my son. We returned the bike to Sears. I found out that the parts had been mixed up and there was no way I would fit together.
One of my favorite childhood memories was when I received a pump action BB rifle as a Christmas gift. (My mother wasn’t too happy!)
One of the happiest Christmases happened when my granddaughter Kaitlin was born. She is like me in many ways, reflecting our heritage. Over the years, she has proved herself smart, athletic and tough.
I have had dreams of spending the holidays in a different manner. Have you ever seen that Corona beer commercial with the couple on the beach at Puerto Vallarta on Christmas Day? Hmm.How about Christmas Eve dinner at the Ahawanee Hotel at Yosemite.
Can you imagine siting before a roaring fire at the world famous hotel. How about going to Las Vegas? Thousands of people go to Las Vegas for the Christmas and New Year Holidays.Hawaii.
Don’t even ask me about dreams Christmas at Hawaii and Waikiki Beach.Naa… .what would Christmas be without the smell of home made tamales cooking in the kitchen.
How about the sound of children squealing as they unwrap gifts…the sound of the choir at midnight Mass.
I’d miss the brisk walk that I take through my neighborhood on a crisp Christmas Day, listening to their family sounds and smelling breakfast cooking.
I think I’ll stay home again this year.. Not in my dreams, but in reality.