This time of year is really special for me. As Christmas approaches I am bombarded with childhood memories of Christmas over the years. I’ve debated which ones to talk about here and which ones you probably won’t get. Sometimes you just have to be there. But there are a few that stand out in my mind as particularly precious.
To me, one of the most important traditions my family has is the reinactment of the Christmas Story, as told in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. My dad reads from these sacred texts as the children act out the story. The first year we decided to do this it was only me and M. A far cry from the six of us there are today. It was decided that I would be Joseph because I was taller. I wore a t-shirt of my dad’s and had a towel wrapped around my head. M was Mary. She also wore a t-shirt of my dad’s and attempted to look pregnant until the moment that Jesus was visible in the story. My stuffed tiger played the part of the donkey. A stuffed duck was the animal in the stable. A doll wrapped in a blanket was baby Jesus. His manger was a little cubby in the entertainment center. Clearly these were humble beginnings. Each year we built on the tradition. Now we have costumes (a relatively wide variety of bathrobes) and people to play almost every character in the story. We’re still a little short for the Wise Men. Mostly owing to the fact that there were 4 girls and 2 boys, it is a female dominated production. Now my sweet husband is participating in this tradition for the first time this year. It should be great!
Another unspoken tradition is getting up before the crack of dawn (2 or 3 am is customary) to sit around the tree and gaze longlingly at our gifts. Usually around five or six am we start singing Christmas songs to inform my parents that we are ready for our gifts. We go around in a circle, each person getting a few seconds of attention on her/him and the gift.
One big rule. . .Santa DOES NOT bring the gifts that go under the tree. He only brings the stuff in our stockings.
However, this time of year has recently become special for another reason. On December 17th, 2010 I married the love of my life. I know I frequently spout my feminist ideals on here and this statement may sound contradictory to those ideals, but I don’t care that much. That was the best day of my life. It was filled with family, love, and joy. The judge that read us our vows was phenomenal. Any government official that is willing to work until 5:30 pm on a Friday the week before Christmas is great in my book.
The morning of our wedding I got flowers and breakfast in bed. I have to admit, for such an independent woman I loved being taken care of. I know it was our day, but I feel like I’m the lucky one.