Remembering Christmas Past

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"Remembering Christmas Past" by Melanie Jean Juneau (CatholicMom.com)

Paul Seignac [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

It is the little things which delight young children, especially at Christmas. My kids taught me to pay attention to the details and to view the world through eyes of wonder with a heart filled with gratitude.

Christmas Morning Details

It still was dark on this particular Christmas morning, way too early for my husband and me; we had worked to set up on Christmas Eve till 2:00 AM. Although my husband and I couldn’t even pry our eyes open, we were smiling with contentment as we lay in bed, listening to the excited whispers and giggles of our three youngest children. They made their way down the front stairs whispering in awe because one of the older kids had intertwined multi-coloured lights around the banister, transforming the dark staircase into a magical pathway to the tree.

First, the trio ducked into the formal living room to see the presents for the first time and special candy canes on the tree. In our old farmhouse, our bedroom was right above the kitchen and we had left the kitchen back stairs door open. Suddenly, even more excited gasps of surprise escaped their lips as they gazed in wonder around the transformed kitchen.

A gingerbread house, created at night when the littlest ones were sleeping, sat in the centre of the table with a fruit bowl, dishes of candies, nuts, and, best of all, bought sugar cereal! The whole room was edged with coloured lights and Christmas towels, tablecloth, napkins, pot holders with bright red ribbons on all the door handles.

Grateful for the Little Things

One year Martha, a friend at Madonna House, asked Alison what her favourite thing about Christmas was and she said,

“The pineapple!”

Her answer shocked Martha, but I was simply pleased. I understood that children notice and appreciate the small things. No detail escapes them. Without much extra cash during the year, they still to this day treasure every detail, ornament, and treat that was and still is part of Christmas.

When a few of the oldest kids were in their mid- to late teens, friends would ask to come over and set up with us. They would cart presents downstairs, arrange them, help fill 11 stockings, and hang lights. They were intrigued by our large family with all the hustle and bustle and activity. It was never boring at our house. The teens craved the joy and excitement of creating magic for younger children who did not receive many frills during the rest of the year. I think they also craved the sense of stability, of a family grounded in the old-fashioned values of mutual love and respect.

Ask about your children’s favourite Christmas memories. Their answers might surprise you!


Copyright 2018 Melanie Jean Juneau 

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About Author

Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.

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