Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was on last night.
I watched it with the kids – all five of them – even the teenagers. We sang right along with the songs; jumped in fright when the Bumble prepared to eat Clarisse; and cheered when Herbie removed all his teeth.
It’s a classic. An event. A tradition that we enjoy once a year.
As I sat there last night I remembering sitting at home with my siblings doing the very same thing – only the TV was black and white.
Just hearing Burl Ives singing “Silver and Gold” brought back a flood of memories. I could almost smell the Christmas tree and taste Dad’s caramel corn.
I remembered visiting Santa at the firehouse and getting a brown paper sack of goodies (salted peanuts at the bottom, a candy cane, and apple and orange.)
I remembered Christmas Eve – dressing up and saying our “pieces” in the Church Christmas program, then hurrying home to hang our stockings on the couch (we had no fireplace) and taking the traditional pajama picture before going to bed to wait for sleep to come.
I remembered slipping out of bed, tiptoeing to my sister’s room with my other siblings to wait for Santa. We would giggle and talk and send out an occasional spy until we got caught.
I remembered waking up at dawn and running to the Christmas tree to see if Santa had come, before running to Mom and Dad’s room and literally pulling them out of bed.
I remembered the chocolate Santa and animal crackers in my stocking, the happy confusion of unwrapping gifts, and the special breakfast of little smokies sausages and Pillsbury pastries from a tube (rare treats from my “make-everything homemade” mom).
I remember Christmas dinner at grandpa and grandma’s house, opening more presents, and playing with cousins before heading to the other grandma’s house for an oyster soup supper on Christmas night.
Such rich memories.
As the credits rolled last night I couldn’t help but wonder just what my kids will remember.
What sights and sounds of Christmas will trigger their memories?
I only hope they are as rich and wonderful as mine are.
Thanks Mom and Dad.