I have so many good Christmas memories. My parents always made sure we had Christmas, even the years we were traveling from one City or another for a military transfer, usually those years we would swing by Ohio to spend Christmas with my mom's family, and attend the annual Christmas Eve get together. I will admit, those years hold some of my best memories.
But I have to say, my favorite Christmas memory is the year my and my first husband lived in Nebraska (1995). We decided at the last minute to drive straight through to Toledo and surprise everyone by showing up to the annual Christmas Eve party. We had to tell someone so we told my Nana who in turn told my Cousin Shelly. But they were the only ones who knew. The drive to Toledo itself was miserable, but once we arrived we had a day all to oursleves with my Nana before we left for the party. Shelly came over, and spent some time with us, she was pregnant with her first baby and had just found out, she was so excited, as I was excited for her. My cousins Kip, Kraig, and Kent all called separately to see if Nana needed a ride to the party, she told each of them one of the other ones were taking her. We were late (not uncommon when I am involved), however my Uncle Bill and his family were even later. Kip, Kraig, and Kent were confused because each of them were there without Nana. We knocked on the door, and walked in, and managed to surprise everyone, and in my family that is a huge feat, even my Uncle Bill did not put two and two together when he arrived and saw our car with the Florida tags in it. I can say this was the first year I "made" soemthing by hand, it was a Memory Wreath for my Nana. Now, remember this was way before internet, somehow I managed to get letters to all her kids and grandkids asking for pictures of them and momentos that would represent them. They sent them all back to me and I deocrated a wreath with small picture frames and the moementos. She loved that wreath. I love that wreath, it is now in my possession, and it brings back such warm memories.
During that trip I also spent some time with my grandfather and his family. I visited my Great Grandma Reese. It was my last visit with while she was still relatively healthy.
That was the last Christmas I spent with my Nana, she died years later, but in those years I had never made it back fro Christmas. Uncle Bill and My Cousin Kip are no longer with us either. I miss them all. The annual Christmas Eve get together has waned in recent years with all of us grand kids having our own families, and being tugged in every direction, kind of sad, but so grateful to have those memories to hang on to and so wish my kids had experienced one of those get togethers.