Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Memories

I was born in 1983, and back then video cameras were still a relatively new thing for families to own. My parents didn't get one until I was about 9 months old, and the first four years of my life are on one VHS tape. They really only got it out on Christmas and my birthday, I think because it had to be hooked up to the tv in order to work. There are a ton of pictures from those years, but that video tape is soooo special to me. It's the only glimpse I really have of those first few years of my life that I don't really remember.

Every once in a blue moon, I pull it out and watch it. I've been doing so the past few nights. I'll sit down and watch about 30 minutes of it before going to bed. And I love it. I hope that doesn't sound too narcissistic of me.

I think that Christmas just brings out this little part of me that wants so badly to reconnect with my youth. I miss that feeling of impatience that comes in December. Time goes by so quickly, but I remember how Christmas seemed forever away when I was a child. I also remember the excitement and how fun it was to try to squeeze my eyes shut in bed on Christmas Eve in hopes that I would hurry up and fall asleep so that Santa Claus would come.

My second Christmas is the first one on the tape, and I love how I am shown standing at the edge of the living room. My parents and grandparents are trying to coax me to go across the room and check out the toys that Santa brought, but I was so overwhelmed by them that I wasn't quite sure what to make of it all. I finally go across and pick up one of the like four Care Bears sitting in the red wagon. Then I notice the pretend vacuum and ironing board, and I start using them "like mommy" as they suggest. I find the doctor's kit and mom shows me how to use various plastic instruments to play doctor.

My third Christmas started in a similar way, but Santa wrapped this presents this year. I bring them to the couch to open them one by one. I love seeing how animated my grandpa was and how excited he got as I got excited over each present (this is especially nice to watch this year since he just passed away and won't be with us for the first time).

My fourth Christmas is when Teddy Ruxpin showed up. Did anyone else have him? It's one of the childhood toys that I insisted on keeping. It's not that I play with it anymore, but it's something I remember really loving. I'd like to be able to let my own kids play with it someday.

That was also the year that I wanted "a talking bird." I don't remember it, but apparently I had seen this parrot toy that would record what you say and repeat it back to you. My grandpa got it for me, and I was soooo excited when I opened it up. It's so fun to see that look on my face.

Christmas is much different now. Some of our traditions are the same... there's the same Avon advent calendar with the little mouse that my sister and I still kind of fight over who gets to move it, even though neither of us live with the parentals anymore. Many of the Christmas ornaments are the same. We'll still open presents on Christmas morning and it will be fun.

But so much is different. We're not kids anymore. There aren't quite as many surprises in the packages. I don't have a bedtime on Christmas Eve.

It's fun to look back on those tapes and see what I was like as a kid, but it's even more fun to kind of reminisce on what Christmas used to be like.

There's one short clip where I'm still a little unsure about everything and I'm just kind of standing there... mom says something about how Santa must have thought I was really good and I look at the toys and then look at her and I say, "It's wonderful" in this small little voice. I didn't even know that I knew that word when I was 2 1/2, but apparently I did. It made me smile to see that.

Christmas is wonderful. It may not be the same, but it's still a wonderful season of giving. I love seeing that look on people's faces when they open a gift I picked out especially for them. And I hope to someday have kids of my own and that I'll be able to see their faces full of excitement on Christmas morning.

What are your Christmas memories?


Love to Run said...

What a wonderful post. You are pulling at my heart strings there. I do not have the videos like you of my Christmas youth but there are some pictures. Having kids does bring back a lot of that anticipation again but in a whole different way. It is still just a nice, but different.

I do remember as a child coming home from my Aunt and Uncles house late Christmas Eve (actually about midnight). We went there every Christmas Eve to be with my Dad's side of the family with all my cousins. I was the youngest and when we left every year, I was so tired but I still remember always looking out the window on the cold car ride home, looking to the sky to try and see Santa and his reindeer.

A child's imagination is a powerful thing and at times I almost thought I saw him. Sure made me get into bed quickly and try to go to sleep.

Eric said...

Hey agree with you in everything I don't have video tapes I just pic and I remember all of my brothers and us having fun great post and Feliz Navidad

Nicole said...

molly mcbutter my cabbage patch baby doll that got accidently left at the doctors office. it broke my little heart! she was a christmas gift and i used to push her around in my little shopping cart and would grocery shop in my moms cubbards. best time EVER! then i would load up the gorceries in the bags and put them in my battery operated jeep and drive them to my house HAHAHAHAHHAA!!!!!!!

i love watching old time movies of me and my brother when we were little! best best best memories!! so funny too!

kilax said...

This post is just bursting with Christmas spirit. I love it!

I think we had a Teddy Ruxpin too. We had so many wonderful gifts. I have similar memories - trying to fall asleep, hoping I would see Santa. Christmas was always a whirlwind of activity. Christmas Eve was spent with my mom's family with Christmas morning at our house and the day with my dad's family. I remember it being so fun-filled. It is different now. You don't have the same wonderment as a kid!

Rachel H. said...

Such a wonderful post to read about all your memories...I remember as a child watching myself on VHS. My parents would get the tapes down every once and awhile, and we would watch ourselves and laugh about how much we were back then!