December 6, 2008 § 6 Comments

Christmas memories.

According to the date on this photo, this was my second Christmas. I was about 15 months old. Most of our family photos are on slides so I don’t have many hard copy photos. I wish I had some pictures of the tall drifts of snow and our puffy snow suits. I have two younger brothers.  We were the proverbial kids that had to go potty just as the last mitten and the last hat was put on.

I grew up on a farm in Iowa. I remember cold winters, curling up under wool blankets, and the wood stove in the kitchen where my dad would burn corn cobs. I also remember hearing the Dogs Barking Jingle Bells on the radio every Christmas.  Probably the worst song ever. But as a kid I thought it was hilarious.

The best memory ever, though, is the Christmas Eve candle light service at church.  Real candles were lit.   I know… a fire hazard today and prohibited.  At the end of the service all the lights in the church would be turned off and the only light came from the advent candle in the front.  The ushers would light their candles from the advent candle and then start at the front of the church, lighting the candle of the first person in each row while working their way to the back.  Then, that first person would light the candle of the person next to them.  I would watch in amazement and wonder  as the church went from almost completely dark to completely lit as the last person’s candle was lit.  I don’t think there is any other Christmas memory as distinct as that one.

What are some of your best Christmas memories?

§ 6 Responses to 19

  • katy says:

    I’m using my Dad’s laptop and I was just muttering to my mum that the screen was going funny…then I realised it’s SNOWING!!! Awesome.

    My favourite christmas memories are the same every year. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up and my mum would start food shopping really early, each week getting a little bit to go in the pantry and save for Christmas. On the weekend before the big day we’d put the tree up, and get out the tupperware party tray and bring out the candies and nuts. It was such a huge treat to have candied fruit and chocolates wrapped in colourful papers that I can’t help but miss it a little bit now.

  • Melody says:

    What great symbolism: helping to light each other’s candles after receiving the light from the original Giver of Light. I love that.

  • Liz says:

    My favorite memories revolve around the tree… the tradition when we were very young was that Mom & Dad would get the tree, hid it from us and then put it up, decorate it and get all of the presents around after we went to bed. They went to bed exhausted and we would always wake them up early to go downstairs to look at what Santa brought. Another year, Dad got this tree that looked ok on the lot, but as it warmed up in the house, the branches kept unfolding. It was a huge tree! Yet again, as the tree warmed up, a sparrow also warmed up and fly out of the tree. It was fun to try and catch it. As we got older, we wouldgo to a tree farm with another family, find our trees and then go to one of the houses for stew and good fun.

  • Liz says:

    oops, the sparrow flew out of the tree… where is grammer check when you need it!

  • Judy Holt says:

    I go to Bear Creek United Methodist in Woodinville. We have been singing Silent Night and lighting the candles exactly as you discribed every year at the end of our 11:00 PM Service. Our entire family loves the late night service. One of our members is the Duvall Fire Chief and he seems to be fine with this tradition. I love it, we have a cloud light in the middle of the sanctuary, when all the candles are lit we can look up and see the beautiful reflection of all of the candles.

  • Lily Boot says:

    my most skin tingly moments at Christmas are from Christmas Eve mass. My favourite is our first Christingle service 2 years ago. We visited a little Anglican church (we’re actually Catholic) because I was intrigued by the Christingle service – just before the end of a beautiful service that was perfect for children – Father John had the children come up to the altar and sit around him to read the Christmas story, there was a lovely nativity set up under the altar and wonderful carols etc. – Father John announced that they had not been able to buy enough oranges that year for the Christingle so we would sing the Christingle carol and the five children that sang the loudest would receive a Christingle. Well the children – including Abigail, sang with all their might. Father John turned out the lights and then the deacons appeared from behind the altar carrying multiple trays of at least 100 oranges all aglow with their little candles and lollies. Oh it was beautiful and the look on Abigail’s face when she realised she would have one to take home makes the tears roll down my cheeks now. It was absolute Christmas bliss.

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