Snow Globe Memories   7 comments

What is your fondest holiday memory?

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I can’t answer that with a single instance and I have a good reason for that – a couple of them, actually. More about that in a moment.

My mother was born Christmas Day. So was her father. Christmas was not my mother’s favorite holiday because it meant she never had a birthday. When you share your birthday with a deity, you don’t rate – go figure. No birthday parties and no presents. When she was little, her older sister allowed her to share her birthday in September.

When she met my father, she was in her late 30s and this man decided he could move a major holiday for the woman he loved. So we would always have “Christmas” (opening presents) on Christmas Eve and that left Christmas Day for a party. Fairbanks had a lot of bachelor men in those days, so Dad, a chef, would always invite a bunch of them over to celebrate Mom’s birthday.

I have a lot of pleasant memories from those times, but I think the one that gets me the most is a year when weather delayed my dad coming home from a remote location and Mom went to bed without opening gifts. So I sat up. I couldn’t have been more than seven because we moved out of that house the summer I was seven, but I remember sitting up on the window seat in the living room, kind of behind the Christmas tree. The tree lights were on, but if I sat back against the window trim, the drapery let me see out the window without reflections. It was a snow-globe world out there – big wet flakes drifting down from the chiaroscuro sky. And, then a long way off, a man in a tan car coat and heavy winter boots walked along the pristine street shrouded in unbroken snow and my dad walked in the door. He saw the unopened presents and he said “Be patient, monkin.” He made Mom get up and we opened the presents and then just as the last one was done, he pulled out her birthday present and said “It’s one minute past. Open it.” I think he gave her the jade earrings I now regularly wear, the ones she was wearing when the 1967 Flood destroyed almost everything they owned the following summer.

My other fondest memories are holding my newborns in my arms on Christmas Eves and Days. Both of my children were born days before Christmas, five years and 364 days apart. They were neither born early enough to play Baby Jesus in the church pageant, but I always thought I knew what Mary felt like that Christmas morn. And because they were born so close to Christmas, my mother made me extra sensitive to their birthday needs. This year will be the first year in 26 years that neither of my children will spend their birthday with us – though our son is planning to be here the following day for his sister’s birthday. She’s traveling, so hopefully we’ll get a call. And Kiernan will be home for Christmas Eve and this time with a date, so new fondest memories are in the making.

Posted December 24, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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7 responses to “Snow Globe Memories

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  1. My daughter was born a few days before Christmas, and we always made a point to celebrate it and not join the two events. Merry Christmas!

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    • We did with our kids (both born a few days before Christmas). Our son, an extremely practical person, would opt for his birthday party on Thanksgiving weekend. Quite a few parents braved Black Friday without their children because our son chose that from about age 5 onward. Our daughter would have a big birthday blowout on the last day of the school term. It didn’t necessarily fall on her birthday, but close enough. Since they are both solstice babies and there’s a big party in Fairbanks for the solstice – fireworks, etc. – they always kind of thought the whole town was celebrating their birthdays anyway.

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  2. I know somebody whose birthday is on Christmas Day, and she also celebrates it on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas Lela!

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