Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Memories of Christmas Past

This will be a "First Christmas" for many families - First Christmas together - First Christmas tree of their own - First time to cook a Christmas turkey (yikes!!! remember that??) - First Christmas away from home (ours was in BC - a long way from NS) - Baby's first Christmas - The first year of new traditions.

This is a photo of my first Christmas. My Dad was military and we were posted to Fountainbleue, France. For sure, it was a year of firsts and a very different Christmas for my parents so far from home. We were in France for 3 years (& that meant 3 Christmases). Fortunately, my Dad's brother was also stationed in Europe (Belgium) so we did have family close by for part of our time there. I know we spent at least one Christmas together with their family.

After France, we were in Winnipeg for 2 years and then we moved back to Nova Scotia. From the time I was 5 years old, we spent every Christmas at my grandparents' house (Mom's side). Christmas day was a time for all 4 siblings and their families to gather and have Christmas Dinner together.

There were 8 cousins (I am the oldest) and we are pictured here at our last traditional Christmas together. After this year, everything changed. The next year I spent Christmas with my uncle's family with an invitation to Christmas Dinner with my future husband's family. It was actually the first time to meet his mother (very stressful to do this on a holiday!! but all went well). The next year we were engaged and every year after that we have shared Christmas with our own family.

Of all the years in the military - traveling far and wide, my husband only missed one Christmas at home with us. On Christmas Day, 1992, he was in Mogadishu, Somalia - flying in famine relief which was so desperately needed. He had volunteered to be deployed over Christmas so that those in the squadron with young families could be home for them. (It's harder for the very young to understand why Daddy - or Mommy - is not home for Christmas. PRAY for our military families!!!) He missed other holidays and special occasions, but Christmas seemed to be the hardest. It was the first and thankfully, the only one.

Memories are Treasures. We have so many memories that it is difficult to choose just one "special" Christmas. After all, isn't it the memories of ALL of our past Christmases that have brought us to this year? Some are valued more than others. Some were celebrated not knowing that it was the last Christmas together. ALL are "special" in their own way. God Bless you this Christmas as you make special memories for 2007.

Selah Y


Jen said...

I think one of the things I love most about Christmas is the remembering...I tell my kids so many stories over the Christmas season. Stories of my christmases and why we have some of the traditions that we have, memories of Mark and my first few christmases and memories of their early Christmases.
It's good to focus on the special times.
Thanks for sharing

Holly said...

Love the pics!

Rhonda said...

I love the baby picture - so cute!! It's so fun to think about past Christmas's. Those memories are so special.

Shari said...

What a cute baby... pretty gorgeous teenager too.

Have fun making new memories with your grandchildren.

redeemed diva said...

Wow! So great. I agree with Jen. Christmas is for remembering. Thanks for sharing the memories and the pics to go with them

Williams Family Blog said...

Thanks for sharing your special Christmas memories Cheryl.