Merry Christmas everyone!
This is it – the final blog post for the ’12 Days of Blogmas’ challenge. Thank you to everyone that has been following along with these posts, your comments have really added to my holiday spirit. I’d like to take a moment to give a special shout-out to all of the bloggers who took the challenge with me this year! There is a full list on the ’12 Days of Blogmas’ page HERE. I enjoyed reading each of your posts and seeing how you interpreted the prompts – you are a talented and creative lot!
I’ve enjoyed writing these posts so much that I’m almost sad to see the series wrapping up! Rest assured, the posts, pictures and information will keep flowing here on Alternatively Speaking! If there is ever a topic you would like to see me discuss, please feel free to swing over to my Contact page and drop me a line.
“On the twelfth day of Blogmas, my true love gave to me…
Twelve Christmas Memories!”
Today’s prompt, Christmas memories, couldn’t be a better choice for Christmas Day. The holiday season is full of memorable traditions, festive celebrations and quality time with friends and family. Over the years we collect some amazing memories, times that we can reflect back on with a smile on our faces and a warmth in our hearts – Sometimes with a lot of laughter! These are very specific little moments that may not seem like much when you’re reading them, but they have stuck out in my mind for one reason or another throughout the years.
Here are 12 Christmas memories that have come to mean a lot to me personally:
1 – Each year, as I discussed in yesterday’s post, Santa Claus shows up at my husband’s family Christmas to hand out the gifts. For a long time, he played Santa, until my oldest niece began to catch on, pointing out that he was never there to see Santa. Realizing we had to act fast if we were going to keep her believing, we hired a Santa Claus to come in the following year. As Santa walked into the room and she realized that her Uncle was still sitting there on the couch you literally saw the shock cross her face, her head snapping back and forth from Santa to her Uncle. Her reaction was honestly priceless.
2 – My little fluffball cat Pippen acts like a dog in many ways… She comes when she’s called, wags her tail and she would play fetch for HOURS if you gave her the opportunity to. There is one ornament on our tree that someone made a while back, it’s a little knit and stuffed Santa’s hat. Pippen has declared this ornament as hers. Each year I put it on the tree near the bottom. When she wants to play she will actually come take the ornament off the tree and bring it to us, dropping it at our feet and meowing to us to tell us to throw it. She’s never touched any other ornament on the tree.
3 – My one niece, when she was little, used to be afraid of The Grinch. If you so much as pulled the DVD of the live action movie out so that she could see the title she would hide her face crying out “Noooo” like she was hiding from the Grinch himself. She’s grown out of it now, but I still look back and laugh.
4 – While I normally take pictures or instruct with the band, there are occasionally parades where us instructors need to step in to make sure that parts are covered. One such parade ended up being a bit of a while one weather-wise, with a heavy snowfall during the parade building up in instruments, freezing valves and keys, and making for an interesting experience… A good friend of mine was also standing in to help (he was on the band executive) playing the sousaphone. As the snow continued he built up a snow drift inside the bell of his horn and came up with the idea that it would be hilarious to dump said snow on the person standing in front of him… me… Ya, I’ve got some great, supportive friends.
5 – Back when I was in the military we had a big Christmas dinner each year. There was one year in particular that I apparently had a little too much to drink… A friend was super helpful, getting us a cab (he was coming to crash at my house, a house he had never been to before because I had just moved) and loading me into it (which I’ve been told wasn’t exactly an easy feat). For whatever reason, I decided I didn’t trust said cab drive. The conversation that followed went something like this…
Cab driver: “Where are we going?”
Friend: “Her house”
Cab driver: “Ok, and that address would be?”
Me: “I’m not telling you!”
My poor friend ended up calling around to find someone who knew where the house was because I refused not to budge on the fact. After that, the big joke with my friends was that I needed to carry a paper with my address on it in my wallet at all times.
6 – The first year that I went to my Bestie’s house with the pups makes for a funny memory that I’ll never forget. When we got there Indy went running up the driveway to see her, however, early in us having him, he was still incredibly submissive and timid. The second she pet him he proceeded to pee on her foot. We then brought them inside where Daviana and her pug started playing and ended up running laps around her toddler daughter, sitting in her bouncy chair just dying laughing at the entertainment of it all.
7 – Going back to high school, there is one Christmas that stands out. For the concerts each year we, the students, would try to do something to surprise our music teacher. This year it was a little elaborate, and yet perfect at the same time. At one point in the concert (unknown to the teacher) one student would stand up and start to conduct the concert band (short a few members) in the playing of the Mission Impossible Theme Song. Santa would come into the gymnasium where we were playing being pulled in his ‘sleigh’ by his reindeer, and guarded by people dressed all in black, sunglasses on, with shirts that read ‘Santa’s Secret Service.’ She was restrained with tinsel and given a bag of coal lol Yep, we were great students hahaha
8 – This memory is another one from my military days. The military band would come play as part of a big Christmas parade for the local Navy unit each year, after which there would be a big Christmas dinner that they would invite us to attend. The band members would all sit together at the band table. I had a couple good friends in the Navy, and one year when we arrived I discovered that there were a handful of seats with place markers – among them the girls had labelled both of their seats and mine, between them. Who was I to argue with the place markers? I left my bandmates and celebrated with the Navy crew that year haha!
9 – Each year at my husband’s family Christmas we have a big container of chocolate covered almonds that the kids all love as much as us adults. One year my mother-in-law decided to hold off on bringing them out, hiding them in her closet. We noticed my youngest niece was missing for a period of time and went searching for her – discovering her in the closet, chocolate covered almonds in hand, chocolate all over her face and her cheeks packed looking like a chipmunk.
10 – One year for Halloween I purchased an adorable little skeleton figure that danced when the sunlight hit him and put him in my vehicle dash. I fell in love, named him Bones, and decided I wanted him to stick around moving forward…. That Christmas my husband was less excited about that idea trying to tell me that he needed to come down for Christmas because it was the wrong season. SOO… I went to the dollar store and purchased a little Santa hat (it was on a hair clip, but it was the right size when I took the clip off) and put it on Bones and declared ‘There, Merry Christmas from Bones!’
11 – My pup has always loved unwrapping gifts. Each year we wrap gifts and put them under the tree so that she can unwrap them on Christmas morning (I will share a video later from this year on my social media accounts, stay tuned). Currently, at night the pups get closed in the bedroom with us, keeping the tree safe at night. This was not always the case… I will never forget the morning I came down to ¾ of the gifts under the tree unwrapped and strewn around the living room with a very happy puppy standing in the middle.
12 – This is by far the most recent, but I know that it’s going to go down as a memory so I’m adding it here! As I have referenced in other blog posts I teach a weekly music class, and I LOVE my kids. This year I was helping out with the local high school band, chaperoning their trip to the elementary schools to put on a Christmas performance. We got to one school, the school where a good portion of my kids attend. I was literally tackled with hugs, and at one point was enjoying a group hug with 5 of them. It really warmed my heart and made my Christmas special!
What are your favourite memories of this season? Are there stories that you love to share with your friends and family while sitting around the Christmas tree? I’d love to hear them in the comment section below!