Sunday, January 2, 2011

My most memorable holiday memory

My most memorable holiday was Christmas, 1997. My son was 8 at the time, and I spent the holidays with my ex and his family in California. I was out there for 3 weeks, so I ended up shipping all my Christmas paraphernalia out there so I could celebrate Christmas the way we had for years. I think my ex and his parents enjoyed it even more than my son did!

My son and I went Christmas tree shopping with my ex's father, and all of us decorated the tree on Christmas Eve. My son also baked Christmas cookies with my ex's mom, and we left cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer. We also decorated my ex's apartment, as well as his parents - I have enough Christmas decorations for a couple of houses!

All day Christmas Eve my son was so worried that Santa wouldn't know we were in California, but I assured him Santa knew. He actually fell asleep at my ex's parent's house on Christmas Eve, and I was worried because the tree was at my ex's house... but my ex wrote my son a letter from Santa, telling him where his presents were. Everyone laughed at me chewing up carrots and spitting them outside in the driveway (reindeer are famously messy eaters, and the carrots get EVERYWHERE!). They also thought it was sweet when I put a little soot on my son's cheek (when Santa kisses you, a little soot from his beard gets on your cheek).

After we'd wrapped all the presents, taken care of the note, the carrots and the cookies and milk, my ex and I sat in the living room with everything turned off except the tree lights, and just talked for hours.

The best part was the next morning when my son came back to my ex's apartment... he saw some skid marks in the driveway right outside the door and was CONVINCED that Santa's sleigh and left those marks (never mind they'd been there the whole time!).

I think what made this holiday so memorable for me was several things - being able to share our family's Christmas and traditions with my ex and his family, the moments my son got to spend with my ex's father picking out the perfect tree, watching my son teach my ex's mom the right cookies to bake (Santa likes sugar cookies), even my ex writing that note, so my son wouldn't be disappointed when he woke up Christmas morning and there were no presents at his parent's house... and the care he took writing the note so my son wouldn't recognize his handwriting. The joy and wonder on my son's face when he saw those skid marks (and all the chewed-up carrots all over the driveway) and he just KNEW the sleigh had left those marks... and how we all got a good laugh out of that later, once my son was out of earshot. Seeing my ex and his parents get into the spirit of the holidays and the magic that I always tried to create, and embracing that made that holiday a magical one for me.

Disclosure: This post was written for an entry into the baby clothes holiday writing contest. One lucky blogger will win a $50 Amazon gift card! For a chance to win see the baby clothes blog for more information.

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