Memories that bring me joy

As an adult looking back on my Christmas memories and traditions each year they are close to heart because it is a joyful time filled with family memories. For me, the Christmas season always began at my grandparents house decorating the tree and listening to a few records or cassette tapes as the snow began to fall. Not too long after my grandparents tree would be up, my mom and I would be doing the same thing, except our cats, Jinx and Angel, and now Gracie, always were playing with the ornaments as we were trying to hang them.

As the month of December quickly passed before a blink of an eye it was Christmas Eve. I would be getting ready to go to church with my grandparents and I always looked forward to hearing the children singing Christmas carols, performing a short play and after mass we would go home for a late dinner, typically pizza, wings and breadsticks. Before my mom and I would head home, my grandparents would let me open one present at their house and my mom would let me do the same at home. To this day we continue this tradition followed up with an early morning of wrapping paper scattered on the floor on Christmas Day. The day of Christmas my family is at the dining room table having Polish kielbasa rum cake and too many scalloped potatoes or lasagna. After dinner, right before we are about to head home, my grandpa always asks if I’m going home to nap, and no matter how badly I want to lay down and sleep off the meal I just ate, I am too blessed to fall asleep.

As I have grown these are some of my fondest family memories because I could always know there is a consistency in my life that brought me joy. Now that I am moved out, my fiancee and I have started our own traditions. Similar to those growing up, we start by decorating our tree, except this one is special because it is a melting pot of our two families. We have ornaments we grew up with from our grandparents, a set of shiny, clear grapes from my mother that she disposed but I always loved, and a few decorations on loan from her personal treasure trove.

With it being Christmas today I am looking forward to visiting my home town to see my family because it is not about Santa coming to visit anymore. As cheesy and cliche as it may sound, remembering Christmas is about the joy and love I have received throughout my childhood and how I can show my gratitude for all memories now have.

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