guest post on a grande lifeMeet Maggie: She’s a children’s book author, blogger, speaker, and publisher at Bushbaby Press, LLC. Maggie is the author of her personal blog, The Grey Blog. To find out more about Maggie, visit her website at Maggie-Mitchell.com, or find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/MaggieWrites.

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During the holiday season, it is completely impossible for me not to reflect on Christmases past.  Recalling memories seems to be one of the biggest parts of the holiday season in general, almost a prerequisite, if you will, to enjoying the current year’s festivities.  If you see Santa at the mall, back you go to a time when you interacted (or didn’t interact) with him yourself.  Get wind of the must-have toy on every kid’s list?  You can feel yourself coveting a shiny new bike or a Magic Nursery Baby, just like you did years ago.  Aren’t our minds amazing things?

Attached to all that remembering, getting wrapped up in the nostalgia of it all, and possibly, shedding a Christmas tear or two, are the actual real experiences you had on every one of those mornings.  As you look back now, can you see how your Christmas mornings morphed to fit around your age, attitude, geographical location, living situation, etc.?

When I was little, I pretty much wanted toys like every other red-blooded American child.    Let’s harken back to the days of the Sears Wish Book (yes, I just went there).  My brother and I would ravage that thing until it eventually had to raise its pitiful white flag and cry “uncle.”  There were so many awesome things in the Wish Book to drool over, and drool we did.  Consistently, year after year, I convened with my brother WELL before dawn to discuss, re-discuss, and inspect the potential gifts that had magically appeared in our living room over night.  I was always interested in dolls, or something that could make me feel older, like an Easy-Bake Oven, or one of those rock tumblers.  I guess somehow I equated smoothing stones with maturity.  Funny, now that I have a real doll (she’s 2 1/2) and a full-size kitchen, I’d rather have things that make me feel younger, like, gift cards to the salon for a facial or a hipster, neon scarf.  Oh, me.

sear's wish book

In my tween/teen/and years otherwise rife with fitful angst, I was all about clothes.  It was my pleasure to ration out my new outfits, sweaters, etc., over the first however-many-days-back-to-school in January  so that I would be sporting something new each day.  I loved Christmas clothes.  Still do. I loved getting gifts that I didn’t ask for, especially when I really liked them.  It takes someone who knows you pretty well to get you a gift you didn’t specifically request, but love anyway.  One year, I got a basket full of hand and nail goodies. As I was constantly biting my nails and my cuticles, I do believe this was my mother’s attempt at motivating me to stop all that.  It was a valiant effort and a great gift.

Stockings were a very big deal in my family and mine was always stretched to capacity.  My Grammy knitted me a stocking so it had maximum give, which was so helpful for jamming as many things in it as possible.  My brother and I knew that when we found batteries in our stockings, something big (or at least something electronic) was awaiting us under the tree.

The way Christmas felt changed for me when I was in college, because I had to come home for Christmas.  Nice to have that month-long break in the winter, but when it was time to go back to school, I was always more than ready.

The first Christmas I lived in my own apartment after college, I went home again to stay at my parents’ on Christmas Eve because I was absolutely mortified by the idea of waking up on Christmas morning ALONE.  I don’t know what I thought was going to happen–perhaps that my enjoyment of the rest of the day would be diminished by the fact that other people didn’t see me in my pajamas first thing in the a.m.?  Who knows.

Christmas continues to change now that I am a mom.  My husband and I were just talking tonight as we decorated our tree about what the past couple years were like in terms of decorating & how we handled having a little one around the tree.  The first year my daughter was around, she was 8 months old at Christmas and hadn’t started to crawl yet.  We did the tree up the way we wanted and she never went near it unless we carried her over to it.  That was sweet.  Last year, she was a little over 1 1/2, and she was on Ornament Rearranging Duty 10 hours a day.  For my own sanity, and for the safety of our tree, I had to un-decorate the bottom 2/3 of the tree and either relocate to furlough ornaments for the season.

Tonight as we decorated our tree, my husband and I were amazed with how much of a real help she was.  Her ornament spacing was precise, her handling of the ornaments was admirable, and she didn’t mess with the tree the rest of the night.  It’s been a very neat transformation to see in her, marked by presence of a Christmas tree in our house.  And what can I say?  Impeccable tree decorating skills are in her blood.

Even though Christmases may change as the years go by, I can always rely on this time of year to be the most wonderful. I heard one of my favorite quotes tonight when we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas:  Christmas day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp.”  To me, this means as long as we are with people we love, we’ve got Christmas.  Sounds simple enough, and really, as I have gotten older, I’ve realized that simplicity breeds the very best and most memorable holidays.

maggie mitchell

Be sure to leave Maggie a little comment love here and then go visit her blog, The Grey Blog!

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