Christmas Memories


Even when I’m surrounded by rain, Spring-like weather and new growth that is common for Winter in my part of Northern California, I’m reminded of the Christmases of my youth.

For whatever reason, memories of helping my brother and father deliver newspapers on Christmas morning, probably 1970, are lingering around the back of my brain.

Mike and Jo - 1963 maybe

While we may have fought like cats and dogs upon occasion, most of my memories of my Big Brother are beautiful snippets of caring.  His smile, when I met him on the street (after he moved out of our Mom’s house), and he offered me a ride.  Big Bro didn’t have to stop, but the fact that he made the effort at only 16 has always struck a cord with me.

While we would only nod at each other at high school (I was a freshman and he was a senior, living in separate houses and towns), Big Bro would never deny the relationship and always tried to make me feel welcome and a part of his life.

So it’s strange to be sitting here remembering the end of our parent’s marriage about 1971, and our last happy Christmas together hustling to deliver the Christmas newspapers so that we could all go home to a warm and filling Christmas dinner.

Mike with Blue Jay March 2010

Big Bro could certainly charm the birds from the trees (literally, too!) if he chose to do so, and I often wonder why he had to leave all who loved him when he was still so very young.  52 is way too young, and yet he had a lifetime of adventures in those years.

A lovely and accomplished wife.  Two fine young men as sons.  While we would always want him to stay forever, because he truly was the life of the party, its hard to believe that he’s been gone 7 years, and Mom has been gone 13 at this point.

I’m not particularly melancholy today.  I’ve been spending time cooking up a storm last night to keep the house warm and fill my freezer with easy to reheat food (with more hamburgers and meat loaf being made later today).  I’ve made more bracelets in gold plated brass (once @Suzz got me motivated to her color scheme of Olive, Amethyst and Orange, I’ve been very inspired).  And, I’m even in the process of washing the laundry room floor from the overflow 2 weeks ago.

(It may have taken me forever to handle the washing machine repair and clean up the mess, but I’m finally ready to trust that it’s repaired reliably and willing to put the front panel back where it belongs).

After a night spent pouring rain, and being creeped out by the bushes on the side of the house scraping the siding and sounding like lost children (yes, freaky in the middle of the night, even when one knows what is causing the sound), I’m doing what I can to both stay busy as well as rest (hence, this post) so that I can stay healthy while also trying to be active.

So, Netflix is on with a Barbara Streisand musical playing loudly, Herself is pacing from room to room wondering why I’m not napping on the couch and cuddling, and all is good with the world as I go over snippets of this and that in the back of my brain.


Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were
Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we?
Could we?
Memories may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were
The way we were


2 thoughts on “Christmas Memories

  1. Your Christmas sounds exactly as you would like it. Sans the people loved being gone. Your mom and mine died the same year, which I never knew. That’s sort of eerie. But I suspect your mother’s passing and my mother’s were poles apart…Ma left on December 17th, thereby tainting Christmas for me with memories of a very cold and sad funeral (not too many attended, which wasn’t surprising), a saga with her delivery and arrival at the place we held the viewing (not too many attended. She wasn’t popular), and the bitter cold of the day made colder because losing a parent is always fraught with negative emotions of some kind. There were little children who did not understand why everyone was so sad, and who wanted to get on with Christmas – three days off. A reason, perhaps, that to this day Christmas isn’t really all that for me. Again, I’m glad you had a productive and busy day and I hope you had a little merriment in the mix. Blessed Yuletide sweetie!


  2. Blessed Yuletide to you, too ! I’m sorry your Mom passed near Christmas; I agree that it taints that day terribly. In our case, Mom died on a sunny Morning, April 29th, her wedding anniversary. She died at home in her bed, with my big brother and I by her side, and our sister driving to be there before she passed. (Think “Forrest Gump” and Jenny’s passing. Not that picturesque, but certainly peaceful). I will never forget that weekend (as I was serving vigil by her side all weekend, and took a break to go the movies on Saturday night with friends while my brother, sister and sister in law kept her company while she slept on the couch).

    In our Mom’s case, due to the continued drama over my younger brother’s grave and Daddy Dearest (because there’s always drama when Jack’s involved), Mom didn’t get interred until Monday, May 9th – the day after Mother’s day. We’d decided we wanted to allow my nephew to have his first communion and leave Mother’s Day alone, as well as allow her good friends to fly up from FL if they wished (and they did).

    I hope you were able to spend Christmas exactly the way you wished, and that the weather didn’t cause too much distress on your joints. Stay warm, and Happy New Year. I’m busy cleaning off the unresolved business from 2018 to hopefully start 2019 in a better shape, paperwork wise. We’ll see if I get it all done, LOL/


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