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I’ve been remembering some childhood Christmas memories, and thought I’d encourage some reminiscing and remind us to enjoy the little things through all the busy buzz happening.

If a roll of wrapping paper was out, we’d use the leftover tube to sword fight. Or just playfully bonk each other!

I remember the smell of almond extract when my mom made little green Christmas tree spritz cookies. I remember the sound of the cookie press once my mom got into a rhythm.

I remember us “helping” my dad put up the tree. Until we kids were big enough, he did most of the work. Then we’d just fluff out the branches and hand him lights and golden garland. Then there would be fake tree needles and pieces of garland all over the floor.

When decorating the tree with all our ornaments, we generally each had a section we decorated based on height. Tallest person decorates highest, so Mom and Dad had the top of the tree. For a while I was the next tallest, but then my brother got taller.

Each year we’d get ornaments, and they often had to do with an accomplishment or interest we’d had that year. The year I learned to drive I received a racecar ornament!

Though sometimes I’d glance and see which presents happened to have my name on them, I never tried to see what they were until it was time. I wanted to be surprised.

Sometimes I’d stay up for a little bit in the dark living room just to look at the colorfully lit Christmas tree.

We had a porcelain nativity set. Once we kids were old enough to be trusted with it, we got to set it up. Since we knew the wise men didn’t make it to Jesus until after He’d left the manger, we would put them on the other side of the room since they were still travelling.

Before opening presents, we’d all gather as a family and my dad would read about Jesus’ birth from the Bible, usually in Luke.