Memories of Holidays Past

This past weekend I was reminded of simpler Christmas’ of my past when my sister, a single mom, took her kids for a day of Christmas shopping. My sister and I were raised solely by my mom who worked full-time to support us. We lived on meager but sufficient funds and she always provided us everything we needed and more. Christmas is her favorite holiday and she always put her heart and soul into decorations around our small home. After my parent’s divorce and our move from a large home into a townhouse, she started the village decoration tradition that I took on and my husband adopted with great enthusiasm. She would fill our house with decorations and take us on outings to celebrate the season. The amount of effort she put into giving us a joyful holiday considering what she was personally going through and her limited finances makes me all the more appreciative of her love.

One of my favorite memories of the Christmas season is the day that my mom, sister and I would go out for a day of Christmas shopping. These were the pre-Amazon, internet and smart phone days. We would spend one Saturday mid-December out and about doing our Christmas shopping. We would wake early with excitement to spend the day together pointing out things we would love to have,  listening to holiday music in the stores, having a mid-day lunch together talking and laughing and then splitting up so that my mom went off in one direction and my sister and I in the opposite to make our purchases. We would set a specific time to meet at a designated place and we’d hurry off to make our purchases while watching our clocks to meet our deadline. We’d meet up with teasing glances at each other about the gifts we had hidden and try to guess what was in each other’s bags. We would then head home after a full day to cozy up and wrap presents with Christmas movies on the television.

Our day out together was to buy gifts but it was so much more than that. My memory is of fun times spent together and simpler times without all of today’s technology. Without phones to take pictures documenting and posting every moment of our lives, internet to purchase gifts or texting to constantly stay in touch, we were more in touch with actually living. We carefully thought out our gifts to buy in the small amount of time we had to shop and made it a family event.

The bustling day together and then the quiet time at home wrapping presents together represents all that I want for my family during the holidays. I want less time on the internet purchasing and more time thoughtfully choosing gifts in shops for my loved ones. I want more time together enjoying the holidays and less time adding to the” to do” list trying to keep up with the Jones’s of Facebook. I want more days like the ones I remember with my mom and sister. Thankfully, they live within minutes of me. We are all living busy lives and our small family has grown from just three of us to eight. We don’t do family shopping days anymore but we do gather for the holidays and spend time when we can. I love Christmas time for it reminds me of what is important in life, presence, and it always brings back cherished memories.

Today’s post contributes to the Daily Prompt

18 thoughts on “Memories of Holidays Past

  1. Pingback: Once an Eid day | A mom's blog

  2. Great memories! This weekend I took T to the mall because he had something he wanted to add to my Christmas gifts, and he had a gift card to spend – and while the mall is not my favorite spot, I had fun shopping with him. It was fun to walk and talk and look at the store windows (and naturally, make fun of half of them! I mean really, who would wear that?!?)
    Great post Kerry!

    • Thanks Kate, it is fun to just wander around Christmas shopping. I haven’t done that in so long because my kids are too young to really enjoy wandering, but I look forward to that one day in the future.

  3. What a lovely post, Kerry. I agree that we (all of us) were more connected back then, without cell phones, Facebook updates and umpteen Instagram uploads. Amazing, isn’t it, that all this social media has done nothing to increase our socializing. At least not in a way that’s meaningful. Great job on sharing a powerful message.

    • Thank you Nancy! It is amazing…remember “back in the day” when we waited to hear missed calls when we got home to our answering machine? Funny to think of not being so available, its become such the norm.

  4. Great post! I was also raised by a single mom who never made us feel like we were missing out on anything (even though she must have been struggling before her remarriage!). Christmas was always our favorite time of year, and I think that before my son came along, those (holi)days of my childhood were my favorite times of all!

  5. What a wonderful post! I loved Christmas shopping with my parents and sisters too! 😀 So fun splitting up to buy things.
    “…we were more in touch with actually living.” – THIS is a major reason my blogging comes to an end tomorrow (at least for a good long while). It’s crazy how quickly a LOT of time can fly by when on the computer (and, as you know, I don’t even have a smartphone!) 😉
    Merry Christmas, Kerry!! ❤

    • I know, don’t get one either! Computer time really does have to be monitored. Luckily, my kids monitor it for me in a way, its just impossible to focus when they’re around so I only write when my son “naps” although he hasn’t truly napped in about a week now! Aaaa! But, it really is important to regulate. Enjoy your break and I hope to hear from you again soon. xo Merry Christmas!!

  6. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays past | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  7. I love this post, thank you for sharing your memories. We used to do a shopping day similar to your own, and I’d not thought about it for a while. It’s a lovely tradition we had to be reminded of! Like you, I think there is a lot of value in the simpler Christmases we once had. Wishing you a happy holiday season Kerry x

  8. Pingback: Surfer Rob’s “Bah, humbug” rationale | Rob's Surf Report

  9. Pingback: That Christmas Morning | Edward Hotspur

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