No one got into Christmas like my mom. She used to decorate every inch of our house, starting the day after Thanksgiving. Lights and bunting and ribbons on everything. There were always cookies baking and new presents showing up under the tree. Her enthusiasm was infectious. It was impossible to be around my mother and not feel the Christmas spirit. Even when she was cursing the first batch of Peanut Brittle (which she always burnt). The Holidays with her were filled with glitter and sprinkles and the familiar scratch of her favorite Christmas albums on vinyl records. Everything smelled like evergreen and sugar and brand new rolls of wrapping paper.
My mom was generous with her time and her thoughtfulness. She once drove 2 hours in the snow and crazy holiday traffic just to get me the jersey of my favorite Denver Broncos player. Another time she bought my dad seat covers for his truck from a place she hated to shop because they were the only store that carried the right size. She always helped us bake treats to take to our schools or jobs. She never failed to have a gift for everyone, even if it was just a tin of her best, baked with love. If ever there was someone who had no place to be on Christmas, they were always welcome at our house.
This is the time of year when I miss her the most. More so than on her birthday or the anniversary of her passing. I don’t want to say that Christmas has lost ALL of its magic since she has been gone. I still love to lie under my tree and look up at the lights while listening to her beloved Christmas songs. Only, now they’re on the iPod and no one is in the kitchen making my favorite goodies while I do so. This will be my 12th Christmas without her and it doesn’t ever seem to get any easier. I hear her favorite music while I hang the ornaments she made me and I can’t ever stop myself from getting emotional while doing so. I probably never will.
Perhaps one day I will have children of my own and I’ll be able pass down the things I learned from her about the Christmas season. I will fill the house with red and green and the sweets that they love. I will tell them that presents are fun but a warm, happy, home is the greatest gift. I will play them the songs I have grown up loving and hope that they will grow to love them, too. I will fill their minds with memories as rich as the ones she left with me and hope that they will share them with their children as well. I will teach them to be thankful for what they have and to treasure friends and family above all else.
Suzi’s Christmas Playlist: