Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Memories

This red spiral bound notebook is now a book of memories. It didn't start out that way. It started as a Christmas card list so my late husband and I could list who we sent cards to and who we received them from. Yes, I know this could be done in an online application but not when we began it in 1991.

1991 was our first Christmas together and in that same year we decided to begin something we called our "Egg Nog Tour". That began with us surprising a hand full of friends by showing up at their house with a glass of egg nog and singing them a Christmas carol. Being the first Christmas we were together as a couple, he learned quickly I couldn't sing so in future years we scrapped the singing part. We listed the people whose houses we went to in our red notebook.

The Egg Nog Tour developed the next year in to us making or buying a special ornament for those friends and taking that to them and we also added taking a picture of them around their tree with an assortment of silly Christmas hats we took with us . This was the pre-digital age and it was always fun to get the pictures developed because having surprised our friends we normally found them in their pj's or other comfy, around the house clothes. The next year we would include that picture in their Christmas card. The list grew.

As I mentioned earlier, this was also a list of who we sent Christmas cards to. Each year we would look at the past year and copy the names over and add any new friends we made who we wanted to send a card to. Noted on the top of the page would always be the year. As we would jointly write out our cards and address the envelopes we would look at past years names. Some friends divorced so that made two new entries for the next year. Some moved away so we would end up calling them to just say hello in addition to sending a card. Some died and we would inevitably have a "remember when" moment talking about them. It took some time to complete the task of getting our cards in the mail.

This year was no different for me. I began on the first page headed with the year of 1991. The list for the cards and the Egg Nog Tour was fairly short that year. Just 5 or 6 people on the Tour and maybe 40-50 on the card list. Five years ago was the last time my husband did that with me, just a couple months before he died. While we were doing our cards I wasn't sure he would survive until Christmas but we had such pleasure that year acknowledging our friends with a simple card. We invited those on the Egg Nog Tour list to our house because he wasn't able to make the rounds for the several nights it took to go to their homes. I still get texts from people saying they hung all of our ornaments on their tree. They were pretty cool ornaments.

The list has grown and changed in these past 5 years. I have added some amazing people who are so important to my life to the list. Unfortunately, I have lost too many friends to death so the list didn't grow too much this year. When I look back, all the peoples names on each year's pages, has added something positive to my life. Keeping in touch with them and keeping them in my life is a Christmas gift I give to myself.

There are still plenty of empty pages in the red book and I look forward to filling those up with new people in my life and continuing the names from year to year of those already there.

Merry Christmas friends!

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