Hello, dear readers of time won't wait for me! I am Allison and I am here to give you a slice of Memory Monday straight from the heart of Indiana. :)
I grew up as the youngest of three girls in our Southern Indiana household and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I have realized that though I'm sure us girls drove my dad crazy my two sisters are my saving grace and my best friends and they always will be! I just recently got married, and as my husband and I dream of having our own little family someday I really think back to my childhood with my two sisters and think that three is a great, great number to be a part of. There is always someone to turn to or play with if the other is busy. Babies are a completely different story though; I digress. :)
One of my favorite memories from my childhood is Christmas in the O'Grady house. Yes, I know it is still summer and I'm talking about Christmas but you seriously have no idea how much I love that holiday. (My husband and I even got married a week before Christmas!) To this day, I get SO EXCITED just thinking about how jolly and caring people are during the Christmas season--it really makes my heart want to burst. And I really think that is because I have so many great memories of celebrating Christmas as a child. Everything about the season makes me the happiest person alive: giving, singing carols, wrapping presents, decorating, SNOW (remember I live in the Midwest so we get all four seasons--woohoo!), peppermint mochas, hot chocolate, baking, spending time with family, SIGH. I love it!
My most treasured memory is a tradition my sisters and I probably invented in our own little minds and kept going year after year. Our family of five lived in a three bedroom house, so the two of us younger girls always had to share a room--which my middle sister totally loathed at the time, hehe. But on Christmas Eve (after leaving our stockings, milk, and cookies out!) the three of us girls would all sleep in the SAME ROOM, like a sleepover! I looked forward to it so much because, as the youngest, I basically worshipped my sisters who are 7 and 11 years older than I. We would stay up late hanging out and talking and being giddy little girls until we couldn't hold our eyes open any longer. Then we would wake up early, say 7 or 8 AM, take turns using the bathroom (without peeking into the living room!) and finally tiptoe quietly out to the living room to see what Santa left for us! See, in our house all of the presents from Mom and Dad and such were wrapped under the Christmas tree, while Santa's gifts were left unwrapped on the couches and stuffed into our stockings! We would see all the treasures Santa left for us and compare the magical gifts that appeared in the nighttime and then giddily, but silently sneak back into our room to sleep for a few more hours before it was time to wake up Mom and Dad. A little later in the morning we would wake up again, say 10 or 11 AM, and go wake up Mom and Dad because, seriously, we couldn't wait any longer. I assume we probably had breakfast, but I just remember waking up our parents, dividing out the presents, and tearing in! (Though I know somewhere along the way my dad whipped out the video camera, too!) :) After the elation of opening all of our presents we would clean up the debris and start assembling toys with Dad while Mom started Christmas lunch. It really felt like the best day of the year, and I totally didn't mind waiting another 364 days for it to happen all over again.
I must also mention that before I was born or perhaps when I was just too little to remember, my sisters once tried sleeping together in the living room to catch Santa in the act, and guess what? He didn't come that night! So, lesson learned, let Santa do his magic in peace. Do not disrupt the flow of Santa's mojo. ;)
Now that my sisters and I are all adults with families of our own, we don't get to have a sleepover on Christmas Eve, but we still do all gather at my parents house for the opening of the presents and Christmas lunch after my niece and nephews get Christmas morning at their own houses. I was a little heart broken the first year that I realized things were changing in our Christmas traditions, but really they have just adapted. We all still make it home for Christmas Day at Mom and Dad's house because that occasion is something that we all treasure--and thankfully our husbands understand our love for Christmas and each other and allow us to have priority when it comes to Christmas gatherings!
Looking back, that was the sweetest tradition my sisters and I had going and I hope that someday my future children have their own tradition that gets them so hyped and giddy for Santa's arrival. If it weren't for my parents' support and love for the Christmas spirit, I believe I wouldn't love it as much as I do today. Just ask my husband--he pretends to be annoyed by my love for the holiday season, but I know he really thinks it's adorable. ;)