It's that time of year again, when people smile a little bigger, they open doors for others and hopefully don't have parking lot rage :0) It's a time of reflection and making amends.  With the New Year approaching it's a time for taking stock of ones life and making positive changes. For me, Lise, it's also a time for walking down Christmas Memory Lane.

Growing up we didn't believe in Santa... we were raised in a pretty Christian household and Santa just wasn't a part of the belief system. We did get a stocking though filled with oranges and a candy cane and 1 present.. we were allowed to run down when we woke up and get our stocking. My sister, Shannon, who is closest in age to me (I am the youngest of 4 girls), and I would eat our oranges, suck on our candy cane...which did NOT taste so good at first after the oranges :) and sneak carefully under the tree to try to squeeze shake and poke our Christmas presents... the excitement and anticipation was palpable in the air! We would gingerly try to wake up our parents... ok I say gingerly they may say loudly and irritatingly... so they would wake up and we could start the day!

Our mom and dad would make breakfast together...poached eggs and toasted Christmas Bread (the big wreath bread with the candied "fruit" and nuts in it! we still have that same Christmas Breakfast every year! oh and I wouldn't be me without doing a shameless plug for the Bakery which makes this wonderful Christmas Wreath Bread! ) and we would get our Christmas dresses on and wait for the family to arrive. We have a BIG family and dinner was usually at our house. I can remember sitting backwards on the couch looking out the window anxiously awaiting the arrival of more family.

The house would fill with people... the windows would get all steamed up as the Christmas dinner and all the people would fill our house with warmth. The smell of turkey will forever be stamped with a feeling of warmth happiness and contentment.

Opening presents would happen after dinner, which at times would mean the dinner tables would stretch out the entire length of our living and dining rooms put together! One of my favourite Christmas memories was the year my mom bought herself a nightie.. a decent one there were children present! and wrapped it up and gave it to my dad for a Christmas present.. my dad opened it held it up to himself and started laughing the only way my dad laughs.. he could hardly see through the tears he was shedding as he belly laughed himself off the couch and slid on to the floor... the rest of us were laughing so hard we were crying as well. I will never forget the way my mom laughed at her good joke and my dads response. Love and laughter were in the air.


(my dad, Dwayne and I last Christmas)

From my family to yours Merry Christmas and may the Reason for the Season reign in your lives!