Holiday Memories: Seacoast Moms Blog Decks the Halls



[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”56″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″]Holiday Memories[/typography]

[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″] Laura[/typography]

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Family[/typography]

Image may contain: 6 people, people sitting, eyeglasses and indoorI grew up in this big, unruly, dysfunctional family. There were five of us. I was the oldest, with three younger sisters and one younger brother. There wasn’t much money to go around, so Christmas was the one time of year we were allowed to ask for things that weren’t necessities. My favorite holiday memories are from Christmas Eve. We would push two beds together and all five of us would pile in. There would be a knee in your back and giggling and mischief. More than once we pulled the beds apart, pushed my brother into the resulting ravine, and trapped him beneath the beds. Slowly our eyes would grow heavy–and one by one we would drift off to sleep–only to be awoken a few hours later by furious shakes, “He came! Santa came!” one of my sisters would scream in a whisper. In the middle of the night, we would creep downstairs to peek at the gifts and open our stockings. We weren’t allowed to wake my parents up until 7 a.m., so those early Christmas morning hours included just us kids. We gorged on chocolate and stared in wonder at the packages piled around the tree. I’ll never forget that feeling of just bursting with exuberant joy and Christmas excitement. 
[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″] Arielle[/typography] 

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Santa Magic[/typography]

Arielle's photo.
Arielle and her dad cutting down their Christmas tree when she was about three. 

The year Santa’s reindeer left prints in the snow remains one of my favorite holiday memories. Later I discovered that Santa had left a bell from his sleigh for me on the tree. Now, we enjoy hosting both Thanksgiving dinner (with turkey AND lobster) and Christmas Eve at our home.  







 [typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″]Laurie[/typography]

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Tradition[/typography]

We would spend Christmas Eve at my great grandparents’ house. Four generations shared food, cookies, and presents before driving home. We would count Christmas lights and my parents would carry us to bed. 

[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″] Courtney[/typography]

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Innocence[/typography]

I remember this particular Christmas Eve vividly. It was 1988 and I was tucked into bed after a wonderful family celebration at my grandmother’s house on a snowy Vermont night. Like every young child, my little brother and I whispered furiously in the dark about when Santa would arrive and what he would bring. After an hour of excited back and forth chatter, we finally fell asleep. I woke up a couple of hours later and looked at the white digital clock next to the bedside. It read 12:12 a.m., which would continue to become a significant number throughout my life. At that moment, I KNEW, without a doubt in my mind, that I heard Santa out in the living room, humming Christmas tunes and bringing our presents. It was the most magical moment and I can still feel the pure belief and thrill that I had in that moment when I think back on it. Now, as I play Santa to my own children, I can only hope that one night they hear me humming Christmas songs as I lay out their goodies under the tree and experience the same raw emotion that I felt that Christmas Eve and still carry with me to this day.
[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″]Airial[/typography]
Holiday memories for Airial revolve around some of life's biggest moments

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Life[/typography]

My birthday is on Christmas Eve–which is kind of a stinker. But as a child, I never really felt slighted because it’s such a magical time of year. I have a giant stocking that one of the nurses knit for my mother and brought me to her in. My daughter Lilly was born on December 17 and I have a special tiny Santa hat also made by a nurse. I cherish them. 

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Romance[/typography]15219586_10202309899944433_5875538622774770519_n

Gary proposed on Christmas Eve because that’s how he rolls. Then on a Tuesday night in January we eloped without telling anyone (Yeah, we were crazy). We had our “real” wedding that June and my friend’s husband (with no official credentials to marry people) was the officiant, but it didn’t matter, we were already hitched!


[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″]Melissa[/typography]

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Laughter[/typography]

When I asked Melissa about holiday memories, she hesitated for a minute and said that one of her favorite memories is funny, but a little off color. When she was 14, her aunt was going through a tough divorce so Melissa and her family traveled to Florida to be with her and her two cousins. “My aunt was very depressed,” she writes. “My mom was drinking and trying to cheer her up. The radio was playing in the background and ‘Who Let the Dogs Out?’ came on. It was very popular, and my mom (who is basically out of it), started dancing and being silly. She’s this little tiny lady with big boobs and things were bouncing around. My aunt had been crying all day, but she finally relaxed and laughed. Everyone was dying laughing. I mean laughing so hard we were crying. This was almost 20 years ago, but everyone still talks about it. We joke that she almost knocked herself out with those things.”  

[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″] Lyndsey[/typography]  

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Silliness[/typography]

When I was younger, my mom started Christmas shopping for us the previous January. She had gifts hidden all over the house. Every year, without fail, she would find gifts that she had hidden from us and forgotten about after all the unwrapping chaos was over. Some wrapped, some not. Christmas usually lasted all day because she kept finding hidden gifts.

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Christmas Spirit[/typography]

As a parent, my favorite holiday memory is from last year when our twins were one-and-a-half-years-old. The moment they walked into our living room and saw all of their gifts and the tree, the amazement and wonder in their eyes and voices were so magical it re-sparked the magic of Christmas for me.

[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″]Colleen[/typography] 

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Comfort[/typography]

We didn’t have any major traditions growing up, but I always remember it being homey and comfortable. The smells of pine and candles, my mom playing Christmas music while wrapping presents, and being able to eat whatever I wanted Christmas day. One of my favorite holiday memories is of the Christmas morning I got my Cabbage Patch doll. This was way back in the early 80’s when they were original. I think I was around five. I was so excited, I cried.

[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″] Amanda[/typography]

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Feeling Like a Kid Again[/typography]

Amanda Alley's photo.This was maybe 10 years ago; whenever Spongebob was a big deal. Apparently, I was into him, but I totally forgot about that phase…on purpose! I was in college. I got a nose piercing and dyed my hair and cut it into a short rocker style. But I loved coming home and feeling like a kid again. Christmas was always at my parent’s house. We would wake up early, make piles of gifts for each person, and then take turns going around and opening gifts. 


[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″]Stephanie[/typography]

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Olde World Charm[/typography]

I grew up with so many wonderful memories and traditions. On Christmas Eve we attended Midnight Mass and left our slippers outside our bedroom door to find them filled with sweets and toys in the morning. My mom would make “figgy pudding” with Christmas dinner and my dad would pour brandy on top and set it aflame before eating it.

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Kindness[/typography]

One of the best Christmas memories I have as a mom: the year we lived in India when my son was three. My husband and his family didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas, but they knew that Rohan and I were missing it, so my sister-in-law arranged for a tree, decorated it, and got presents from Santa. It was such a kind and thoughtful thing to do and showed the true spirit of Christmas giving and caring.

[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″] Diana [/typography]

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”32″ size_format=”px” color=”#de1134″]The Gift of Fond Memories[/typography]

My childhood Christmas memories were magical. On Christmas Eve in Kingston, Santa would ride through town on top of the fire truck. The four of us kids would always listen for the sirens and then run outside to wave from the front porch. My folks would let us open one gift then we’d get all dressed up and attend Midnight Mass at this gigantic church that was over an hour away. The music there was absolutely gorgeous. I’ve never heard anything like it. We’d get home late, sometimes 2 a.m., and hit our beds exhausted, but too wired to sleep. Once when I was 12, I remember sharing the bed with my four-year-old sister. I adored her (still do) and loved how excited she was about Santa coming. I remember thinking that I wished I still believed in him too. Precious. 

[typography font=”Dancing Script” size=”56″ size_format=”px” color=”#0d9438″]Making Holiday Memories[/typography]


lyndsey works hard to make holiday memories with her kids
[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″] Lyndsey[/typography]  To make the holidays special now we make a lot! We make gifts to give and decorations–and I let the boys run the show. The Christmas tree is their tree. It’s a four-foot-tall fake tree, for which they make new ornaments for each year. We made reindeer garland this year for our windows and they decorated our front yard with dollar store finds. It’s mostly tacky, but they are having so much fun decorating it’s worth all the tackiness in the world. Also this year I hope to bake cookies to bring to a homeless veteran’s center to start teaching the boys the power of giving.
[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″]Stephanie[/typography]For my son, one tradition we started a few years ago was leaving out a Hershey’s Kiss somewhere in the house for him each day from December 1 until Christmas. We tell him it’s from Santa’s elves. My son is so excited for this tradition, and he is beyond happy when he finds it. (Especially since we can be a bit stingy with sweets in our house!)

[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″] Amanda[/typography] This is our first year really creating our own traditions. We are kicking off the season by devoting a whole Saturday to all things Christmas: cutting down our first tree, making garland, drinking hot chocolate, and watching The Polar Express. 

Image may contain: indoor

[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″]Laurie[/typography] I try to continue many of my childhood traditions with my own children, as well as bidding on a tree each year at the Exeter Festival of Trees, riding the holiday trolley, and doing lots of holiday art projects.
[typography font=”Handlee” size=”42″ size_format=”px” color=”#179c51″]Colleen[/typography]The past two years with my daughter (and now son) we count down to Christmas with books. I wrap up 25 books and starting December 1 she gets to open one after dinner.