Friday, December 30, 2011

Ghosts of Christmas


Made with Slideshow Embed Tool

Every year at Christmas time I get a bit nostalgic. Christmas as a child was usually a quiet affair, just the five of us and my paternal grandparents. When I met my husband I was a bit overwhelmed by the size of his family and their Christmas tradition of all gathering on Christmas eve to have a good meal and exchange presents and I grew to both love and dread holiday. Over the years our families grew up, new members were added by marriage and birth and we became scattered. Our final large family gathering was at my home in 2001 and was one of the best in my memory.

If I had to pick my happiest Christmas, it would be 2002. My husband's employer forced us to move across the state and I was dreading Christmas on the road to see my children and grandchildren. They shocked me by deciding that Christmas should be at our house and they all made the two hour drive to be with us. Some stayed over, some came for just the day, but we were all together, there was no tension and we had a wonderful time!

After that year many changes occurred and while there were still family celebrations they were held a week or two before Christmas and none had that same happy feel.


This was our first Christmas spent in the Sunshine State. I have hated to be cold for as long as I can remember and I have had no use for snow since about the age of ten! I have long dreamed of moving to a warm climate and this was the year the dream came true. I struggled with the guilt I felt at not being with family but I was eventually able to set that aside and really enjoy the season. It was an unseasonably warm year here and my memories of my first Christmas here will be of shorts, open windows and warm breezes. Traditional Christmas decorations with snowmen and icicle lights seem so out of place here that they made me smile. Christmas day was a quiet but pleasant day spent with my husband's sister and her husband.


Peering into my crystal ball to "see" what the future holds I envision a Christmas far into the future, when my grandchildren are all grown and have babies of their own. The entire family is able to travel at the same time, here to Florida and we have a week filled with days at the beach, in the pool and undoubtedly at a theme park or two culminating with squeals of delight as great-grandchildren discover that Santa can find you wherever you may be..........

This was written for the 114th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, A Charles Dickens Christmas, to be hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene. Poster courtesy of footnoteMaven.


Carol said...

Love the slide show, thanks for sharing your Ghosts of Christmas.

Joan said...

great post, loved the slide show and the gallery of pictures --- and most of all the view of future Christmases.

Jasia said...

What a wonderful slide show, Apple! You have a great collection of Christmas pics... I have Christmas pic envy, lol! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful memories, in the cold, snowy, north country as well as in the balmy south. Your Christmas spirit is alive and well! Great to have you in the COG again, I hope to read more from you in 2012!

Cynthia Shenette said...

I love the slide show as well!

Florida is a lovely place at Christmas time. I hope you enjoyed it. I love all the decorations on the palm trees and seeing displays of poinsettias planted in the ground. The best part is NO SNOW!