Do certain things take you back to your childhood? You know, the moment you think of a certain something or smell a particular smell, you are taken to the sweet innocence of your youth? Christmas definitely does that for me. I have nothing but fond memories of Christmas. I never remember feeling disappointed Christmas morning despite my mom always promising that this year "isn't going to be great". I know my mom did EVERYTHING she could to make every Christmas spectacular for us kids and every Christmas was MORE than I ever expected.
You might wonder why I have 20 totes of Christmas decorations in the attic. Well let's just say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Like mother like daughter.
Decorating our house for Christmas when I was a kid was an all day affair. I'm not sure where the Christmas items were stored or how they magically appeared to be put out but I remember all the fun we had doing it.
I remember the smell of the artificial tree with remnants of last year's tinsel and the lovely gold garland. Don't you just love the 80s?
Putting the electric train under the tree was always something to look forward to. I would spend hours watching that little electric train go 'round and 'round the track. Stopping to pick up "passenger" and delivering gifts to all the little houses. It too had a distinct smell. I think it was the smell of exposed wires and was quite the fire hazard but that's not important. That smell is something that brings back the feeling of Christmas and the spirit of this special time.
Another big hit was the Sugar Plum Tree. I think it was actually meant to hold gum drops but we had miniature glass Christmas ornaments that we hung from each of its branches. I would take each ornament off and put them back on in a different pattern probably 20 times each Christmas season. There was something about doing it that was peaceful and wonderful. Who knew all that could come form a "gumdrop" tree.
One of my absolute favorite things about Christmas was the advent calendar, aka the countdown calendar. There was something about waking up every morning and peeling back that little cardboard door to see what was inside. It might have just been a picture of a Christmas mouse hiding in a stocking or cookies on a plate for Santa but it still gave me something special every morning.
When Ella brought home her countdown calendar this afternoon, I was immediately taken back.
No her calendar doesn't look anything like mine did but it was the excitement, the innocence and the look in her eye that was the same. After all, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.