December 01, 2010

Up and Counting Down

image courtesy of Katy Elliot

I decided to start off the Christmas countdown with a memory that always puts a smile on my face and involves my baby sister. We are nine years apart and, just as I was like so over Christmas, Santa, and all that jazz, she was just getting into it, majorly. I was way into pouting and milling about in black and she was cherry-cheeked and full of that little kid energy that everybody wishes they could bottle up. Fast-forward to the living room of our home in Prestonwood. Every year my family would gather on Christmas Eve. There'd be a fire in the fireplace, Maw-Maw's chili on the stove, and random uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, parents, and siblings sitting, chatting, waiting for the festivities to begin. Then, there was me. I was in the middle of it all, but way too cool for school in my huge horn-rimmed glasses that have been re-birthed in today's fashion world, waiting for Christmas to thrill me. Shortly before we began opening gifts with my Grandpa at the helm, someone would come pounding down the stairs. That someone was none other than a little elf with brown eyes and reddish-brown hair in bright kerry green tights, my mom's green t-shirt with a four leaf clover and "kiss me I'm Irish" scratched across the front, and a red nose courtesy of Este Lauder. It was KK; every year for as long as I can remember she dressed up as an elf on Christmas Eve. She always suceeded in making me laugh and join in the Christmas cheer even though I was tryin' so darn hard not to be effected by it all. She, with her six or seven years, showed me that I hold the key to my happiness. Beat your own drum and dance to it. Over the years, this lesson I learned from a little girl determined not to let her pre-teen-young-adult siblings rain on her parade has gotten me far; it has gotten me through long winters away from family and friends, lonely afternoons in a foreign country, and missed holidays across an ocean. It has, for the last twenty plus years, reminded me to light candles, buy a cookie, take a walk, breathe in, breath out, and celebrate the moment.

What about you? Do you have a favorite Christmas memory??

Hope your first December day is a good one!

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