Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Memories

Last night between dinner and (unitarian) midnight mass, my family sat around the fire inventing and playing a new game based on something my Dad had done recently at his church board retreat. We each had a piece of paper and pen and we started by thinking of a christmas memory. We then had to draw the memory on the top quarter of our page and pass it to our left. The next person would look at the picture and write down what they thought the memory was. Then they'd cover up our picture and pass it to the next person with only the words showing. That person would draw the memory they read, fold down again over the previous person's words, and pass on to the last person with only their picture showing. As you can guess, the last person writes down what they think the memory is based on the picture they're looking at and then passes the sheet on to the original person. With our own memories back in hand, we read them to ourselves, laughed until we cried, and then tried to read and show them to everyone else through the laughter. Most of our memories we had all been a part of and remembered vividly. We are, after all, a family and are always together on Christmas. We are always together but we are rarely alone. This Christmas Eve and morning, though, it was only the four of us. It was only the second Christmas with just the four of us in the past ten years, and probably one of only three or four in the last twenty years. I missed Josh, and the Vermonsters, and my Grandparents (one of whom we were happy to see for a few hours this afternoon), and our North Carolinians, all of whom I've celebrated with Christmases past. But the four Shawshaws together was very nice. It was nice to know all each other's memories. It was nice to have the typical "christmas eve slumber party" with just Nathan-- though I always loved staying up with Katy and Emily waiting to hear footsteps in the living room and sneaking upstairs for chocolates and cookies in the middle of the night. And it was nice to have a quiet morning in which food and family and fireplace were just as exciting as present opening. I'm not going to lie, I still love getting presents, but I've gotten to the age where I love giving them even more. In recent years, many of our family gifts have been hand-made, hand-me downs, or hand-picked at thrifts stores and they tend to mean more that way. I'm in absolutely no hurry to have kids, but I'm pretty excited to be Santa Clause one day and, when I do, I think I'll make sure we celebrate just our immediate family sometimes. We've got some good freaking memories and now they're pictionaried for a handmade scrapbook. Hmmm... present idea for Christmas 2011?

Nathan's Memory
Nathan: Santa Clause at Bethesa Metro with ice skating rink.
Betsy: Santa landing on top of the building towers @ Bethesda metro w/choir & Christmas tree lighting.
Sandy: Draws picture.
Carrie: Santa lands on roof at Bethesda Metro as all the locals sing and light xmas tree & menorah. (and go skating after- no longer possible :( )

Sandy's Memory

Sandy: Memory is unclear-- someone kisses under mistletoe...
Carrie: I saw Mommy kissing Daddy under the mistletoe!!!
Nathan: Draws picture with very veluptuosly puckered lips.
Betsy: Betsy & Sandy kissing under mistletoe with Carrie watching. (did this happen?)

Carrie's Memory

Carrie: Grandpa does disappearing spoon trick for the family.
Nathan: Grandpa gets confused without forks and knives.
Betsy: Draws picture. (somehow, of Carrie's original memory)
Sandy: Grandpa's magic trick at Aspen Christmas.

Betsy's Memory

Betsy: Santa skiis down snowmass mountain on Christmas Eve as villagers cheer and watch fireworks.
Sandy: Tony skiis into woods at Snowmass in 1968.
Carrie: Draws (mildly inappropriate) picture.
Nathan: Skiing/peeing on the continental divide. (Yes, this is a real memory... Sandy Shaw "peed in both Oceans at the same time".)

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