All throughout December, as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth, we will be opening hearts and homes to you. Today is Kimmie’s open heart and home! She has such a delightful way of sharing!  kimmie

“Since my last surgery I  have taken to writing down memories as my memory loss has increased. These memories wrap me in love.  I literally feel them embracing me during this time of year. 

Here are some of my Christmas memories…

Oh the things our parents do to make Christmas bright!  My mother and father were determined that we would have great Christmases in our childhood, but the emphasis was definitely not on extravagant gifts since there was not a lot of money to go around.

no peeking

Everybody got an “underwear” box.

Oh the dreaded underwear box!

Single-handed destroyer of many childhood fantasies of what may possibly be hidden inside the deliciously-wrapped box!

We still laugh to this day as each of us prepares to open a gift and the opener suddenly has that momentary realization shine in their eyes that this could be the dreaded box o’looms!!  My favorite memories have very little to do with the gifts received but more about the time and energy that my parents took to make each year memorable!

I was raised Catholic and a big part of our Christmas was midnight mass on Christmas eve. The beautifully lit chapel at the top of the hill in a city that seemed to stand completely still except for us approaching.  The heavy smell of the incense hanging in the air of the chapel.  The beautiful Christmas hymns pealing from the rafters.

Christmas-Hymns

The squirming bodies of children anxious to get back home before Santa Claus got anywhere close to the East Coast so he did not catch us out of our bed.  Every year as we exited mass at midnight, my daddy recounted the “talking animal” story that his grandmother had shared with him.  We knew the story by heart, but loved hearing it every time anyway.  The idea that the animals talked at the stroke of midnight the night Jesus was born in that manager was absolutely enthralling to us every year, no matter how many times we heard it.

living nativity

We had a pretend cardboard fireplace to hang our stockings from with care.  Santa’s legs and boots were visible.  The legs were my brother’s pajama bottoms and the boots were my rain boots.  We loved setting it up too, every year.  I still have it in my garage.  I rarely take the time or make the effort to set it up anymore, but I cannot bear to let go of it.  It means Christmas to me.

kimmie

I will leave you with my most favorite memory, Santa’s footprints.  Every Christmas morning when we got out of the bed, we would run from our rooms to check and see.  Sure enough he had been there.  We had proof!  His footprints were all over the house, from the cardboard fireplace to the tree, to the table holding the cookies and milk, to our rooms, and to momma and daddy’s room, Santa’s footprints were right there for us to see!  Little did we know that in the wee small hours of the night while daddy worked feverishly to put together the “some assembly required” gifts, my mother would  take a shallow pan and fill the bottom with flour and then step into that wearing my daddy’s work boots.  She would tromp through the house, leaving some of the best memories ever behind in floury footprints.

santas footprints

My life has had many ups and downs.  The only thing I have never doubted is God’s love for me. 

My parents gave us Santa and those incredible memories, but most importantly they emphasized that this day was truly about that babe in the manger and the amazing fact that He came here for me; He chose me even when I was the least worthy to be chosen!

Many years I wandered alone by my choice, and yet Jesus still waited patiently for me to come back to His embrace and the wonders of His love. Joy to the World!”

We pray Kimmie’s memories have touched your heart and home the way they have touched ours. Jesus is always waiting with a loving embrace and it is wonderful to peek at the hearts and homes of all who love Him this Christmas!