Christmas for me

December 29, 2015, by Deena @Shoes to Shiraz

What's my favourite Christmas memory? That's a tough one.  It could be many things:

I spent 25 Christmas Eves at my Grandma Diehl's house where we celebrated in a very traditional French Canadian way: la messe de minuit, la réveillon, tourtière et les chansons en français.  It was something I looked forward to every year.  One of my favourite moments was after midnight mass, at the end of the Joy to the World, everyone in the congregation would stick around and hug, wishing Merry Christmasses.  It truly felt holy, refreshing and new.
I think I loved our Christmas Eve traditions, mostly because my Grandma did an amazing job hosting. The entire basement was our play place for Christmas all year.  The tree stayed up, the kitchen was right there and I would dream year round of that magical night.  She somehow tirelessly hosted 30-50 people in that house and made it look effortless.
I loved it so much that I wanted a Christmas wedding so I could have my whole family back for Christmas.

Selfish, yes.  Christmas lover, absolutely.  One of my favourite events was the coming of Santa Claus at some point in the evening. I would spend my nights looking out the window, watching for Rudolph's nose or getting myself sick with anxiety looking forward to his visit.  My Grandma had someone different play the part every year and as there were so many bodies in the house, it was impossible to notice someone missing. Tradition had the newest addition to the family had to take on the role.  I can picture my Grandma in her moccasins coming down the stairs telling us excitedly that she heard bells.
That is why continuing that tradition is so important to me.  Even when I knew the truth about Santa (sshhhhh, I won't tell)  I still looked forward to that little bit of magic that was to be had.
Me @ 8 years old with Grandma and Grandpa, my brother on the right and my cousin Kelly (RIP) on the left.

And there's anxious Deena...either worried about boys or where Santa was.  

Brother Rob, still believing.
Look at those eyes, I'm pretty sure that's brother playing Santa, and also, that there isn't a kid under 13 in the house at this point.  Yup, the tradition didn't end just because the kids grew up.

 After the Christmas Eve festivities, we'd drive the 20 minutes to my Grandma Park's house.  Both Grandparents lived 20 minutes apart in small town Sask. How handy.  Some of my favourite memories there was being with my cousins.  Well that and the food.  We'd (the crazy cousins) have a tradition of making Christmas buns, which consisted of us stuffing our entire Christmas Day meal into a homemade bun.  It was delicious and something I still do.  My Grams was also an incredible host and loved playing Santa. I can see her sitting by the tree, passing out gifts.  My favourite was the year she made us all quilts.

You know, in the end, when I try to think of my favourite Christmas memory, it all comes down to the people.  It's that special, sacred time that you put aside for the ones you love.  That time you forget about everything else going on around you and play games and laugh and catch up.  It is the quality time that must be put in to make lasting and meaningful relationships and that, my friends, is my favourite Christmas memory.

Hope you had a fantastic holiday!

 Deena blogs at Shoes to Shiraz and is a regular contributor for The Blended Blog.  Her passions include pretty shoes, big glasses of wine, reading books and playing ball.  She lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on an acreage with her husband and two kids.