Mrs. Ashley’s favorite Christmas memory

Growing up I remember Christmas time being so special.  We decorated the tree and the house the day after Thanksgiving.  My mom made a chocolate pecan cookie and had eggnog while we decorated.  I remember Christmas music blaring and the whole family signing and dancing.  We always decorated the house, not in boring traditional white lights but in fun colorful lights and tons and tons of garland.  Our favorite tradition is placing the bells at the bottom of the tree (this was to try and hear Santa).  Every year one of the five of us had the honor of finding the lowest branch and placing the bells.  On the night before Christmas after mass, we got cozy on the couch and my dad read us “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.  We put out cookies and it was off to bed.  My sister and I were determined to see Santa.  We would stay up as late as our eyes would let us.  We played games to pass the time.  My sister and I would count all the tiny lights on the railing every year.  First, I would sneak out of my room when I was sure my parents wouldn’t find me.  My sister would be on the look out right at the door to our bedroom.  I usually counted about 200 lights.  After I went, it was my sisters turn.  She would hopefully count the same amount as me because if not, we would start all over again.  Eventually, we would fall asleep…or get caught.  Then it was Christmas morning!  My brothers and sisters were not allowed to go downstairs until everyone was awake.  We all woke each other up of course.  But we NEVER woke up mom or dad.  Sometimes we would take a sneak at our stockings while we waited.  After our parents woke up it was time!  We ran down and opened presents and had a big breakfast together.  Then it was off to Grandma #1, then Grandma #2, then #3 etc. etc.  Busy day, but full of family and full of fun!
To this day we still get my moms chocolate pecan cookies, we still switch off the years and place the bells on the lowest branch even though we’ve all grown older (this year is my year ), and we still go to mass together and hear “Twas the Night Before Christmas” from my dad and now grandpa!
Merry Christmas!
from Mrs. Ashley

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