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Enchanting Christmas Memories

Jackie Lynnley shares emotional times in her life in hopes of touching someone with like thoughts or feelings, feelings from the heart.

Christmas was many different things to many of us. We all have our own special memories or regrets. I had no regrets and although I am smart enough to know my Christmas's were probably on a very small scale compared to many others, I would not trade them for the world.

They are mine and I cherish them. So much so I would love to share them.


Christmas Memories Begin

I have memories of being much younger than five, walking to my grandmother's house all by myself and little incidents that happened, but at five we moved from there and that is when the Christmas memories begin.

My dad had been home from service awhile then and was having such problems finding a good job to support so many children. There were six of us, from twelve years old to the newborn baby. We had cows and pigs and chickens so did not go hungry as did everyone else, but that did not buy clothing or pay the bills.

My dad had no hope at all and little more when my mom decides to write a state representative about our situation. I have no idea how she came up with such an idea but it really was a fine one. That politician somehow found my dad a job in a brand new hospital going up that he worked at for the rest of his life. (He went from nurse's aid to maintenance supervisor in many years.)

It was three hours away so of course, we had to sell our house and move. I was very sad to leave my grandparents and all the sweet animals but I was always ready for adventure. We were not raised to have an objection anyway. It would have never entered our minds to cry or give an opinion against our parent's decisions in life.


Traipsing Through the Snow

We moved on a country road with neighbors sparsely on both sides of the road but still, we had a very large yard and there were woods behind us and in and out between the neighbors. Although I was only five I had to explore and as long as I did not go out of earshot I could explore all I wanted. Earshot meant as soon as Mommy yelled my name I had better yell back or if she said come home I better be there pretty quick!

I didn't need to go far, there was plenty to explore just behind the house. This is where I would discover the dogwood tree in a couple of years but right now I was enjoying the fall leaves and the wonderful smells of all the pines just everywhere. Daddy said to be looking for a good one not too big that we could cut for Christmas! There were so many but I loved the very soft ones that I could pet. The others were sticky and prickly and it took a long time to wash that off!

As much as I loved the soft ones I hated to think they would be cut and die. They would be so pretty in the house with popcorn strings all over and Mommy's big Christmas ornaments but I started thinking I could not pick a one I wanted to be gone from the woods.

There were so many favorite spots I could catch the sun coming down through the trees and bringing out the aroma of the pines and I thought it must be something like magic. I treated it like magic anyway, for Mommy said soon the weather would turn cold with snow and I could not be traipsing through the woods! I didn't really know what that was but it sounded really fun and I was sorry I wouldn't get to.

Do you believe in Santa Claus?


Away in a Manger

There was always talk of Santa Claus but I cannot remember ever a time really believing in him. Maybe it had something to do with the fact I once passed by the car while I was out playing and saw my doll and some of my brother's Christmas presents in the back seat and floorboard. I remember it as quite accidental but considering I was not tall enough to just look over into the car I suspect I overheard secrets being whispered or perhaps even being talked over my head which was their first mistake. I was always all ears!

I hated it once it happened because the surprise was spoiled but I never really liked baby dolls anyway although they were accepted by me, enthusiastically. The thing was, I had four younger brothers and two of them were real babies. One I took care of hours every day and slept in his baby bed many nights, especially when it was cold to keep him covered and warm.

Although thankfully, I was too young to be doing any diapering, I could announce the need for one. I fed him probably all the bottles he took when he would let me, that is. He was not the little baby and he was pretty hefty to handle sometimes but he was oh so beautiful!. I never got tired of playing with him and adoring him. He had lashes so long and black he could have been a baby doll. I never recall him crying but I guess there was no need, he always got what he wanted and had a full-time playmate.

So I had two living baby dolls and hard cold plastic just didn't cut it.


The Christmas Spirit

My older brother David was just like Dad at Christmas. They were both Santa Claus at heart. It was a happiness to be around them. They lit up a room with their happiness. They were almost silly at times and Christmas gave them that excuse. Mom had more on her at holidays so she may not be all smiles with all that extra she had to do and Dad coming up with all the new ideas for her that he could. But she was the music and the song all of our lives.

She could be fussing around about something one minute and singing and whistling the next. Her battery never ran down and I cannot believe there was a day in all those years that she did not sing unless she was very sick and really, she had no time to be sick! They were never well to do but they gave us all so much. We never wanted for a thing and they made Christmas special every year we were with them.

It was always a rule we had to have clothing of some sort as one of our presents and I am sure we were all just fine with that. Then there was always the one special present like a doll or record player and then there were fillers and always the first thing we got when we woke up was Daddy's fruit, nut and candy bag! It always ran over it was stuffed so full. We never were told to wait until after breakfast, we could eat candy very first thing if we wanted.

This was one day a year Dad had to shine as a father and although I am so sorry to say he never picked us up and hugged us or said he loved us (those days did come in his last years) he shined with love at Christmas and we knew he loved us.

We were always happiest at Christmas I think to see this father that hid out, for the most part, the rest of the year. Working nights and long hours could make him a scrooge all through the year...but never at Christmas. Not once.


In Christmas Past

My mom and dad and older brother have all passed on now and I miss them so much. Especially, my mom, I have to admit, but unlike many others at Christmas that are saddened thinking of their passed loved ones, I am very happy remembering and being so thankful that I ever knew them.

My older brother died at only forty-seven so I do hate that for him to not have had more life with his children and family but although my mom and dad did not have a painless death they did have a long life and I am satisfied that I did all that I could for them. Some stood in my way at times but I have no guilt that I did not do my best. Yet don't we all have guilt that we could have done more?

They both knew I loved them; I know that and that feels good. I was aware they would one day die when I was just a child and prayed then I would go first, before any of my family really. But then I grew up and learned how unrealistic that wish was.

I love thinking of Christmas past at the different memories that weave in and out of everything I see or do at Christmas time. Different things while I am shopping or just lights everywhere as I travel in the car reminding me of traveling with Mom and Dad as a kid to see grandparents and be dazzled by the miles and miles of Christmas lights that would often lull me and my brothers to sleep.

Then sometimes I will spot an older woman that so reminds me of Mom in hairdo or dress or an older man laughing and sounding just like Dad and I am so thankful for these things that bring memories of long ago to present time. What better gift could I give them all than to so fondly remember them?

Christmas Past


Memories are Made of Stuff Like This!

Once, as an adult, I went Christmas shopping with Mom and Dad, leaving my two small children at home. It was such a wonderful day being with them. Like being their little girl again.

We went to a fish place to eat and I knew Dad loved seafood. I also knew he knew how much I loved oysters and theirs were so good! So that was for me that we went there I knew and somehow that day was so full of the love I had missed not being home with them as my family in so long. (Over ten years.) I was always the one to stay home with my little brothers growing up so Mom and Dad could have time to shop and be out together. I think it was a rare treat for us all never having done this, just the three of us. There seemed to be a high on happiness that day.

As we got out of the car at a shopping mall to start our shopping it started snowing light, dry but dense flurries all around. Looking like something magical that was beyond beautiful. We all three started laughing and what was said I could not tell you but I told myself I never wanted to forget that day and that very moment, ever...and I never have.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


© 2017 Jackie Lynnley


Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 05, 2019:

Thanks PS.

Christmas back so soon! You and your family have a very blessed and merry one!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 03, 2019:

O yes. Thank you for sharing your fond memories with us. They called to mind for me similar memories. Our Christmas was simple and was about the love. So many wonderful memories of Christmas in Virginia. I treasure those times. thank you for your lovely article. Angels once again are headed your way ps

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on April 12, 2018:

Thank you Ann. I think we all turn child when it comes to Christmas. That is what it is all about. A child.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 12, 2018:

This is great! I too have wonderful memories of Christmas as a child, spending time with family too, and more recently having Christmas fun with my own children and grandchildren. Superb!


Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 25, 2017:

Thank you Catherine. It is no secret I am sure I love sharing mine but I like reading everyone else's too when they will share them. So glad you enjoyed mine today.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on December 25, 2017:

It is so easy to conjure up Christmas memories. It is such a wonderful time of year. I bet everyone who tried could fill a book with their own memories. Thanks for sharing some of yours. It was great to read them on Christmas Day.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 17, 2017:

I am without so much as I am used to this Christmas Bill, so I doubt it will be my best but I have my memories and that is always good! My friends too, thank God, thank you. I bet I could muster up a very good year if I tried!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 17, 2017:

Thanks Nell, it is old stories that you have read for years I am sure, but thanks for sticking with me!

Merry Christmas to you!

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on December 17, 2017:

Great Christmas memories, Jackie! I wonder what we'll remember years from now about Christmas, 2017. It's memory making time again.

Nell Rose from England on December 15, 2017:

'It started to snow....' magic! I loved your family tale. whatever happened in your life its made you the person you are today, loved reading this, have a wonderful Christmas Jackie.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 14, 2017:

That is so true Angel. I am sorry you work so to provide for your family, my dad did too, especially to begin he made so little and up until he retired he worked all the hours that he could and he was always so tired.

Well, being an angel I hope that means you know there are better times ahead.

I used to know someone from Joliet, many years ago!

Angel Guzman from Joliet, Illinois on December 14, 2017:

Wow, that's amazing a state representative directly helped your family! As a father myself I'm torn and sad working fulltime to try to provide for my kids. I hope to get us a house soon. I'm glad you shared your memories. There is good in this world not all bad.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 13, 2017:

Merry Christmas Kari and yes I do have some great memories!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 13, 2017:

I do Louise, and a very Merry Christmas to you!

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on December 13, 2017:

I'm so glad you have such wonderful memories! I have such fond memories myself. I love this time of year. Merry Christmas!

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on December 13, 2017:

It sounds like you have wonderful memories of Christmas. I love this time of year. Merry Christmas. =)

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 11, 2017:

Oh, Dora as a little girl I sometimes wished I were an only child but I guess that is normal in huge families. I hope so!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 11, 2017:

Life is made of memories, and you have some precious ones from your childhood. I'm a little bit jealous of the siblings since I have none, but I enjoy your stories. Thanks for sharing them; so meaningful at Christmastime.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 11, 2017:

I am so very sorry for your sister's passing ps. I am sure she is an angel watching over you now.

I let my kids have Santa and I think he is an OK guy so no scrooge here! I think I just paid attention to more than most kids did, or do. lol

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 11, 2017:

O I did believe in Santa...and I think a bit of me still believes in the magic of Santa. The real reason for the season is foremost in my life today but I enjoy the gift giving as God's gift of his son was to us. One of my fondest memories is bittersweet....when I was almost four we celebrated our Christmas with my Aunt and Uncle...my whole family ....Mother Daddy and two sisters and I headed to Midlothian VA for this Christmas . My sister Mary Jane who was nine suffered a bad headache so went off to bed which was unusual for her. She rested and returned to be with us later. Less than one month later, she died from a brain tumor. But I still relish the moments of happiness that Christmas even though I was so young. She enjoyed stringing popcorn and dining on the sumptuous meal and opening special packages. Walking down memory lane...this always comes to mind every year. Sending you many lovely wishes for a most blessed Christmas. Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 10, 2017:

Thank you so much Peggy. Bless you and you please have a Merry Christmas too!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 10, 2017:

Hi Jackie,

Thanks for sharing your memories with us. Like you I had two younger brothers and would rather play with them than with dolls. I can also relate to being able to play outside and be within earshot of being called home. Those were sweet days! My mother, dad and both brothers are now gone but it is nice remembering the good times spent together. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 10, 2017:

Thank you Eric, so pleased you enjoyed it.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 10, 2017:

Thank you. Bedtime stories for my young son are not books but storytelling. This time of year is Christmas memories. He loves them. This is a wonderfully reflection piece.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 10, 2017:

It's true Peg, Mom was like a walking ad for "The Sound of Music" - but her songs could be very modern. In fact when she was raising her granddaughter we noticed some questionable songs coming up and had to warn her she might not want to sing everything she was listening to!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 10, 2017:

Such beautiful moments live in such sweet memories. Christmas as a child is truly magical. I love what you said about your mother. "She was the music and the song all of our lives." What a delightful way to remember her.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 10, 2017:

Thank you so very much Karoro! Welcome to HubPages. Hope you are enjoying this new venture as many of us do.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 10, 2017:

That is a wonderful thought Rasma and I know it is no doubt true!

Karoro Aziz from New York, US on December 10, 2017:

Jackie Lynnley Your hub makes me fell good........truly good writing and i love it .Marry Christmas to you Jackie Lynnley.......keep good writing.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on December 10, 2017:

Wonderful Christmas memories. I always think Christmas memories sparkle the most and are so special.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 09, 2017:

Thanks Linda, I am so pleased my memories bring up those of your own. I am sure with all their children Christmas had to be a struggle sometimes for my parents, but we sure never noticed if it was. They seemed as thrilled with Christmas as we were.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 09, 2017:

Thank you so much Rachel. I had lots of uncles and aunts and cousins too, and remember meals so big there was not enough room even at huge tables. Most of these were country meals with much if not all the food raised right there. I often smile thinking about my dad's dad who raised gardens and had animals I never once saw that but he had a big cellar for the big hams and pieces of beef with rooms over top to store vegetables nicer than his own house. Or so I thought as a child.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 09, 2017:

You have a lovely way of describing your memories, Jackie. My happiest memories of Christmas come from my childhood. My parents always worked hard to create an enjoyable experience. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Reading your article is a lovely thing to do as Christmas approaches.

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on December 09, 2017:

Hi Jackie, I enjoyed reading about your Christmas's so much. Your family reminded me of the Walton family on TV. Especially how they really enjoyed Christmas too. I came from a big Italian family. By big I mean I had so many aunts and uncles and cousins. There were only 5 of us children. That might sound like a lot these days but not back then. I remember big tables and so much food and so many relatives. I loved my dolls that I got every Christmas and the clothes that came with them. Thank you for bring back my memories as I read about yours. May your Christmas with your present family be truly blessed.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 09, 2017:

Thanks Bill for allowing me to share with you.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on December 09, 2017:

Christmas memories are meant to be shared. Thank you for sharing yours, Jackie.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 09, 2017:

I imagine that would have been shocking RoadMonkey. You sound a lot like me in your love of nature. Still holds true today!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 09, 2017:

Thank you Madan, really pleased you enjoyed it.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 09, 2017:

If I had any bad Christmas memories Bill I must have blocked them out. I do recall a tight Christmas when my kids were little my husband opted to buy lots of cheap instead of one or two nice toys and that was a nightmare, but the kids were so small it did not ruin anything for them. So I am glad of that. I guess I am a Pollyanna. lol

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 09, 2017:

I know Linda, that is so true. I was full of thought! lol I had a large family but no one really close enough to me to have fun with and play outside with so I do think I fell in love with nature paying closer attention maybe than the normal child.

Always great to have you stop by!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 09, 2017:

Thank you Madan, I hope you enjoy holiday festivities as I am sure most cultures do. Even if not ours.

RoadMonkey on December 09, 2017:

Lovely memories. As you said, small ones but I think those are often the best because they are the lasting, everyday kind of happiness ones. I was the eldest and my sister next below me was the nosey one. It was she who told me there was no Santa! I said to my mother that my sister had said there was no Santa, expecting her reassurance and I was so shocked when she said, "Oh, has she found out then?" as if she thought I already knew. I was so glad a few years ago to read the old newspaper article, 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus'. I still love Christmas though and have many memories but I can't match wandering through my own pine wood!

MG Singh emge from Singapore on December 09, 2017:

I have never celebrated Christmas as I am a Sikh. But your tale had universal appeal and I loved reading it. It was like we celebrate Diwali. Great hub that makes one feel that life is really wonderful.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 09, 2017:

I love your memories, Jackie, and I thank you for sharing them with us all. I have good, and bad, memories of Christmas. I prefer to concentrate on the good ones as much as possible.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on December 09, 2017:

What beautiful memories. What struck me most was your thoughts as a 5-year old, exploring the woods behind your house. To the adults it was probably no big deal but for you everything was beautiful and full of magic. If only we could look at things with the eyes of a child.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on December 08, 2017:

Lovely story and very well presented

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