I love Christmas music - and the songs by the Carpenters (of 70's fame) are, to me, some of the timeless best. My favorite is probably "Merry Christmas Darling". My greeting cards have not all been sent, and at this late date they won't be. So I decided to do a sort of "open letter" to those I love and care for (and if you're reading this, that probably includes you.)
This year, the holiday will find me at my own home, with my daughter, our cats, and our "adopted" just for Christmas puppy - Charlee. While this means a lazy,cozy, and loving Christmas morning with my daughter (and a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls) all to myself - it also means there are many "darlings" I won't see that I'll be thinking of and missing a whole lot...
Mom - truly one of my best friends, the person I want to call first with any news (or any "no news") and the one who always made sure each and every Christmas (even this one coming up) was spectacularly special and filled with moments of wonder - she gave more than presents, she gave lifelong memories that I will cherish always. For instance: I remember being just 7 and getting my first record player (the kind in the box with a white plastic handle) and my first album "Frampton Comes Alive" - name another 7 year old who received a classic rock album for Christmas! Too young to be "stoked", I was really, really excited! Classic Rock n Roll - the gift that keeps on giving, really. (I also received Olivia Newton John's "Totally Hot" that same morning - which was....not a classic). Thanks Mom!
Daddy - I miss him every day, just especially so at Christmas. Best Christmas memory ever...Daddy at Carswell A.F.B., dressed up as Santa. Sarah (our babysitter) takes us to the base to have our pictures made with "Santa". Upon our arrival, from across the room I point and say "That's my Daddy!" I wait in line, and when I get on his lap he says (in his best Santa voice) "Ho ho ho and Merry Christmas!" I giggled and said "You're not Santa, you're my Daddy." He asks "Why do you think I'm your Daddy little girl?" I say "Because you smell like my Daddy!" Thank you Givenchy - makers of Grey Flannel and Givenchy Gentlemen - to get a whif of either fragrance causes instantaneous tearing of the eyes in this woman who will forever be her Daddy's little girl. (*Side Note: 6 months later found me sick as a dog, Daddy took me to the doctor on base and afterward to his office - where what do you know was hanging in the corner - yep, Santa's hat and beard!)
My sisters - Emmy and Lydia. We have so many shared holiday memories - there's nothing quite like a sister. I remember the year we got the Ping Pong table and Lydia and I were up at 4:30 a.m. - Mom and Dad told us we'd have to wait until 6:00 before we could wake them and Emmy up. We sat beside that ping pong table the entire time full of excitement, counting down the minutes! I also remember the year I asked for the Holly Hobbie EZ Bake Oven, only to wake up Christmas morning to find it in Lydia's gift pile. And I certainly remember the Christmas Eve that I planned to sleep on the couch so I could confirm whether Santa was real or not. I discovered he wasn't - but what a joy to remember what I DID see that night....Emmy and her best friend Erin, putting out the presents. Everyone should be lucky enough to have a big sister love them so much they fill in for Santa! Everyone should be lucky enough to have 2 great sisters like mine.
Aunt Katy & Jason. Awww man, without a doubt, the best Christmases ever included these two. Aunt Katy always made everything extra special - I'll never forget her hiding Jason's Cowboy Hat for Christmas on top of the ceiling fan. Such fun! I need to make plans for a trip to Ohio sometime in the next year or so. Aunt Katy is my Godmother, and not one Christmas of my life has passed without special gifts just for me under the tree from Katy. My favorite is one I still have and look upon daily, my pink iridescent candy dish from the glass factory near Bellaire. It's as beautiful today as it ever was and always makes me think of these two precious members of my family.
Meagan, Layne & Courtney. My sweet and beautiful neices, I love you girls so much. Christmas Mornings took on a whole new meaning after you all joined the family! I never had so much fun shopping as I did when I'd shop for your gifts. I always wanted you to have a TON of presents to unwrap. Noki - ALWAYS sick at Christmas, so someone always had to stay home with you and miss Midnight Mass. Meagan of course, is my Godchild, so I have always tried to carry on the tradition of getting something extra and special just for her. I hope this made you feel as special as you are Meagan - you all three are so precious to me, and the best gift you've ever given me is your friendship now that you're all grown. It means so much to me that we're so connected! Ok wait, the best gifts are really sweet Elizabeth and Elise, I'm just sayin'. (and you know it's true anyway.)
Andrea - Don't worry Stella, I was just saving the best for last. What can I say to you that you don't already know. You're the sister I would've picked if I could've picked one for myself. You've been there through the good, the bad, the everything. I know we don't talk every day - you've got the little one, I've got the teen one - but it doesn't mean I love you less or think of you less. No matter what, I'm just a phone call or a text away. I'll never be too far, I can't be, you know all of my secrets! You're my Bestie! My True Blue! And I love you Original Dr. Drea! Kiss that baby girl for me!
So to all of you - my darlings mentioned in this blog, and to all the darling friends and family I didn't mention (but I DO think of, I promise! and you all deserve a specific mention even though there's just not room) - I wish you Merry Christmas, Happy New Year too. I hope this Christmas is a very special one for all of you and that the year ahead is full of happiness!
Ok, now you have to listen to my sappy Christmas song for you. Don't balk, just do it.