While I’ve made a good start on the holiday cards and have even purchased a few gifts, to me my holiday preparations aren’t underway until I’ve gotten out my “Christmas Memories” book by Susan Branch and made my first entry. I love this journal/scrapbook! It holds five full years’ worth of Christmas memories and pictures. I’m on my third volume now. A treasure, it is worth its weight in gold–especially as the years go by and folks who are in the pictures from Volume 1 aren’t with us anymore. I have always had everyone in attendance at the holiday gatherings write their name and a little something on one of the pages. Oh, you should see how the handwriting of the children changes from one year to the next. Figure, they first signed in nearly 15 years ago, scrawling over half the page with barely-formed letters. Now, they’re in college. Yikes!
A few years ago, I took the chock-a-block full volumes along on Christmas Eve and Day, so everyone could turn a few pages and remember when. I’m big on Remember When, never more than at Christmas. I was pleased to see, late in the evening, someone sitting quietly, leafing through, reading an entry here and there.
The thing I love about this book, other than the totally beautiful format (well, everything Susan Branch does is just so charming!), is how it allows me to capture in just a few pages all the details of each year–from the look of the tree to the new dessert someone made to the Christmas song most in my head this year. And I include a few photos, of the tree, the pets, all of us or just some of us, depending. Little girls in matching pajamas, the new puppy asleep under the tree, three generations–you know, the pictures that make up a celebration.
This year, I already know my song of the year is by Gloria Estefan, “Christmas Through Your Eyes”. And my favorite ornaments will surely be the vintage ones my brothers attached to the grill of my car while I was at work one day. What a cheery surprise!
So, here’s to happy holidays, and the tradition of writing about them in a favorite space.