December 18, 2016

Past Memories of Christmas.

Hi friends!! The following post is one that is very close to my heart. The lyrics of the classic and most beloved Christmas song, "it's the most wonderful time of the year" really does ring true. Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year! It's not always perfect, in fact, it's never perfect.
The Christmas holidays are actually FAR from perfect. They're busy, stressful, chaotic, and exhausting. They're filled with long road trips, flights, cancelled flights, snowstorms, icy roads, burnt casseroles, overindulged stomaches, socks in your stocking (unless you just LOVE getting socks?), chocolate boxes with questionable surprise fruit filling, excessive amounts of small-talk, and your least favourite overplayed Christmas songs on the radio (eg. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus").

But despite all of that, the Christmas season always ends too soon, because the time spent with friends and family--the ones you love the most--is never long enough! I mean, sure I get my fair share of introvert hangovers over any holiday throughout the year, but whenever Christmas is over I'm always wishing I could relive it just one more time. Because once Christmas and New Years Eve are over, all the bright lights and red and green decor are taken down, house exteriors are bare once again, and the creatively decorated shop windows are no more. And if there's no snow on the ground (like it usually is here in Maryland), the winter landscape looks awfully dreadful, in my opinion; everything just looks dead and gloomy. Blech. At least there's the optimistic hope that spring is on its' way!

Today is December 17th, and it's the last weekend before the BIG and EXCITING Christmas weekend hits us! As previously mentioned, this years' Christmas will be spent in Maryland with Jarryd and my in-laws. And with that knowledge I'm still doing OK! That 40 foot tall tidal wave of homesickness still hasn't crept up from behind me, which is good news.
And I just realized that this is my very first Christmas EVER that I've had a full-time job and have had to work through the holiday season. Either I've been in school and have weeks of Christmas break, or I'm just working part-time and can afford the time away from work, or my workplace completely shuts down at Christmas time. But this year, I'm working the day before Christmas Eve and the day after Boxing Day. The upside to all of this work definitely keeps my mind occupied from thinking about what I'm missing out on back in Canada.

(I'm in no way saying that Christmas spent with Jarryd's family is bad. What I mean to say is that a whole two decades of wonderful Christmas memories under my belt is enough to make a girl miss her Canadian family.)

With that said, I thought I would share some of my favourite Christmas memories with you guys! Unfortunately I only have two Christmas photos from under the age of 15 to show you because the rest of them are all back at my parents place. (You know, in physical photograph form--olden day style. 😜)

One of my earliest Christmas memories, that doesn't have a photo to go along with it, was I remember waking up the middle of the night to see a brand new dollhouse in the middle of my room. Out of shock and complete excitement I got up and inspected it for a little bit. I remember crawling back into bed and praying that it wasn't just a dream and that the dollhouse would disappear when I'd open my eyes again. But it was real and amazing and every little girl's dream! And now, many many years later my nieces play with it! πŸ˜™

OH and one Christmas morning my Mom set the table with brand new boxes of our favourite SUGARED cereals at each of our spots. Mine was Lucky Charms, of course. Also, my addiction to potato chips started as a young child because I remember asking my mom for Lay's BBQ chips and got two whole bags as a Christmas gift--and was extremely happy. Haha!
One of the Christmas's with my brother Dale (in the red sweater) before he passed away at the age of 6.
Christmas's morning on the farm always consisted of waking up super early, gathering all of our comfiest biggest blankets, and sprawling them all over the floor around the Christmas tree--making the whole scene opening-present ready.
My brother-in-law's birthday is on Christmas Eve so one year we baked him a barnyard cupcake surprise!! I may be a skilled baker now, but back then the LAST thing I wanted to do was bake or cook--this was really all my sister's doing. And aren't we the nicest in-laws? With him having a Christmas holiday birthday, he could easily be overlooked, but we never forget to celebrate him! πŸ˜‹

This photo is missing a sister...without her our female ensemble is just almost perfect. This would make an excellent Christmas card!

Christmas at our old farm house! I LOVE this! Whoever's idea it was for us to all wear Santa hats is a genius. And suddenly, Christmas isn't just the six of us anymore! In this photo I have my very first niece and two brother-in-laws!
Christmas gatherings at my Oma and Opa's in the city were always special. The memories that stand out to me the most are my teasing, and tickling uncles, the two large brown speakers that my Opa would play classical music from (quite loudly), the giant red and green sacks that all of us kids would get from Oma And Opa full of the best gifts ever (!!), along with the smaller white sacks that were filled with German Christmas candy and chocolates! I remember the smell of tobacco in the air. I remember the Christmas tree in the middle of the window, and one time my Oma and Opa gave me an angel ornament to take home with me. I remember us grandkids running up the one-of-a-kind fuzzy green carpeted staircase to watch 101 Dalmations on the ole' tv. I remember that the bathtub, sink, and toilet were pink. And I remember always falling asleep soundly in the back of the van on our long drive home to the country.
On December 24th, 2005, while we were at our Christmas Eve church program, my parents got the phone call that Opa had suddenly passed away. It's a Christmas I don't remember much of--I remember driving straight to Oma and Opa's house and I remember seeing all of my aunts and uncles, and I remember the viewing, the funeral, and the burial. But everything else is a blur. I wish I could go back in time and give my Mom and my Oma the biggest, tightest hugs because they had just lost their Dad/Husband and I was too young to truly understand the pain they must've been experiencing. Even at 25 years old, I can't even imagine. Yes, Christmas is a joyous time but it can also be a hard time for those of us celebrating without our loved ones.

Here we all went for supper at Oma's new apartment before heading off to the Nutcracker Ballet, another Christmas tradition of ours! 
This was an odd Christmas for us, as it was our first without Kristina! She was living in Germany at the time and couldn't make it home (I don't blame her because Christmas in Germany is AMAZING)! But she shipped us all gifts from Germany--check out the jersey I'm wearing! 😍

We had Kristina on the phone the entire time we were opening gifts. That was so fun--it was as if she was there with us! Even this random farm cat chatted with Kristina.

Cooking and baking up a Christmas storm (a storm all of which I'm pretty sure I had nothing to do with haha)! Also, let's revel in the fact that this was the last time I ever had short hair.

It is just a fact that my brother-in-law makes thee best turkey dinner!! We've enjoyed many Thanksgivings and Christmas's with Ron's culinary handiwork.
My family is a bit of a artistic/musical one, so more than one Christmas Eve's at church my cousins and I would play a song during the church program. There I am looking so intense with my flute! Also, an amazing part of the Christmas Eve programs at church were the goodie bags given to everyone at the very end. These goodie bags, also known as "TΓΌtje" are the German Mennonite tradition of brown paper bags filled with shelled peanuts, candy canes, miscellaneous candies and chocolate, and of COURSE a delicious Christmas orange! 
Family gathering fun!! Me with 1/1000th of my cousins, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

It's crazy to look back and see a Christmas with only one niece! Now in 2016 I have three nieces and one nephew and can't imagine my family without them!

I just adore this photo of my parents holding their cute little granddaughter! Also, look to the wall on the left. That wall was always COVERED in family Christmas photos! How blessed was I to grow up in a family with so many friends and family to receive cards from?
The view from our window of the backyard on the farm. A typical white Christmas in Canada! I think there was maybe one year we didn't have a white Christmas?

Now, while I was at Bible school in Germany, I didn't spend my Christmas holidays in Germany--in fact I went home for the holidays! But the days leading up to Christmas were spent at many German Christmas Markets.

This was at a German Christmas market--and I'm tellin' you. There's nothing like Christmas in Germany! Side note: I gained a bit of weight at this time. My legs look thicker than ever haha!

I snuck this photo of Jarryd on our last evening together before we parted ways for the Christmas holidays, He was going to a friends' place in Berlin and I was going home to Canada. I knew that he liked me at this point, a friend of mine spilled it to me and I could just tell from the way he acted. I mean, he was the only guy to wake up at 4 am that night to carry my suitcase to the car for me and stand outside in the cold to wave goodbye so.... πŸ˜‡  But as for me, I was still wrestling with my feelings. I told myself that by the time I get back to Canada I probably wouldn't even remember him anymore so obviously the feelings weren't real--but low and behold, the second I got in the car to head to the train station, I was missing him already. Yikes! So there's that!

During my year at Bible school in Germany, my parents sold the farm and moved into a beautiful house in town. It was strange saying goodbye at the farm and then coming home to a whole new house at Christmas! As much as I miss the farm, I love this house and the location! And my Dad does a fantastic job at putting up the Christmas lights, right?!
Christmas at my parents new house! My Mom always does a beautiful job of decorating the tree; too bad us kids had no interest in helping her haha! Although I do have fond memories of playing with the ornaments as a child. Oh and this was that one Christmas where I wrapped everyone's gift in kitty cat wrapping paper--some were not too pleased. πŸ˜‚

Jarryd and I started dating eventually and this was the first Christmas I spent with him and his family in Maryland! We were long distance at this point so seeing each other again was always amazing!

Jarryd and I's very first Christmas card photo taken in front of our very first Christmas tree inside of our very first apartment as a MARRIED couple! I still love this photo and our matching plaid shirts. Hee hee!

Christmas at Oma's! We just love her!! And her smile here is so beautiful!!

The Family gatherings are a HUGE part of my favourite Christmas memories. This is what my Froese gatherings looked like every single year. There were so many of us (over 100 people) that renting out the church basement and having a gift exchange game that would last hours was a normal thing for us! This is a more recent photo of all of us, so we're all grown up here and missing alot of people--this definitely isn't the whole family. But these gatherings were always a ton of fun and a great reason as to why I know I am blessed.
Jarryd and I's second Christmas card photo!! We're always too late in the game to think of hiring a professional photographer, so we just set up self-timer and "go to town". But we're always pretty happy with the result, plus we save alot of money doing so!

A normal highway condition for winters in Canada. Terrifying, but normal.

This was Christmas of 2015 spent in Canada again!!

When Jarryd married into this family, he was instantly blessed with a perfect wife (me), a mother and father-in-law, two sister in-laws, three brother in-laws, two nieces (with one on the way!), and one nephew. He's one lucky guy!

Isn't this photo of Jarryd and his niece amazing?! I just love it! Oh and Jarryd was just SO proud of his beloved beard here. I allowed him to grow it since it would help keep him warm up in Canada.

If everyone would have been here this would have been a fantastic Christmas card. Haha! We drove out to a field to do some burning. You know, just burn a pile of garbage for fun! It's what we do. πŸ˜‚

The ORIGINAL SIX. (Technically there's seven here, because Rosie is inside of Kristina's tummy, but she doesn't count.)

The original six have become THIRTEEN. Wow, thirteen! And what a one-of-a-kind family we are--we're all so very different, but so very alike in many ways too. The one thing that binds us all together is our love for the Lord. He has been so good to us and has blessed my parents immensely. Seeing my parents so happy with all of their children and grandchildren makes me excited to having children and grandchildren of my own one day (if that's what God has planned for me, that is).

You guys, there are SO many more Christmas memories and photos that I could have shared but I think now's a good time to stop. 😘
As I've said many times before, my family is a huge blessing to me. So instead of being sad that I won't see them this holiday season, I should be thankful that I even have a family to miss, right? Plus, I have some pretty great in-laws and a husband that I get to share this season with! 

Oh and Jarryd and I just finished taking our annual self-timer Christmas photo! I can't wait to show you guys.
Thanks for joining me on my walk down Christmas memory lane! I hope you enjoyed it! Merry Christmas, friends! πŸ˜€

1 comment:

  1. Love it!! You have more memories than me. I seem to have forgotten a lot. Haha