Ghosts Of Christmas Pasts — 1983

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We were home owners. Real honest to God home owners. And beyond that — Daughter #2 had made her entrance into the world shortly before we had closed on said home. There was an awful lot to celebrate that year.

There is actually an 8 mm movie of this Christmas morning somewhere. My Dad had a camera and took a movie of that day. It was in the days before video cameras existed and there is no sound.

My father is only present occasionally as he hops back and forth from behind the tripod to adjust one thing or another for the ‘movie’. Eventually I make him turn it off — the kids and I have had enough of the horrific bright light that was necessary to capture the memory. The movie mostly shows me scooping wrapping paper out of the baby’s mouth as I try to keep her from choking.

Having the movie of that morning just brings it all into clearer focus. Of all the Christmases — we had this one in color. No sound. But it was captured in time. Like a precious treasure, preserved. Picture perfect.

We were all there. Together in our-new-to-us-home. Christmas tree, presents, Christmas morning chaos, and coffee in hand. Robes pulled over PJs and shrieks of happy (and not so happy) kids in the back ground.

Isn’t that what we all shoot for? Every year. The moment when the grown ups in the room can look at each other and smile. We relive our own childhoods just a bit with each whoop and holler that come from our children. Or our grandchildren.

My husband and I were new to the parent gig in those days. Christmas #3 as parents, but we were killing it. Not just for our kids, but for ourselves and our parents too.

We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had heaps and heaps of Christmas magic. You can see it on that movie— even without a sound track. Pass the cookies…

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