Twins at Christmas

Happy Holidays and Christmas Memories from Allison Todd

Sharing some childhood Christmas memories with you on this joyous day. Mommie Dearest would always make the biggest deal of this holiday. There were Christmas decorations in every room, the tree was always grand and not a ribbon or bow untied. Although, Santa hadn’t come down the chimney yet, the gifts overflowed from under the tree and the kitchen smelled like all wonderful things. And while she prepared the final details for guests, dadE entertained. He would open the doors to his den and turn his shiny stereo all the way up. Instantly, the show began. He would sing and dance as if the four temptations had turned into one. What a performer, I remember. And I would sit with the lights twinkling and watch in excitement in my fancy red velvet dress, opaque white stockings and black patent leather shoes. Before you knew it – all things met perfection – and Mommie Dearest would sit beside me. For the 10 minutes before the 1st doorbell rang, unbeknownst to me, this would become one of my absolute favorite Christmas memories.

Then, the house would fill with tons of people friends, family and neighbors. The best memories (while my parents were still married) was when both grandmothers and both sides of our family gathered – in one house. It denotes a time in my life where I was convinced, I was a princess. And it wasn’t because of all the things but the vast amount of love, laughter and togetherness that surrounded me. Aw… I tear up remembering my dad tend to both grandmothers like they were queens, rest in paradise. Mommie Dearest poured her heart in to this experience. I later learned that to be one of her greatest expressions of love. My aunts, uncles and cousins … the neighbors …their co-workers – laughing, dancing, drinking and celebrating. Love, such a commodity. It is one so greatly ignored and sometimes taken for the granted. Love, seemingly invisible, is indeed to glue to all these beautiful, picturesque memories.

I write this on the heels of my annual homesick regimen – pictures and memories are not all that is left now but they are indeed what’s left of those completely blissful times with all my family gathered and together. Oh, dear children! It’s those times when we had not a care in the world, no real responsibility and no idea of the challenges of the world. It is indeed the grace of the world through a child’s eyes. Those Christmas celebrations would go on to the wee hours of the night. All the kids would fall asleep well before the parents were done partying. And the next day we would do it all over again at another relatives’ home. While this was a time in life when I had yet to discover the wealth of gratitude, the value of traditions or the unique blessings of family – I knew enough to know that it was a gift that would continue giving for a lifetime. And here I am filled with joy decades later in the reflection of Christmas memories.  

And all of this was beautifully motivated when I stumbled on this YouTube playlist while searching for the perfect songs to play as family gathers today. While there are sprinklings of 2020, it will take you all they way back to your favorite memories. This one had to have been secretly recorded during this exact Christmas memory. Each and every one of these songs will put you back into my childhood home –Black Jack, Missouri. Today, I share with you from Atlanta, Georgia creating new family memories in a new era where my children are adults. I am joyfully giving thanks for the memories that made me who I am today. Thankful for every family and friend that can share in this memory with me. And for every new friend and family member that continues to create the picturesque moments that last in our hearts forever. Life, never perfect, is uniquely designed with love in mind. Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you and your families. Spread this gift of love and be open to what was and what can be. These my friends are happy tears for a life …well lived with love.   

This year I’ve put together a small photo gallery of a million memories to share with you and you and you. It has photos of both of my paternal and maternal grandmothers, my parents while still married(to each other), a few photos from my childhood and the twins. As you browse, you will note how mom’s love of Christmas and experience lasted long past my childhood well in to the twins childhood. And dadE’s love of entertaining, has officially become my Christmas duty. Headed to hangout with family and friends now. And so glad I took the time to create, complete and share.