30 November 2012

Powerful Memories in December

December may prove to be a very interesting month for me.

Personally, there is a significant amount of change in our lives right now, and it's only going to get more chaotic before we reach 2013. It's a challenge and a promise of better things to come. There are a few people in my life that I am concerned about, and December may just answer the ongoing, stressful questions that arise in their situations.

My daughter and husband, working their
way down the slope. I'm the shadow.
Copyright Jen Baldwin, 2012.
It is, also, a time for family. We have our own traditions as a family, some of which have already played out this year. On the 28th of November we celebrate a birthday in our family with our annual "first day on the slopes" (unless, of course, there is an awesome powder day before hand, then we just pretend), and we go snowboarding. This year, we took our daughter for her first runs on a board, and she had a blast. At three and a half years, it was amazing to watch her jump into it with 100% confidence and laugh and giggle all the way down the hill.

I'm pretty big on traditions. I absolutely loved it when I was in high school, and my father was still making us wait for him to get his hot chocolate and for Mom to get her coffee before we could start opening gifts. I loved it that, even as "big kids", we had to pick someone to sit at the base of the tree and pass out a present to each person, then we could all unwrap together. I loved it that no matter how old I got, on Christmas morning, I was still just their little girl. The littlest, actually.

I loved that we went to my Aunt's house every year for Christmas dinner, that we celebrated Christmas Eve Mass and then drove around town, looking at all the lights. That we ended that special night with our own hot chocolate in Mom's special Santa mugs, that only came out on Christmas Eve. I love that no matter what our situation, our family made it special.

So, I absolutely adore the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, presented by Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers. What an amazing idea! Blogging prompts are provided for every day of the month, leading up to the 25th. If you haven't seen this yet, please do take a look. Share your holiday memories, one day at a time!

Here's two of my favorite memories. I've posted the group photo before, I believe, but it dates to 1980 and includes myself, my two sisters, and one of our cousins. I'm the one with the doll.

And, me and my big brother. Not sure on the exact date of this one, but it had to be around 1990 somewhere. He is playing Santa Claus at the annual pancake breakfast, which was a fundraiser for the high school band program that all four of us heavily participated in. Behind me is one of my sister's. My parents were also very involved in the program, as members of the "Band Boosters" for several years, and we were all recruited to participate in events like this. Which explains my apron - I was probably stuck washing dishes.

I am very much looking forward to 25 days of memory lane. I hope you will join us! 


  1. Really nice photos and memories. What a warm and cozy family you grew up in! When it is coldest outside, that is definitely the time for the warmest emotions. I too have several family members that I am concerned about in December, so I can relate to your feeling of impending change.

    1. I can already tell, this is going to be a very fun series. Just finished my post for tomorrow morning, December 1. Not sure I'll be able to manage doing this every day, but the topics I do hit will be a great way for me to reconnect a little with my own memories. Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting, Mariann! ~ Jen


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