Saturday, December 21, 2013

home for the holidays

Four days and counting until Christmas, and today I am happily writing to you from small town Arkansas. Due to a very fortunate turn of events, I was able to come home for Christmas despite very few vacation hours and that Christmas decided to be smack-in-the-middle of the week this year. 

You have no idea how happy I am not to have to forfeit all my Redfern {yes, like Where the Redfern Grows} family Christmas traditions. Such as…

  • watching It’s a Wonderful Life with the entire family. We’ve watched it so many times that we know exactly what comments Dad will make throughout the movie. {“This is the greatest movie ever made.” “All you can take with you is that which you've given away.” “Man, that’s the most powerful flashlight in the world.” “Well, it comes in real handy down here, bud!”} When we were little, we thought it was so funny that Dad cried every time he watched it. Now, I’m the one ugly crying through the entire movie.
  • making {or mostly eating} Nana’s fudge. Nana always bakes the best goodies, but a couple years ago she taught me how to make her fudge, a delicacy that only comes around one time a year. I made a batch for a Christmas party this year, but for some reason mine never tastes as good as hers.
  • begging to open one present on Christmas Eve. Never, ever, do we get to open presents before Christmas Day. Yet, that didn’t stop us from begging. The only exception was when we were little and Mom bought us new pajamas. I think she just wanted us to be wearing new pjs on Christmas morning instead of Dad’s old T-shirts - for picture’s sake.
  • waking up at an ungodly hour. My younger twin brothers never seemed to master the art of sleeping in - no matter what time of year - but Christmas was always the worst. When we lived in “the big yellow house” they would come into my room and wake me up, and we would wait right at the bend in the stairs until Mom and Dad told us we could round the corner and come down. When we moved, Dad would just come bang on my door, flip on the lights and tell me to get up at 6 in the morning. However, this year the hubs and I will be staying across the street at Nana’s, so maybe we’ll be able to catch a few more z’s.
  • reading the Christmas story. Before presents, before breakfast, before anything - the first thing we do is read the Christmas story in Luke. My parents were always great about reminding my brothers and me that this day is not about us. We start our day with a celebration of Christ’s birth and God’s greatest gift to the world. And, then we pray and praise Him for all His many blessings.
  • taking turns opening presents. Growing up, Santa never bothered wrapping our gifts. We would just come down the stairs and each of our presents would be arranged neatly on a chair. But as we have gotten older, and the presents fewer, Santa takes the time to wrap our gifts. On Christmas morning, Santa’s little helpers {usually the twins, though they are not so little anymore}, help pass them all out. Then, each person takes turns opening one gift at a time. That way “present time” isn’t over in five minutes and everyone gets to really enjoy each gift. You also really get to enjoy other family members’ gifts, too!
  • the usual trip to the movies. Either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the whole family usually piles in the car to go to a movie. There’s not much to do in small town Arkansas - I think that’s why I have a family full of movie-lovers.

What are your favorite childhood Christmas memories?


  1. No matter how long I begged I never got a Christmas Eve gift (besides pajamas, likely for the same reason you got yours)! And going to the movies on Christmas must be a small town Arkansas thing. It's one of my favorite traditions! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  2. So glad you get to spend the holidays with your family! :D

  3. I have a feeling we won't be getting any pj's this year - so no Christmas Eve gifts - we may be too old for that, haha. But, we've already been to the movies once - it's definitely a small town Arkansas thing! We might go again tomorrow. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  4. Thank you! It's been sooo relaxing and rewarding. Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  5. This is more in relation to your previous post about starting traditions. One thing we did with A this year is wrap 25 Christmas books and put them under the tree in her room. Then she opened one each night to read before bed. It didn't go perfectly as planned, but I think it's a neat tradition.

  6. Aw that's a really sweet tradition! Daniel and I were just talking about how I {we} wanted our kids to love books and reading, and that's a fun way to encourage that. I love that idea!