The holidays have been extremely important to me forever. My grandmother was that type of person that made everything special. Poor as a church mouse, in-fact I am sure the mice had more than her at times.

My grandmother would make a lot of decoration and of course, I was usually allowed to be apart of her crafting time. Their house could have blown over in a strong wind and now has since collapsed in a pile of disrepair. But if memories were trees, there is a whole forest where that house once stood.

Some of my earliest memories were Christmas angels wearing their Christmas glitter, made from coffee shop creamers. Store bought, doll guitars and violins and saxophones, all becoming Christmas ornaments with a little glue and gold glitter.

We used to string popcorn and make the paper chains every year, now as a parent I realize that it was to keep us out of her hair for a very long time.

My mother’s love of Christmas was instilled in me at an early age as well. My first real memory was a dining room table village made of candy. Complete with flying angels and smoke from the fireplace stacks.

I don’t remember a whole lot else around decorations although I am sure there were. It was this miniature village which made a lifetime impression on me. Between my grandmother and my mother, I was forever doomed to be a Christmas junky.

As I grew older, things of course change, you start to think of the true meaning of the Holidays and appreciate more of what you have than what you do not. For me, it became about the simple things, like that of my grandmother’s simplistic holiday time. Simple gifts, simple food and great times.

When I met my husband, it was like this explosion of Christmas. I would think he would build. Bad combination. Christmas then, of course, takes on a different meaning when you have kids. Bobbie and Shane had some of the best Christmas’ ever. Well, that’s my opinion. Not really sure how much they remember of it all now.

I had wanted my kids to experience what I had as a kid, but of course, with me, it was 10 steps amped up. The interesting thing is my husband was all for it. We used to push ourselves over the top, from doing the 24 hours shifts building and painting to the days and days of homemade gifts of baking and jams that would be wrapped for each of its recipients. If I had the energy I would still do more, old age seems to have a way taking away from the holidays unless you have the funds to hire yourself some cute little well built help in skimpy overalls, oh my I do get caught up in the season lol.

In the early days, we won awards on the décor on the exterior of our house. From Santa’s Sleigh and his Reindeer flying over the roof, to replacing the entire front of the house with a North Pole Village. One year we had 68 trees outside and inside all above 6 feet tall. The house was titled the “enchanted forest” that year.

All of the kids that have come and went and stayed have had their own take on the holidays here at our house. From being in awe to being sad at the fact they may have to go back home to far less. It is our goal to give each child 15 minutes to remember, one where they were loved and the best was wished for them on a daily basis.

My own kids having grown up with all of this, realize now how much they had. Though for years they were matter a fact about all that went on over the holiday.

Now living with two children living with autism, we have scaled back immensely. I think the meaning of Christmas has become even more important though. The two special boys, just are, just accept and just be. They bring life where there is none, and bring out humor where needed.

They are amazed by all the spins, flashes or of its loudness. They make the holidays brighter and they are the Christmas Angel on the tree of Christmas. They also allow us to focus more on what matters, time with the kids instead of just the decorating.

Throughout the month of December, I will be bringing to the Blog every Friday, some of my friends and colleagues of the Ladner Village Market. I will ask them to define their thoughts on the holiday’s, tell you what the holidays mean to them. Obviously, it will also be a chance for them to sell their wares.  

It is my wish for you to have a wonderful Christmas, to enjoy your family and friends. Building those lifetime memories.

 I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and for those of different faiths Happy Holidays, and to all, may you be healthy, happy and prosperous.

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