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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Pittman

The Magic of Christmas Memories

In 2018, I lost my father. He lived a good long life; and as December rolls in, my favorite memories of my dad come to life.

Each year, our holiday celebrations began with me and dad putting up a 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Christmas village. The lighted village was sold when Disney released the movie way back when, and my great grandfather and grandmother purchased it for him. The two of us would lovingly put up on our fireplace mantel, adding garland, nuts and pinecones. It was always the first Christmas decoration we put up in our home.

Then dad would take his daughters three to purchase our family Christmas tree! We decorated it with gold leaf ornaments my mom made and various other ornaments, some homemade some purchased. in my late teens, mom made crocheted snowflakes that looked as if they were dancing on the tree. I still have the ones she made for me when I left home. Each year, my parents purchased special ornaments for my sisters and I, many of which I still have and treasure.

My mom would bake up a storm every December. Homemade breads, gingerbread men, icebox cookies that we decorated, fudge and pies, which we gave to neighbors, family, teachers and friends. My sisters and I would go caroling with various youth groups, and dad would escort us around the neighborhood and join with his wonderful tenor voice. He had a deep appreciation for music, often taking us to musical movies such as, Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, and more.

My mom, like me, played the piano. She was a music major, playing both piano and the oboe. Once we finished decorating the tree with dad, mom would begin playing Christmas carols. Me, my sisters and dad would gather around and sing our favorite songs.

We all had our favorite carols of course, but Christmas 1979, we saw a Christmas special with John Denver and the muppets on the television, called "A Christmas Together." One song in particular, struck a profound chord with my dad. It was called "The Peace Carol," and regardless your religious beliefs, strikes a chord with me too with COVID-19 in our lives.

Mom passed away in February of this year, joining dad in Heaven. This Christmas is hard since both of my parents are now gone. How I miss them sob! I am so thankful for the wonderful Christmas memories I hold of Christmases old. As I put up my holiday decorations, I can't help but smile at the magic of Christmas memories.

In between my dialysis schedule and handling my mother's estate, I started recording a new holiday album, Sing We Noel, which I'm hoping will be distributed this month through CD Baby. One of the songs on album is dad's favorite, "The Peace Carol." I thought I'd share it in my first Christmas blog ($1.29).

May you find magic in your holiday memories.

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