Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My Favorite Holiday

This will come as no surprise to most of you, but my favorite holiday is Christmas.  

It always has been and probably always will be.  To help you understand just why I’m so Christmas crazy, I’m going to take you back to my childhood if you’ll indulge me for a bit…

* * *

One of my earliest memories of the Christmas season is lying in my bed in our old house at night (when I was supposed to be sleeping), reading my little paper book of Christmas carols that my oldest brother and I had gotten from Shoney’s by the soft glow of the electric Christmas candles in the windows.  I remember feeling an overwhelming feeling of contentment.  I was safe and happy and cozy and loved and nothing could ever be better than that.  I was probably four or five years old and I remember it like it was yesterday.

My parents gave my brothers and me a truly wonderful upbringing and they always made Christmas especially magical.  Our house was always decorated beautifully, Christmas music was always humming softly in our house, and we had (and still have) many traditions that made each Christmas season especially memorable. 

Christmas Eve has always been my favorite day of the whole year.  When I was little, it was always just as big as Christmas Day.  The whole morning and afternoon was always spent wrapping last-minute gifts and baking and preparing Christmas Eve dinner.  Then everyone would get showered and dressed in our Christmas best and we would head out to attend Christmas Eve children’s mass in the early evening.  It has always been my favorite mass of the whole year – the dimly candlelit sanctuary, the sweet sounds of the children’s choir singing O Holy Night, and the excitement for what was to come later in the evening… it didn’t get any better. 

When mass was over, there was always a blur of hugs from extended family members and well wishes for a Merry Christmas to other friends and acquaintances as we wriggled our way back into our jackets to bundle up for the cold weather outside.  On the way home, my brothers and I would ride home in the back seat, cheeks pressed up against the cold frosty car windows, our eyes on the dark starry skies searching for Santa and his sleigh just hoping to get one glimpse. 

The rest of the evening was always spent cozied up at home, fire roaring in the fireplace, lights twinkling in the tree, Christmas carols playing softly the stereo, and lots of laughter ringing in the air.  The whole house was always full of family and the kitchen was always filled with the sweet aromas of sweet potato soufflé and smoked ham garnished with pineapple.  I can still hear the crackling of John Denver’s Christmas album playing on my Daddy’s old record player.  It was picture-perfect.

After dinner, the adults would linger around the table while Zach, Alex, and I would beg my parents to let us open just one gift.  They would usually cave and let us open one, typically from an extended family member, and we would spent the rest of the evening playing with our new gifts while the adults chatted.  Late in the evening the dessert, coffee, and hot chocolate would be served, Home Alone would be inserted into the VCR (and later the DVD player), and we would all laze around the living room quoting the entire movie from start to finish until it was way past our bedtime.   

On Christmas morning my Momma and Daddy would always head downstairs first to turn on the lamps, light a fire, and turn on Christmas music while my brothers and I sat not-so-patiently at the top of the stairs waiting to come down.  They would always ooh and ah over all of the gifts that Santa brought and they would make us wait so long that we thought we would burst with excitement before could get down the stairs to see for ourselves. 

As soon as they gave us the green-light, we would come barreling down the stairs (me carrying Alex for the first few years of his life), so excited to see what Santa brought.  The next hours were a blur of wrapping paper and gifts and thank yous, and soaking up every delicious bit of what Christmas morning has to offer. 

Later in the morning, we would migrate to the kitchen where my Momma would whip up eggs, grits, bacon, and pancakes from scratch and my grandparents would come over and join us for a huge feast.  After brunch, the living room would be a huge mess, but we would all shirk our cleaning duties in favor of watching Christmas movies, playing with our new toys, and sometimes even sneaking in a little nap.

My Momma would start cooking her second round of goodies late in the afternoon on Christmas Day and then we would all head to my other grandparents’ house to celebrate once more with my Momma’s entire side of the family – all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins would be there and we would eat and open presents and hang out until way past our bedtimes again.  We always went home with full bellies and even fuller hearts.

It. Was. Perfection.

1986 when I got my ballerina costume




1990ish playing Connect Four with my Uncle Billy

1990ish with my cousins on my Momma's side of the fam


1993 carrying my littlest brother down the stairs to see what Santa brought


2001 with my littlest brother and my Momma.  Look how little he was!

2002 with my cousin Shelby who is now in college.  Waaaahhhh.

2002 with all of my cousins on my mom's side of the fam


2007 with my dog, Bill.  He was my heart.

2008 with my Mom's entire side of the family


2010 when I was preggo with Jacob and it snowed on Christmas night... with my bros and cousins

2011 - Jacob's first Christmas



2014 - Olivia's first Christmas


Now that I’m a mother, it’s my responsibility to create these sweet memories for our own babies, and there’s nothing else that I’d rather do!

For me, the Christmas season starts the day after Halloween, November first.  I know that seems ridiculous to some, but Thanksgiving and Christmas have always gone hand in hand to me.  While I don’t decorate until the day after Thanksgiving, I do allow myself to start listening to Christmas music that day.  Then, the day after Thanksgiving IT. IS. ON. 

I decorate our house to the nines, I play Christmas music nonstop, I burn Christmas candles, we drive around and look at Christmas lights, we attend Christmas parades, we watch Christmas movies, and we do loads of other Christmasy things.  We still attend the same Christmas Eve children’s mass that I attended when I was little, and we even spend Christmas Eve in my childhood home.  

I hope that our babies enjoy these sweet times and I hope that eventually they will reminisce about their childhoods and think about how special they were.  If there’s anything that I accomplish in this life, it’s that I give my babies the very best childhoods possible.  And I think I’ll be able to do just that… after all, I learned from the best!

After I wrote this post I started wondering about those Shoney’s Christmas carol books that I referenced in the beginning of this post.  I just had to check and see if anyone else on the internet remembered them, and guess what?  THEY DO.  I found one on eBay and it is EXACTLY what I remembered!!  Do any of you remember these?? I am way too excited about this.

*Linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday.

And now it's time for the Tuesday Talk Link Up!

Hosted by:

Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Lindsay at Lindsay's Sweet World | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Sarah at Sarah E. Frazer | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram


  1. Christmas is my favorite holiday too! Love the pictures~! I can't believe it will be here soon! Love this time of year!

  2. LOVE these throwback phots and I am with you 100%..starts the day Halloween for me too. I cannot get enough, the Christmas carols will be on my SiriusXM!! LOL. Have a wonderful day!

  3. I love Christmas. It's always been my favorite and even more so with kids now!

  4. Well this has me beyond excited for Christmas! I feel like we had similiar upbringings in that the holidays were so very special. I love that you are continuing that on with your kiddos!

  5. Love these sweet memories Lindsay! And holy crap...Jacob looks so much like your brother!! I am still always thrown by your dark hair when you were little and Olivia looks so much like you.

  6. Sounds like you have a lot of special memories! Enjoy the season! It's right around the corner :)

  7. Hearing you describe your Christmas memories made me all warm and fuzzy!! Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year!

  8. I love Christmas for all the same reasons you mentioned and I am in awe you found all those pics. We have been having cool, windy weather and it makes me ready for the holiday season! xoxo ERIN

  9. Christmas really is wonderful, loved reading about all of your memories! My parents always used to make us wait at the top of the stairs too, it was torture!

  10. Eeeekkkk!!!! I am SO stinking excited. I know Christmas is going to be a little bit different for us this year, but I can not wait. I am so ready for the best season of the year to begin!

  11. You and your brother look just like your kids!

  12. LOVE these family pictures and all the memories you shared.

  13. These throwback pictures are amazing! I can't say it enough that your parents did such a great job at documenting things. Christmas is my favorite too and I just can't get enough of the feeling and meaning behind it.
    Beautifully Candid

  14. I love how you shared all the pictures from when you were younger! I love Christmas, but I'm so not ready for it yet!

  15. You have me so excited for Christmas. I love the traditions my parents did for my sister and I. I am starting to bring even more of those to my girls. I am so excited for this year as my girls understand so much more!!!

  16. This is such a fun post! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

  17. What wonderful childhood memories!

    1. Our parents worked so hard to give us such an amazing childhood and for that, I'm very grateful.

  18. This post got me all warm and fuzzy inside! I swear I could hear Christmas music in my head while reading though all of this! Oh my goodness - and all the pictures! You're so lucky to have so many pictures. I also love how you have that first memory. How special is that! I'm not going to lie, I'm crazy excited for Christmas this year! I think it's because I'm terrified to know that Henry is only getting older and I NEVER want the magic to go away. It makes me so sad to think about. Although, when the time comes (hopefully for many more years) questions start to get asked, I hope to do what my mom did. She'd say, "If you don't believe, you don't get anything." NOBODY ever gave me "the talk" about what was actually happening and to this day, NOBODY discusses it. It keeps the. magic alive and only fond memories remain! Ahhh! I love Christmas!!! This was one of my favorite posts from you, girl! You did a great job of bringing those pictures to life! Well done! :)

  19. I love this, Lindsay-Lou. 💗 We loved every minute making those special memories for you and your brothers. Now you need to share all our crazy Christmas cards with your blog friends. Then they'll know just how weird we are!

  20. Christmas is my fav!!! Love this post!

  21. I absolutely love this post! I am in the Christmas spirit today! So many great memories and I love all the games :) We get our kiddos a game each year and then spend the morning playing with it before heading out to other festivities :)

  22. Oh my gosh!!! Totally in the Christmas spirit now! As much as I love fall, Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday. Loved seeing all these photos! <3

  23. Love the post, baby girl! You brought back so many memories and as much as I'd like to take some credit, you know it was all your mom! I have always loved Christmas and it is my favorite time of year as well, but your mom was and is the driving force. So happy you have such good memories, guess we didn't do too badly as parents. You were actually soaking it all up, who knew?!?!

    1. You guys did GREAT as parents and I hope that I can do the same for our babies now. <3

  24. Well this post just made me all warm and fuzzy inside. This times a thousand! I am so on board every step of the way with you. I feel like because I love it so much I really want to make it magical for Ben too. It is just such a special, beautiful and memorable time. Love the photos of you guys as kids too. Your family is so sweet.


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