1) When I was 11 or so, we had gone to the Capitol Theatre to see Mannheim Steamroller do their Christmas concert (this totally puts me in the 80's). We got there early (as we did with everything my dad drove us to) so we walked over to see the ZCMI windows. They were just about to unveil them when we got there, and it was so cool to be one of the first people to see them. My then Stake President was CEO of ZCMI at the time, and put us in front of the line. I miss the candy windows. We took the kids downtown last night, and I was sad they weren't there.
2) A year before I got married, I was attending the "All-Star singles ward" in the Olympus Cove. I was going through a really rough time that Christmas and was not in the holiday spirit in any way, shape or form. Peter Breinholt (musician) was the Sunday school teacher and the Sunday before Christmas he chose not to give a formal lesson. He just brought his guitar and sang. It was really cool watching snow fall outside the window while he sang "Silent Night". Every time I play his Christmas cd, I think of how much that helped me feel christmasy when I really didn't want to.
3) We had a neighbor growing up that started a luminary tradition on our street. Everyone really got into it the first year and our whole street glowed with white paper bags. It had dumped snow that day as well, and we ran up and down the street with our friends making "Santa's Runway".
4) This was a yearly thing, but when my dad pushed the couch to the wall in the basement, we knew Christmas was here. It's such a stupid thing, but having the furniture in "Christmas position" was so thrilling!
5) For our honeymoon, Bill and I spent Christmas in Maui. We attended a Luau on Christmas Eve, and it was really cool to be there. We went to the beach on Christmas day. A lot quieter than our Christmas's now.
6) The first time I saw the Nutcracker (age 5 or so), I literally danced around the streets of downtown the rest of the day, I thought it was so beautiful. As a high schooler, I worked at the Ballet West boutique, often on Christmas Eve. It was fun to feed off everyone's energy of the season.
7) Bill and I went to Disneyland for our 3rd anniversary, no kids. We had never been together. It was, of course, Christmastime, but nobody was out of school yet. We literally ran down Main Street together, hand in hand. Disney and Christmastime....2 magical events. Perfect Disneyland day. Good weather, no crowds, and no kids to slow us down (J/K).
8) You'll die at this one, but when I was in high school, as a family and a few friends, we watched "A Very Brady Christmas" on TV. As campy as it was, we enjoyed every second. There were 9 different plot lines and we hung on every line. At the end, as were waiting for the last plot line to resolve itself, we found ourselves chanting for Sam, the butcher to come back. He did. Sad.
9) I got to be Mary in our church program. I think I was about 4. My mom sewed me a beautiful blue Mary costume that I still have. Emi wore it in our New York Christmas pageant at my brother's house (with a very cute, but grumpy Angel Caroline...sorry, Kathryn). I remember feeling so proud to carry my doll and be the mother of Jesus. I slept in the costume for weeks.
10) I sang in our Jr. High choir. We sang all over during Christmas time. Mrs. Taggart, the choir teacher, was and is legendary! She drilled the actions of "The Twelve Days" and "Twas the Night before Christmas" into us like Sue Sylvester (Glee). To this day, 21 years later, I can do all actions, as can my sister who is 9 years older!
Thank you for reliving my memories. I had to stop and reminisce so I could enjoy my Christmas today. This year, my memories will probably be Quinn running around singing Jingle Bells....which is great, but he doesn't know how to end the song. Merry Christmas to all! Feel free to share your favorite Christmas memories =-)