Saturday, December 25, 2010

The 12 Memories of Christmas: Picture Perfect

There is something about this picture that I just love. In fact, it makes me want to cry - good tears, the happy kind. As soon as it was taken, I saw it on the back of my camera and said, "Man. Mayme would've loved this." That alone is enough to make me cry for wishing she were here to show it to. It's the kind of picture that she would've blown up poster-size and plastered all over her house. It's the kind of picture that Lori and I would've pasted on a coffee mug (or, one year, a dinner plate) and given her for a Christmas gift. It's the kind of picture that makes me remember the Christmases when there were just the five of us - Mayme and Papaw's grandkids. Before there were spouses or babies or schedules that kept us from seeing each other a thousand times a year, there were the five of us, footloose and fancy free.

Getting this picture was, without a doubt, the highlight of my holiday (had she known I was so easy to please, Mom could've significantly decreased her gift-buying budget!). I've spent every single Christmas of my life with these folks - I remember when Brad came in to tell us he and Leslie Potter had just gotten engaged, when BJ got that guitar keyboard that played a midi-version of "Last Christmas" as its demo song, when Lori and I were given Fisher-Price cassette radios with microphones, which we used to play Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker while standing in the middle of an unusually icy Riverside Drive.

But even though we're always together, we still haven't gotten a shot like this for over a decade. That's about the time that the family's focus shifted from our generation to the one after ours. Brad and Lori have two boys a piece. Sissy has four children, so naturally - and rightly - all eyes are always on them.

This is as it should be. Heaven knows, all eyes - and then some - were on us as children. In seeing this picture, though, I realized something. While most of our attentions are on the next generation, we need to not neglect our own. We need to take time to squeeze and hug and sit around and chat about each other - and not just each other's children, as precious and wonderful and adored as they are. This year, we did that, and it made my Christmas picture perfect.

In other news, Christmas is a lot busier than I remember it being! In fact, two days in to "The 12 Memories of Christmas," I realized that I'd blogged myself into a corner and that committing to write daily entries at a time of year when I'm trying to visit with friends and family members I haven't seen for the last 365 days while also trying to submit a second draft of my dissertation was, to say the least, short-sighted. In the end, you know what I chose.

The irony isn't lost on me, though. As I mentioned before, I spent much of my Christmases past trying to invent ways to make time move more quickly. In Christmas present, however, I want to freeze time, to stop it, to make it go as slowly as Black Friday traffic on Nicholasville Road. One nite is not enough. I've gotten greedy, longing for more time to spend with my wonderful family and to take pictures that make me think, "Man. Mayme would've loved this."

(You can see way more than 12 memories of THIS Christmas in the slideshow below!)

Click here to view these pictures larger


  1. Great idea on slowing down....just wish I knew how. Meanwhile, I just cherish every minute my family is together.

  2. You could always let Lori smash your BlackBerry, like she did Heath's!

  3. I have told everyone that that those pictures absolutely made my Christmas this year. There was something wonderfully special about taking the time to take them! I guess it makes one remember why that one would WANT to take pictures with those people in the first place. See you when your feet find their way back to snowy SC! Love you!

  4. Great post and I love that I found your blog by accident!!! Who hoo!!! Miss you muchly!!!

  5. Thanks, Angela! Glad you found me, too! Stay in touch - and merry Christmas!

  6. i'm just now to a computer and reading your blog post just makes me sit and think. wow. it's so true! we focus on the generation below us and not our own.

    oh how i wish that 2 years ago we had focused on our own! i know you and i just found each other's blogs this year, but i don't know how far back in mine you've read (or if i mentioned it since you started reading). last june (2009), our family lost my first cousin, his wife, his son, and his daughter all in a tragic wreck. i'd give anything to be able to just sit around and talk with them one more time. we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

    and as i sat with my cousin tonight watching our own children play, she and i talked about how that accident has changed our family.

    ok - now i'm rambling. hope you had a WONDERFUL Christmas, sweet blog friend!!!

    much love.........

  7. I didn't know that, Suzanne! That is unbelievably tragic. I will definitely look back in your blog to read more about it- but I can't imagine going through that!

    Thanks for reading, and stay in touch - love, love, LOVED your Christmas card this year:) TOO CUTE!

  8. I'm a little late...but I totally agree! My whole LIFE is so focused on the boys...sometimes it is so nice to just catch up with MY cousins and family! I definitely think NKOTBSB is a perfect way to do that!!