This Christmas will be the first one I will be spending without my Mom. The worst one for me by far. But instead of ruining the Holidays for me, I decided to let my Blog help me through it and relive some Christmas Memories. I hope this helps those going through the same situation.
My Mom and I were always close. I was supposed to be born on her birthday, but I decided I wanted my own birthday and came out six days early. (Ha, ha). I put Mom through a lot, including 23 hours of labor, which she never held that against me. In fact she sacrificed to make our lives better and I will always thank her for that.
As with all kids, Christmas was a joyous time because of the gifts. We hadn’t learned the true reason for Christmas which was the birth of Jesus yet. Never will forget the Christmas my sister and I got our Barbie dolls. It was such a big thing that all our cousins and friends in school wanted!! My sister got the Brunette Barbie and I got the Blonde in their Zebra swimsuits. Can’t believe how far Barbie has come and moved up in the career chain, when later I bought my own Doctor Barbie with its own stethoscope. Along with the dolls that year, we got the tons of Barbie clothes and a Barbie house that was amazing. Still remember those funny little shoes that were hard to keep track of. We were occupied with those dolls for hours and hours on end, which I am sure is one reason our parents got them in the first place. One painful memory that just came up was when I stepped on my Barbie Doll Stand and got two holes in the bottom of my foot. I survived with no lasting effects. But it was so comical that my Mom and Grand Uncle were so concerned about my foot and examining it, that they forgot it was attached to me and caused me to lose my balance and fall down to the floor with them still holding onto my foot!
Another Christmas a cardboard wall appeared in the dining room. Boy, the curiosity of what would be so big that the entire wall was taped up got us for over a week!! For kids, that was the longest time ever!! Then on Christmas morning, we were told to stay in our bedroom and the great reveal was on!! When we came out, we were totally surprised to find a piano!! Funny that Dad was the only who could play anything and did a small rendition of “Chop Sticks.” How appropriate Dad!! From there we started piano lessons. I honestly didn’t like “lessons,” because we had to do so many scales. Who cares about scales?? I just wanted to play the piano!! But I kept at it and was able to go on from there to read and play any piece of music. I still love playing the piano today. I did discover later that my Dad did not favor piano playing, so I would play when he was outside working in the garage or in the yard.
One of the most special Christmas Memories was when Mom baked cookies to give them away as gifts. Spritz Butter Cookies in all types of Holiday Cookie Shapes: Christmas Trees, Pinwheels, Wreaths, Diamonds, Circles and the list goes on and on. They were made in all different colors with all different sugar and chocolate sprinkles using this special cookie contraption that made even cookies. Although when I first tried it, the cookies didn’t resemble any recognizable shape. My Mom would make all the different types of Butter Cookies including her Pecan Puffs, Lemon Bars and package them up in Christmas Cookie Tins to give away. Thank God, she stopped making Fruit Cake long time ago. Boy, talk about visions of Butter Christmas Trees dancing in one’s head!! My sister and I loved to take the leftover Butter Cookie Dough with all the colors and make unique Butter Cookies for ourselves. They look super odd but tasted super good with a lot of sprinkles!!
Christmas Day was always special for us because my Mom would make Cha-Shui Baos (Chinese BBQ Pork Buns) for lunch. Oh yum, I can taste those buns today!! The buns she made were not like the steamed ones you can get in Chinatown for Dim Sum but were only made in certain restaurants. These Chinese BBQ Pork Buns were made with regular yeast dough and baked golden brown. Nothing like the crunch from the freshly baked buns. A real treat for a special day.
In closing I would also like to mention a friend Kevin that recently passed. I would see him every day with his little dog, Nola, when I would go to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Manhattan Beach to get my coffee and work on my computer. He had a lot of friends that loved both him and Nola for many years. It is strange to see the empty table he always sat with Nola. Another friend put a memorial with a cup of coffee, cookie and cup of water for Nola and others have added other items; a very fitting gesture. His friends are holding a memorial service for him at that table he sat at this Saturday. Such a lovely gesture; may Kevin rest in peace.