Published On: Thu, Dec 19th, 2013

Precious Christmas Memories

Danielle Mantakoul

Danielle Mantakoul

BA of Ed Early Childhood and Editor at Mummy Weekly
She's described as one of the most engaging & dynamic speakers in the early childhood industry today, now having educated hundreds of thousands of parents & teachers. She has lectured for organisations such as KU Children’s Services, Only About Children, Qantas, National Australia Bank, Child Protection Australia, Goodstart and hundreds of council & private centres. She also developed and ran the popular parenting series for the Australian Financial Review.
Danielle Mantakoul

This Christmas day, takPrecious Christmas Memoriese a second look at the events that take place around you, for far too quickly they shall be a memory. For far too quickly you will be left holding those memories close to your heart.

When you think of your own Christmas morning as a child, what is it you remember?  Is it the racing to wake your family up at the crack of dawn, or the anticipation in finding out if you got what you requested, or the checking of cookies to see if any had been eaten?

Whatever it was, many of us have a Christmas morning memory that makes us smile even now, and as we walk today in the shoes of our parents, we have a much better understanding of how close to the heart a child’s Christmas memory can remain.

For me it was the sack full of goodies. That trusty pillowcase with the big Santa face on it beaming as he held an armful of toys. I still have this sack. As a child it looked huge. Now though it looks like it couldn’t even hold a regular sized pillow. I tried to give this beloved sack to my daughter a couple of years ago sure that she would love it just as I had. Well it wasn’t meant to be. She had her sights set on one she had seen in a bargain shop much to my horror.

On Christmas eve every year the kids and I grab Aunty Shell and go see the Hornsby Heights Christmas lights display. This has become a tradition in our family and hopefully one that Aunty Shell and I can drag the kids to for many years to come. I say drag because I believe our time is limited with them wanting to come along. I am yet to work out if going to see waving Santa’s and nodding reindeers are such a cool thing to do at 16.

When I was a kid, the only Christmas lights were the ones on the tree. Ours always seemed to be broken due to that one annoying bulb that would break causing the rest of the lights not to work either.  I’m sure these lights also cost my parents a pretty penny unlike today where you can get such cute reindeer tree lights for $5 from K-Mart. I believe that for many children of today, their fondest Christmas memories will be of the lights, and how could it not be. As adults Aunty Shell and I ohhhh and ahhhhh and seem to jump up and down at the sight of a good display just as much as the kids do. I can see how you can become addicted to doing Christmas lights. Knowing that you have made hundreds even thousands of kids smile, and contributed to their childhood Christmas memory, I’m sure is intoxicating to many.

I suck up everything I can about Christmas with the kids by involving them in every aspect, even down to choosing what wrapping paper we should purchase. I do this because I believe that the more input the kids have into Christmas the better and more vivid their memories will be.

When I look back at my children’s Christmas I will have memories of getting up at 5am, torn wrapping paper everywhere, the disinterest in the expensive toy replaced with the interest in the box, the yearning for my morning coffee but just not able to get into the kitchen, those stupid cable ties they now use to hold toys in place inside their box,  the rummaging through the drawers for batteries, the 100 times I ask if anyone is hungry yet without anyone listening, and being presented with that gift I will never use. Oh how I am looking so forward to doing it all again. But I know that these wonderful days will one day be a memory, so come Christmas day I will do what I do each year, and that is to breathe it in, and I strongly recommend you do the same.

By Danielle Mantakoul
Copyright 2012
www.mummyweekly.com.au

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