I was tagged by Glenda for my three most precious Christmas memories...
1. The first one was my first Christmas with Jeff. I drove down from Vegas to his parents' house in Los Angeles early in the morning on Christmas Day, after spending Christmas Eve with my parents'.
I remember stopping in Pasadena to find a payphone to call him to let him know I was about 45 minutes away. I found a phone booth (a fully enclosed glass phone booth) in front of a car wash on Walnut St. Little did I know that five years later, I would be living 1/2 a mile from that car wash (the phone booth was gone by then) and Jeff's first congregation would be only a mile north.
I will never forget how cute he looked when he opened up the door and kissed me out on the porch. We just sat and held hands for a while like two people who hadn't held hands in 3 months. Well, we hadn't!
He gave me a coffee table book on Ireland and a stuffed giraffe, because besides hating being called Jeffrey Giraffe, it still was his favorite animal, so graceful and beautiful. He wrapped it so that the giraffe was sticking its' neck up out of a whole in the wrapping paper. I got him a museum print of "Irises" by Van Gogh. For one of our first dates the previous Summer, he took me to the Getty Villa to see it), not long after they acquired it (once upon a time, all of the Getty's collections were displayed in Malibu...now it houses their ancient collections. I like the Villa so much better than the new Getty, only problem is, it is so beautiful OUTSIDE, that it sometimes was hard to go INSIDE. We just sat there and stared at it, amazed at the depth of texture created with the paints. He literally made the paint stand up off the canvas. No print or picture will ever do it justice. This print hangs in our dining room. I also got two ornaments with our names on it. Ever since then, our tradition is to get an ornament or two for the tree that reflects something important that happened that year. Decorating the tree is always a very nostaligic time for us.
Then, after Christmas, I took him home to meet my parents. Eeek. That was a bit scary. But everything went fine. My mom told me later that she said to my dad..."this is the one."
2. The second Christmas was the next year, when Jeff asked me to marry him. He had told me that he was going to wait until after he preached for the first time in his home congregation on the 27th, because he was nervous about that. But on the 23rd, when I'd laid down for a nap, he built a fire and came and woke me up and he proposed by firelight. In the middle of it, his mother came through the door after a horrendous evening of last minute Christmas shopping and ordered him to help unload the car. "Can it wait a minute?" "No it can't wait a minute! I've got to get the groceries in." She exclaimed. So we went outside, and I said "yes" on the porch.
Then we went back to my parents' and Jeff told my parents that we'd decided to get married (my dad wasn't really the kind of guy who wanted to be asked for my hand, though Jeff was the kind of guy who wanted to ask, so there was a compromise). I saw my dad's body tense up, and Jeff said, "we're going to wait a year and a half until Lora graduates." It was as if all the tension gushed out of my father's body all at once. Apparently, that was the big concern. :)
3. Our first Christmas with our son Chris was probably my next most memorable Christmas. It was the first one where we bothered with a tree and where our home seemed complete. He was so tiny and we put so much thought into it. I can't even describe how it was special, so I'll just show you (It was a big day for him, too!)