It’s 1997 again… the 24th of December… a very cold morning in my beautiful hometown, Timisoara, in Romania. I was 10 years old back then!
I woke up at about 8 a.m., although it was the winter holiday, I couldn’t sleep knowing that it had been snowing all night long. I pulled up the blinds and everything was perfectly white, a gorgeous blanket of snow covering the cars, the rooftops and the road.
I can actually smell the fresh snow again. Guess what?!? It was still snowing, so it was the perfect morning… huge, white, perfect snow drops falling slowly from the sky… just amazing.
I remember the smell of cookies my mother and grandmother made… I went into the kitchen and asked for a hot chocolate and I was instantly embraced by the warmth coming from the oven… tinny ginger breads were getting ready for us, for our Christmas desert.
I have to say, it was the perfect start for Christmas Eve.
My father was outside with my brother, trimming the newly bought Christmas tree and everything was just as it should be on a holiday season.
We all had breakfast and then our door bell rang. Some of the children from the neighbourhood were outside and they wanted to know if my brother and I can go for a while to play with them.
My parents agreed so we went out, after we’ve put on some warm clothes, hats and mittens. I believe I still have some photos somewhere from that day, I’ll have to check.
The weather was cold, I can still remember that, but the happiness, excitement and trill of having snow was something that couldn’t keep us away from our sleds. We played for more than four hours, until all our clothes were soaking wet and we couldn’t feel our toes anymore. Our boots were so wet that they have frozen because of the cold wind.
We’ve built a few snowmen and had a small snowball fight and then made some snow angels. I can still see all of us, about 20 kids just having fun and enjoying the day. Even our parents came outside and played with us, I guess they just wanted to feel like children again.
Snow, winter and Christmas really do bring the childhood back, in all of us.
After playing for a good bit, we had to go back inside and take care of the decorations, put up the Christmas tree and make sure we were good enough for Santa to visit.
Getting the beautiful tree in the house was my favourite time. The fresh smell of fir tree, the sparkling lights, and all our old decorations just made this moment perfect. We had a cassette (imagine that) with Bing Crosby and we used to listed to carols while we were putting up the tree. It was a really fun family activity, especially finding which tinny little bulb was not working from the set of lights we wanted to put on the tree. That really pissed off my dad and my brother and I am pretty sure each family had that one set of lights that just wouldn’t work…
After the Christmas tree was ready, we would call our grandparents to see it, so they could talk to Santa and tell him that we’ve done a very good job.
Everything was ready for dear Santa Clause to come. So, our grandfather asked us if we wanted to go out for a short walk and visit my cousins across the street. We were thrilled to do so and we went there, where we received some more cookies and hot cocoa. After about an hour we went back home, and you can probably figure out what happened next. Underneath the Christmas tree we had sweets and nicely wrapped gifts for everyone. I remember I got a new pair of roller skates and I was extremely happy about that, because it was exactly what I asked for (and I’ve been good all year, just to make sure I’ll get them).
So, to sum up this very long Christmas post, I have to say, I really miss being a child again and enjoying all the small things… I suppose I can do that, now that I have my own little baby… I can relive all those magical moments.
Christmas is a time when you give love and receive love back, it is a time for family and friends, a time for reflection and a time for reconsidering your priorities and living your life as well as you can. It is a time to give and receive, that’s why Santa will be watching you!
Have a very Merry and Happy Christmas!!!