:: Tacking my grandfather's old man-ish, black nylon socks to the mantle of Christmas Eve at their house. When we woke in the morning the socks were always sagging with oranges in the toes and candy stretching them beyond recognition as footwear.
:: The kitschy ceramic Christmas tree that my mom put out every year. I wish I had one now.
:: The creme de menthe liqueur recipe that was in a tall clear glass at all my grandmother's fancy dinners. It was off limits to me as a kid but she would give me a secret taste in the kitchen every year. By the time I was getting old enough to have a little bit of my own my parents declared all alcohol unacceptable – even for adults. Momma still snuck me a taste.
:: Chili on Christmas Eve – it always was accompanied by a fancy cheese and cracker tray.
:: Opening one present every Christmas Eve when we were kids. We always picked the biggest one.
:: Learning that making gifts to give was the best way to let people know that you really, really love them.
:: Hearing Scott M. sing A Strange Way to Save the World. It's not Christmas without it.
:: Singing in the Christmas cantata. We were pretty good for a raggedy band of has-been singers!
:: Listening to Ali's family sing karaoke on Christmas night. Sometimes good. Sometimes frighteningly bad. But always, always funny!
This is just a short list of my very favorite memories on Christmas Eve, 2009. Merry Christmas to you!