A Christmas Memory

I was in Kindergarten.  We had moved back from Little Rock, Arkansas.  My dad was a pastor and had spent some time serving a small mountain church community.  We lived in a trailer and all I really remember about Arkansas was there was a horse that lived in the next yard. Early in the mornings, I’d go out with my parents and feed it carrots. I still remember the way it’s nose felt in my open hand as it feasted on the treat.

Being a pastor’s family, meant we lived pretty simply.  But, as a young kid, I never knew there were things we went without.

You see, my mom is an artist who is passionate about creating traditions and memories.

To this day, she still dreams up fun ways to celebrate.  Just last year, on Christmas morning, she woke my kids up outside their windows by shouting over a bull horn.  That was to surpass the year before when she strung jingle bells out their window and rang them early to wake the kids out of their slumber.

When we moved back to Baltimore from Little Rock, there wasn’t a whole lot of money at Christmas.

But, that didn’t stop my mom from creating a memory that still dangles from my tree.

She whipped up a batch of Salt Dough and we rolled and cut and painted ornaments until our tree was full.  We also made construction paper ornaments.  Every year, I gently unwrap the few I have left and remember those years in our tiny apartment, when Christmas was about creativity, the smells of yummy cookies baking in the oven and time spent together.

So, this year, I whipped up a batch of Cinnamon Salt Dough with my kids.  We rolled and cut and baked.  The house filled with the fragrance of cinnamon while we laughed.  I hope one day, when they are decorating their trees with their kids, a few of these ornaments will find their way onto their trees and they’ll remember, just like I do.

What’s one of your favorite childhood Christmas memories?


  1. […] was a pastor. Where there was a lack of money, both my parents made up for it with creativity. My mother especially. She was pretty passionate that we take a vacation every year, whether we could afford it or not. […]