It always amazes me how a whole group of people can take part in the same event and yet walk away with a diverse assortment of memories. It makes me ponder over just how reliable our memories are, especially after time has it's way with them.
When you think of all the filters one human being has that affects how a single moment is viewed, felt and remembered it's a wonder we ever find a common ground during those "remember when" conversations. How we are feeling emotionally and physically, what we are thinking at the time, when it takes place, where we are, who we are with......all of these variables act as a prism refracting the interpretation of the moment. Then tack on the external events happening at the same time......you know those connectors that sometimes help us place the memory in a certain time and setting? Add to that, the level of importance of the event............then stir in how much wine you've had.......
Christmas memories, impressionistic in their artistry are unique to the individual. Though we may share some of them..........the bigger brush strokes perhaps.......the fine details blend in colour and contrast, in shape and size and importance, are based on how we choose to remember them. It's like we have our own scrapbook filled with momento photos which flicker in our own light.
As an experiment to see if my theory holds any eggnog, the spiked kind........... I asked my family this morning what their memories are of last year's Christmas.
"What are your most vivid memories from last year," asks Mom.
My 14 year old daughter's reply?
"I remember waking up at 4 in the morning and having to watch some extreme sport show on TV because I was so sick of watching that movie, The Christmas Story........oh, and doing my nails to pass the time. Oh, yeah, and I remember running a bake sale at the school to raise money for the soup kitchen........"
My 10 year old son's reply?
" I couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve and there was lots of bacon."
How utterly profound............ note to me............ make sure we're stocked up on the bacon. Hmmmmm, perhaps I need to go out today and buy two pairs of hot pink bunny pyjamas with feet. They would most definately remember that wouldn't they?? :)
My husband's response?
"I remember how much fun the open house was, and seeing friends we hadn't seen in a long time, and Christmas dinner. I remember it being a wonderful dinner just sitting around the dining room table with our friends. Then relaxing afterwards watching Waking Ned Devine with our friends and watching my family fall asleep all around us."
I remember walking into my living room in the middle of our open house we had on the 23rd of December to find everyone singing Christmas carols........an impromptu moment which could never be replicated. Oh, then there was the solstice celebration at our friend's house. I remember spending an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen and enjoying the pace and busyness of entertaining. I remember looking around and seeing people engaged in good cheer conversations................I remember the wrapping and opening of presents on Christmas morning, the big breakfast the four of us shared.......yes, I do recall the pound of bacon I cooked....
I do remember basting the turkey, pulling together the Christmas dinner while my good friend Anne plied me with chilled white wine. But, for the life of me? The whole dinner conversation and subsequent movie? Yeah, I'm sure it happened, but by then I was toast.
yes, we all do have different memories don't we? It's a good thing mothers were invented to ensure that the memories are expanded upon and added to for future reference. Photos help too......so do blogs!
Perhaps this year, starting today...................I will point out key potential Christmas memories to my kids who seem to have amazing brains when it comes to reciting every Simpsons episode, right down all of Krusty's infamous lines. Better yet.........wait til they see what I have planned as a kickstart to Christmas dinner this year. Photos will be taken to preserve the moments.
Anne? Bring on the wine.
Hark the Herald Angels sing............
This week's Sunday Scribbling's prompt was "holiday memories." For more versions of those memories, click here.