When I was seventeen or so, my parents were really struggling financially. My sister was progressively getting sicker, which meant an even higher mountain of medical bills. Because of this, my parents could not afford to do a lot for Christmas that year. So instead of getting the standard load of presents, we each got one special, but still really cheap, present to enjoy. My parents thought for a while about how to make Christmas fun without all of the wrapping paper, and found something that has turned into one of my absolute fondest memories. Instead of keeping all of our presents under the tree, we had a scavenger hunt!
Inside our stockings was our first clue, and each of my five siblings and I took turns going through our scavenger hunt to find our present. My parents put a lot of thought into how they were going to send us around the house. Each clue had something to do with our personality, what we liked, or common practices in our family. My older sister would often go and sort the HUMONGEOUS pile of clean laundry all by herself (one handed, mind you!) so my parents eventually led her to her present which was buried on the folding table. My present was hidden inside the car that I had just bought with the money from my after-school job.
Even though I didn’t get a lot that year, and I don’t think I even wore the outfit I got very much (remember – I was 17 and teenagers can be punks. I was the definition), I now think that Christmas was the absolute best I have ever had. Our family had a good time razzing each other about figuring out their clues, and my parents put a lot of thought, instead of money, into our presents. That memory became even fonder because it was the last Christmas we had with my sister, she died the following summer. I’m incredibly grateful that my parents worked so hard to make Christmas special for us despite a lack of funds.
So what are some of your favorite Christmas or holiday memories?