December 9, 2023
We all have memories from this time of year, of loved ones who we still see and some who have gone before us.
For many of us, the memories are cold ones of snowy walks and bundling up in multiple layers of clothing. For some of us the memories are of warmer climates with t-shirts and shorts or at least clothes that don't involve putting on thermal jackets and underwear. Many of us had large family gatherings around the table that involved aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters, but for some of us the family was much smaller as the extended families were in other countries and the family grew over time.
For me, I remember walking home from school during the snow. We all put our wool coats around the stove in class and watched as the snow melted on the floor. I remember being 4 and laughing at my grandpa playing Santa as he was getting frustrated because I knew who it was. I knew it was my loving grandfather, and the next year he was gone. I remember the dinners from various cultures we would have around Christmas time. Dumplings were a staple along with chicken noodle soup, traditions passed on from one generation to another.
I remember moving to California and how so much of life and my Christmas memories changed. We had a real shower and a home we didn't have to share with other families, just ours! The snow was gone and the winters were so much warmer. Christmas was like a summer day. The meals didn't change, they were made with just as much love as they had been in the past.
With time, as in every family, the people and the traditions changed. Since we live in Tehachapi the chance of snow at Christmas has come back for me and, as eventually with all families, children grow up and often times find their own traditions and families to begin celebrating Christmas with. Treasure the memories and the people you share them with this and every Holiday Season!
Marty Pay is a contributing writer for The Loop newspaper and has been a Financial Planner for years and teaches Finance at a local University. He can be reached at Farmers Insurance in Tehachapi (661) 822-3737.