When you grow up with little material belongings, you learn to make traditions. You make fun out of old socks and recreate old bible stories by marching around the house looking for spare change. ( Battle of Jericho) -( we were charismatic ). (but not weird).
One thing we always used to do on a Saturday night was take a bath in our big round garden tub, wash our hair and ask our mom to use old baby socks as hair rollers in our hair. Having four girls that want curly hair was a lot for my mom, but somehow she managed to get it done with ease.
I remember laying in bed anticipating the next morning when my hair would transform from dull to fabulous. Trying to get comfortable was always an issue that was swept under the rug. I must have curly hair in the morning. I must sleep very still. And that we did.
When we awoke we all helped each other take out the socks and giggled at the tight curls.
Our Shirley temple hair would bounce as we made our way to the kitchen table for cereal. We would all look at each other and smile at the others fancy curls.
We never had much, but this tradition kept things fun in that small trailer. We watched our Mom carefully roll the others hair until it was our turn.
It is the small things like this that I remember as an adult. I know of the financial struggle, but that’s not what sticks out in my memory. It’s the laughter, the old socks and the togetherness.
Hey parents that are reading this now that are struggling to make ends meet this Holiday season: here is my advice to you.
Make traditions that you can keep that don’t cost a dime. Those are the ones that stick.
It’s rare that I remember what our parents gave us for Christmas, but it’s often that I remember how Christmas made me feel. How having our family gathered around our tree (no matter the size or look of it) made me light up inside.
No matter how poor we were at times, somehow my parents always pulled off a fantastic Christmas.
Or perhaps that’s how I remember it, because I was more focused on the good. Because that’s how we were raised.
To be thankful for the small things in life. What God gives you for a season is what you have to work with.
I was thankful for the old mix matched socks in my damp hair that transformed me into a pretty little girl.
So tonight I gave my girls the same gift of memories. Simple ones, yet complex. Ones that stick.