This question was asked during our lesson in Relief Society this Sunday....What do you remember from past Christmases....toys or things that you received, or do you mostly have happy memories of family? I honestly cannot remember any gifts that I ever received before my first Christmas in the USA, which was when I was 10 years old.....but I have the best memories of Christmases spent in Casilda, Argentina in the home of my grandparents...my nono and nona (grandpa and grandma in Italian) I don't know why it is that those are the happiest memories I have. First you have to know that Christmas in Argentina is in the summer, so it is REALLY hot! So we would set our table outside in the long driveway they had. Mostly everyone did this, so you would go outside and sit down for dinner and you could see your neighbors and just hear and see friends and neighbors all around. Also we celebrate on the 24th, Christmas Eve. My grandmother would cook all day...homemade lasagna, made from scratch! Lots of food! Dinner was at 8pm and then everyone hangs out and waits till midnight, that's when the champagne comes out (or sparkling cider for us) and everyone cheers, hugs, fireworks go off, neighbors come over to wish you a Merry Christmas, it's a BIG celebration. After that, we would all go inside by the tree and open gifts! After gifts were opened the party does not end, usually you go visit more friends and neighbors, fireworks are still going off everywhere and you eat some more! People don't go to sleep till 3 or 4 am if they even go to sleep! The 25th is usually spent relaxing and eating left overs. This is what I remember the most! I miss it! Every year when the Holidays come around, I miss them, my grandparents....they were amazing, my fondest memories of my childhood include them. I get a little sad on the 24th of December, but I cherish those memories, those Christmases spent with my family, and it wasn't about gifts at all, it was about family, joy and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas to all!!