I don’t think I’ve written about this before, but Miss Lisa and I are friends from college where we met in Azusa Pacific University’s “University Choir and Orchestra.” Lisa sang in the choir and I played the arco bass (the largest of the stringed instruments, all the way behind the cellos!) in the orchestra. It was a very active group of 130 or so of us. We traveled and performed every Sunday somewhere in the greater Los Angeles area, flew somewhere for a winter tour and did a two-week May tour bus-trip across the U.S. We wore a lot of lipstick, used a lot of hairspray and wore a lot of bad dresses–it was the 90s in full force! But, like Miss Lisa wrote in her post, it was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
All that to say, when you spend that much time together, you make life-long friends! So, it was a fun time this past weekend when Lisa and her husband, and I and my husband (who was also in the APU choir) were able to get together in Colorado, where I live, and reminisce about our APU days as well as catch up to present day. The reunion took place at some friends of ours who had invited some people over to go Christmas caroling on a hay wagon and then come back for warm drinks and Christmas treats–and fun magic tricks for the kids (I was more than a little impressed, myself!).
Now, at long last, to my point: The family that hosted the caroling is a very special family, and that day I learned of their family’s Christmas tradition and knew I had to share it with you! When their children were small, they bought a big roll of butcher paper and unrolled a section and helped the kids to trace their hands on the paper and had them write their names by their hands and then told them to draw a picture about something they wanted to remember about that year. Then they rolled it back up and put it away with the Christmas decorations. Each year they would roll it back out and add to the “timeline” either with a picture, or a sentence, or a little story. After 22 years of rolling it out and adding their stories, they have a very unique story-book through the years! And this year, they added the tiny hand print of their first grand daughter. How precious is that?
I love this tradition because it goes in the category of gifts that keep giving! I never regret the time that it takes to get that picture of the kids with Santa, or what it takes to be ready with the video camera on Christmas morning, or making cut-out cookies with the kids. These are my Christmas favorites that outlast the tickle-me-Elmo of the year or the latest and greatest gaming system. Capturing their little voices on video or their little drawings of what’s important in their world at that moment in time on a roll of paper is a gift for all time!
This post brought to you by Jenny Leggett, who may or may not have a few juicy stories about Miss Lisa from our college days. 😉