a vermont christmas
We had a great Christmas. Busy as always with a lot of faces to see, Tom and I celebrated with nearly everyone this year and even managed to see a few unexpected faces when my brother surprised us with 40 hours of Super 8 and various home video footage. Wow. Not only could I see my grandfathers faces again, I could hear their voices which I had remembered but was nervous of forgetting. I saw my late uncle cracking jokes and trying on a sweater we gave him in 1986 realizing that in that video he was the same age I am now. I heard the banter between my father and his parents behind the camera that I had missed being a busy 3-year-old tearing open presents on Christmas morning. I had faint memories of these moments but only through the albums of Polaroids I have seen. The Polaroid flash pop and trademark eject sound that was captured in these videos also captured the precise moment I remember tucked away in our photo albums. I was surprised to hear my own toddler voice commanding attention from anyone in the room as I announced the fate of my brother’s toys. I only paused from my Christmas morning scramble to approach the camera to say: “Daddy, take that thing off your eye!” I loved seeing my little brother’s quiet moments with his toys or hearing his tiny one-year-old voice teach my grandmother about his favorite item: the household vacuum. Seeing all these moments that ran parallel to my own memories was an unbelievable gift.
My brother never ceases to surprise me. While I have taken over documenting our current family life through photos, Todd has quickly become the family historian digging through boxes of photos, computer disks and of course, old Super 8 reels. I’m so grateful for everything tucked under the tree this year, but Todd’s home video collection was a true, true surprise.
Tom cut down this year’s tree from our little, random tree farm growing in the back yard.
Our gingerbread men were wise to their fate.
Tom and his two older sisters on Christmas Eve. We all get older, yet the sibling dynamic stays the same.
Christmas brunch at our home.
Tom excited at the possibility that all of his cooking might be just for him. Nope.
Merry Christmas from the McManamys!
Crafty Christmas continued this year. Our contribution: a homemade tote bag that I sewed and Tom screen-printed.