ESCANABA - Moms have a photographic memory when it comes to Christmastime.
Kodak moments and digital downloads cannot compare to the image that is etched into a mother's brain when it comes to celebrating Christmas.
Remember that wartime Christmas and Uncle Richard wearing his army uniform by the Christmas tree? Remember the year the baby cried all night? Remember the year of the big snow, when Grandpa and Grandma nearly didn't get through?
Karen Wils photo
A new beagle puppy for Christmas equals a treasured memory.
No matter how modern and convenient Christmases get, we still try to make them like the ones we remember.
Recall the toys, the tinsel and the family time? Each family has their own holiday stories and these stories get cherished more and more as they are retold.
One of my favorite family Christmases is the one from 2003. My son was 6 and my daughter was 3 and we were dog-less (without a dog). We talked about keeping it this way, but decided against it.
On Dec. 23, we received our new beagle pup. (Note: the holidays are not a good time to start with a new pet). Santa Claus also blessed my children with a full-sized red wagon that year.
The pup was on the go. Her perfect little white feet scampered across the floor. The big red Radio Flyer was on the move, too - from the living room to the kitchen, most of the time with little Ellen and the beagle puppy plunked in it.
Soon it was outdoors with the pup on the leash and the wagon on the sidewalk. The little dog got its paws run over so many times by the wagon that it's amazing that she turned out to be a very good hunting and competition dog.
If I had a nickel for every mile we traveled through snow, mud, fields, and summer heat with that wagon and that pup ("Gert"), I'd be rich.
The Christmas with the new pup and the new wagon was a special one. So was the Christmas that I had just returned from the Mayo Clinic. So grateful to be home again and my health slowly on the mend, it was a Christmas of many hugs.
When I was a child, one Christmas my Dad made a small cupboard for all of my doll dishes. Santa brought me a toy coffee pot that when you tipped it over, all the brown liquid disappeared! It was so neat. The cupboard is still in use today.
Page back in the photo albums in your mind and find the Christmas treasures that are stored there. Share the memories and the stories with the young people in your life.
Christmas is not about gifts, vacations or parties. Christmas is about remembering all the way back to a baby in Bethlehem.
Wishing Christmas blessings to all of you and very happy sesquicentennial year to Escanaba and all of Delta County.
Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong north Escanaba resident. Her folksy columns appear weekly in Lifestyles.