Growing up in Michigan was great but Christmas was especially fun.  Christmas, 1974 forever demented my world and I am sharing this with the world.  That particular Christmas we went "Up North" for Christmas.  Now just to clarify, I was all of four years old and had no idea that "Up North" did not mean "North Pole".  In my defense it was cold and they got a lot of snow.  Couldn't this pass for the North Pole?

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That particular Christmas my aunt (Dad's side) gave all us girls matching flower dresses.  Aren't we just the sweetest?  I remember that hot quilted material and the roasting fire.  I swear they were trying to cook us little girls. 

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Now that night we heard the reindeer on the roof, bells, the whole deal.  Santa was there and he dropped in on his way out to see us.  It was the real deal, the real Santa right there.  I mean, I had proof because my mom got pictures of him and everything.  And she even told me that no one gets photos of Santa's face and that bright light is just how magical he was. 

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Now that is all fun and everything until I was the age of 15 and was still telling everyone I went to the North Pole and met the real Santa.  I was convinced.  I mean how could they carry that off for so long?  I almost got my butt kicked over that.  My Uncle Chris is jolly fellow for heavens sake and made a great Santa, my mom is not known for her photography, and did I mention those dresses?

My family gave me the greatest gift ever, the love for this magical season, cherishing the most amazing family in the world, loving the great state of Michigan where I grew-up and my hate for quilted flower dresses. 

And yet I see myself passing this all down to my kids from Santa's real footprints to the sticks & coal in Grandpa's stocking.  Now I need to find that hot quilted flower dress for Michaela.  Better, yet I will just let my Aunt Dianna get her hands on her and carry on the tradition.  I so hope I pass my love for this season on to my kids.