Christmas is a time of giving, sharing, being with families and remembering why we celebrate the season.

Some of my favorite memories of growing up surround Christmas celebrations. Did your family have a ritual that you have carried on to your family?

Mine had the ritual that on Christmas Eve you could open one gift. We also had the rituals of leaving out cookies and eggnog for Santa.

I remember one year, that our fireplace showed Santa's footprint. It was a soot-covered footprint. I thought it was soooo cool that Santa had left his footprint on my fireplace hearth.

One of my strongest memories was the year I was around 8 or 9. We were down in East Texas (Henderson) at my grandparents. My cousins and I were so excited about Christmas we got up about 3 a.m. to go see what was under the tree. All of us stood around in our Christmas nightgowns and saw all the wonderful presents under the tree, and there she stood, my 3-foot Pollyanna doll, all decked out in a red gingham dress. I still remember the absolutely thrilled feeling I had in my heart.

I remember sitting in the kitchen making homemade rolls with my grandmother, aunts and cousins. You were really something if you were asked to help with the rolls. Of course you could get the most samples if you were helping, instead of having to sneak into the kitchen to snitch the dough.

My mom and grandmother were sitting in the kitchen one year making dough, when my grandmother mentioned she thought this batch had made up a lot more rolls this year. My mom looked at her and said: "Do you see any grandkids this year?"

I remember the year everyone brought cherry pies. I think we had something like six or seven. Everyone had decided that someone else would bring the pumpkin and pecan pies.

I hope that all children have that absolutely thrilled feeling deep in their hearts at least once in their lives. With our hectic and electronic-based lives now, it is harder to achieve that gift. Somehow we have lost our thrill for the simple things.

So my wish to all the children that I know is that they at least once have that feeling of having the most, absolutely perfect gift at Christmas, especially if it's a simple, remember-for-the-rest-of-my-life gift. I also hope for everyone to have a joyous time with their families.

We will be having our regular Wednesday and Thursday storytimes at 11 during the Christmas season. We will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Jan. 1 for the holidays. We will also close early on Monday, Dec. 24 and Monday, Dec. 31. The library will close at 6 p.m. on both of those days.

Here's wishing you and your family a joyous, family holiday.

Jean Meadors is the children's librarian for the Northwest Branch Library in Corpus Christi. Readers may contact her at 241-9329.