Ever since I put up my Christmas tree Thanksgiving week, memories of past holidays have been flooding in. In past years, there have always been a few tears mixed in with the smiles as I recall the history of each ornament. In this extraordinary year, these memories have been bringing more sadness than smiles as I’m struggling with missing the holiday traditions of past years. 

Holiday memories, whether fond or sad, inevitably create a sense of loss this time of year. We miss the cats and people who are no longer with us. And this year, the sadness may be compounded by not being able to experience the traditions that have made the holidays happy for us in the past.

I find that there are two ways for me to deal with the sadness of this holiday season: I can either lean into the sadness and let myself have a good cry, or I can shift my focus to happy memories of past holiday seasons. It’s not an either/or solution for me. While I think it’s important to remain as positive as we can, I don’t think being too Pollyanna about it all is the way to go, either. I try to find a happy medium.

This year, aside from missing all my favorite traditions such as eating out with friends, gathering in each others’ homes enjoying good food and company, attending holiday concerts and movies, and so much more, I also miss all the cats that have gone before, especially Ruby. But along with the sadness come holiday memories about each cat that make me smile.

The first Christmas we had Feebee, we realized that our tree would no longer have popcorn garlands. Feebee discovered that popcorn made for a great snack, but of course, I wasn’t going to take a chance that he would ingest the string.

Amber’s first Christmas was probably the first time in her then 2-year-old life that she got Christmas presents, and I went totally overboard.

Buckley and Amber on our Christmas card in 2007

Buckley’s first Christmas with Amber and me was a source of so much joy, just like everything else about this little cat. The girls had the best time opening gifts and playing with their new toys.

I held my breath when I put up my tree before Allegra’s first Christmas. I had never had such a high energy cat, and I wasn’t sure whether the tree would survive her enthusiasm. Thankfully, she was far more interested in the little “tent” underneath the tree, created by the floor length tablecloth covering the table it sits on.

Allegra’s first Christmas – our 2010 Christmas card

My favorite Christmas memory of Allegra and Ruby together was the year I gave them one of those undercover mouse toys. They played together for hours with that toy that Christmas Eve.

Allegra and I will be making new holiday memories this year, and hopefully for many more years to come.

Do you have a favorite holiday memory of your cats?

Even though gifts from our gift guide most likely won’t arrive in time for Christmas at this point, the exclusive discounts offered by  many of the companies featured extend through December 31, so take another look so you don’t miss out!


5 Comments on Sunday Quotes: Holiday Memories

  1. I loved this sweet post and the video! I laughed at Allegra being the highest energy cat you had ever owned, that’s how our Roary is! My favorite holiday memory pertaining to cats came loooong before I ever blogged. My first husband was Catholic, and I LOVE Christmas decorations so I went all out. We had a tree and I also hung candy canes on our banister by the steps. Bobo used to LOVE sitting on the stairs and swatting down each candy cane one by one. Also, we ended up having to tie our tree to the ceiling because EVERY day that I returned from work the tree would be knocked over. We watched Bobo once to see how he did it, he used to go under the tree and shake the daylights out of it, trying to get the ornaments off. He also had a BEAUTIFUL stocking with his name on it. I adore Christmas, too bad I’m Jewish and Lenny is Jewish because I can no longer decorate for the Christmas holiday. Christmas is sooo much more fun than Chanukah and it has better music too 🙂 Much love!

  2. My favorite holiday memory with my current cats is from last year. I did a gift exchange with another cat owner. I took my youngest cat with me to the pet store and shopped for gifts to send three cats. Then on Christmas, I got to open the package that I had received for my cats. They got new toys, dishes, and treats. The treats were soon eaten, the toys have provided with great fun, and the dishes are being used with our foster kittens.

    My favorite holiday memory of my first cat is of her last year with us. I’m not sure if this counts, as it happened before Christmas. I knew that her time was near, and so I asked for time off from work to be with her. We watched endless television together, I carried her to all her favorite spots in the house, and I recorded a video of me telling her off all the ways I loved her. I need to look for that video….

    This year my husband asked to be a Secret Santa to our girls. I don’t know what he bought them, but I’m sure we’ll all have great fun together opening and trying out their gifts.

  3. Amelie and Merlin were about 8 months old at their first Christmas. The artificial Christmas tree was the best cat tree ever and they climbed it and sat and peaked out through the branches and fell asleep in it. They still like the tree and Amelie is small and can still climb around in it. Poor Merlin. He is a big guy (can almost turn a doorknob to open doors) and just doesn’t quite fit where he used to. He tries though and we find some branches bent down more than others near the bottom.

  4. I enjoyed reading about your memories. I know your kitties are watching down on you right now. I remember the year we discovered Pono was interested in the bows on Christmas packages under the tree. We woke up to find all the bows chewed up and wrap messed up. I had to rewrap everything. He also chewed the branches of the tree.

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