Having a Moment While in Big Lots

It is always at this time of the year when I get extremely nostalgic, sentimental and extra appreciative for this life of mine.  I assume that is the case for many but of course I only know the extent of it for myself.


Last week one morning I was in Big Lots buying additional Santa hats so that my children would no longer fight over the one that makes MANY appearances in this post.  By the way, Big Lots has a ton and they are only $2.50.  Perhaps you can now avoid WW III in your house too!  You’re welcome…

Anyway, of course I could not just pop in there for only one thing (x2), I had to peruse all the other Christmas stuff junk too and I found myself by the Christmas candies and cocoas, etc.  I was looking for something that I might possibly give to K’s pre-school teachers along with the gift cards I plan to give them.  The Ghiradelli peppermint chocolates kept calling my name from the top shelf!  It was sooo strange! ;-)

As I glanced down and saw the boxes of cherry cordials I instantly thought of  my Mom’s mom and how she used to give each and every one of her grandchildren a box of them every Christmas.   I would dig into them on the boring drive home from her and my Grandpa’s farm house and just eat the chocolate and cream.  I did not like the cherries.  Still don’t.  Then I would leave the sticky mess of a box full of uneaten cherries on the floorboard of the back seat of our Buick.  I don’t know why my Mom never fussed at me about it.  I guess she came to expect it…

The memory ruminated in my head as I looked to another shelf and saw the “old fashioned” ribbon candies, just like my other Grandma used to have out every holiday season in a little dish on the shelf by “her chair”.  And in that moment it was like they were both there with me, in the middle of the Big Lots, via sugar-filled Christmas candies.  My Grandmas.

I couldn’t stop the rush of scenes going through my head of cousins and food and sharing of gifts and my Grandma Hosek’s “Charlie Brown”-like cedar tree covered in multicolored lights and now-vintage glass ornaments that made the branches droop.  Christmas cookies and kolaches and the old, metal space heater turned up to keep the warmth in her tiny living room,  even though so many of us were packed in there together.

And then I just started to think, about ALL the people in my life.  The ones I am currently thinking about buying gifts for and the ones I will send Christmas cards to and the ones who have come and gone in this life span of mine.  The ones I have known “forever” and those that know me the best.  The ones I hold THE most dear.  The ones who created me.

The people who teach and take care of my children when they are not with me.  The people who have helped my husband in his career and the people I used to work with, when I did.  The ones who entrusted me with their family memories.  The ones who have become friends just recently.  And people who have been major or even minor influences in my life.

The list of course, goes on and on… There are and have been so many amazing people in my life.


As I sit and fill out all the Christmas cards with my friends’ and family members addresses, I am again reminded of how many wonderful people are in my life.  And I am thankful for this time to BE reminded.

I also think about my own children and how I want their memories of the holidays to be as rich as mine.  Oh how I want them to remember the magic of family and being around those they love at this beautiful time of the year.

I only hope I can provide that for them and that someday they will write about those memories too, and maybe even recall the beauty and love while in the Christmas goodie aisle at Big Lots.



Christmas Collage



What reminds you of holidays from your childhood?





  1. I love how a simple moment leads on to such deep thoughts about life, people, memories.

    You’re incredibly blessed and you deserve all the love and friendship you have in your life. xo
    Alison recently posted…Love LanguageMy Profile

  2. sometimes I’ll catch a wiff of a baked good or pine or cinnamon and I will instantly be transported back to Christmases of my youth. It’s crazy how quickly the “rushing back” happens. Always leaves me happy and sad at the same time.
    Katie Sluiter recently posted…Thirty-FiveMy Profile

  3. My mom’s mom would always have boxes of chocolate covered cherries around at the holidays too! Except I did love the chocolate, the cream, and the cherries! And I still do. Though since she’s been gone we don’t have them any more. :( I love when the memories just come flooding back like that. Happy holidays :)

  4. Oh my gosh, Elaine. The cherry chocolates and the ribbon candy – you took me back to my childhood. Those things are so tied to my own holiday memories – even though neither of them are my favourites.

    I hope to pass on memories and those warm feelings to my children and often wonder what they will take with them as they grow.
    Kim@Co-Pilot Mom recently posted…Blogging Advice: Don’t Do What I DidMy Profile

  5. I’m still waiting for my moment, or moments. I’ve been really stressed and working a lot this season and the big oomph of the holiday spirit hasn’t hit me. Mostly little spurts. We are doing a ton of Santa-related activities in the next week so I’m expecting it..
    Tamara recently posted…Invisible Mama.My Profile

  6. Beautiful memories. It’s amazing how something so small can take you back in time. Like you said, I hope my son will have vivid memories of his family when he goes through Target some day.
    Bianca @ Track Pants and a Tot recently posted…Might as well face itMy Profile

  7. Christmas cookies, they remind me of my Grandma.
    So glad you have all those memories! xoxoxo
    Kerstin @ Auer Life recently posted…Happy HouseMy Profile

  8. Love the part about how you want your kids holiday memories to be as rich as yours. I feel the same way, I think that’s why as moms we try so hard around the holidays to make things special and get things right. My favorite memories are waiting with my brother for my parents to get up on Christmas morning. And thinking about that has just made me all kinds of nostalgic.
    Julia recently posted…Tips for Christmas Decorating with KidsMy Profile

  9. I would have eaten the chocolate and ream too and would have left the cherries. It’s amazing what memories can be conjured up in the gift aisle at a store, or through a food, or a smell. I didn’t do cards this year, but one of the reasons I’ve loved doing them in the past is that I get to sit and think about the person who I’m sending the card to – and the memories I associate with that person. You seem to enjoy this the same.
    Ilene recently posted…The BridgeMy Profile

  10. Hearing O Come All Ye Faithful… it was my grandma’s favorite :)
    angela recently posted…Stick Me in Your StockingMy Profile

  11. Oh, this brought back memories for me! My maternal grandma always has a little bowl of those ribbon candies by her lamp, and my paternal grandma always gives one of those plastic candy canes full of Hershey’s kisses and a twenty dollar bill to all of the grandkids (and great-grandkids now). <3
    Greta recently posted…There’s (another) Short Person In My House. #iPPPMy Profile

  12. What a beautiful post about memories…I love when I have moments like these!
    Natalie recently posted…A Tree Hunting We Will GoMy Profile

  13. That’s exactly what this time of the year is about, right?! Tonight I embarking on a baking quest to get these bags I bought for my son’ teachers filled. I’ll try to remember this again when I am covered in flour.
    Dude Mom recently posted…Wordful Wednesday. How to Take an Awesome Family Photo.My Profile

  14. I knew when I started reading this you were going to mention those ribbon candies, and now my heart is clenching. My grandmother would buy a big tin of those every year. She loved them. I liked the ones that looked like peanuts because they had a little bit of peanut butter inside. Oh man… I miss her.
    Jennifer recently posted…Decorate Your Holiday Table with the Walgreens Holiday Gift GuideMy Profile

  15. Love this time of year for exactly that reason. And like you, I try to create beautiful memories my boys will always cherish and hold close to their hearts ;)
    Tina @ Life Without Pink recently posted…Superheroes Take Action Against Elf on the ShelfMy Profile

  16. Sitting at the counter of my “Mema’s” kitchen, while decorating the gumdrop tree and listening to Elvis sing Blue Christmas on 8-track… the only real light coming from the Christmas tree and those window candles (you know the ones with the big bulb that you screw in?) I love that memory. It’s the whole feeling of Christmas bottled up into one scene.

    I don’t like the cherries. Maybe your mom didn’t like the cherries either? :) I always send out photo cards, and this year I included a short, personalized note on each one. I don’t usually do that, but it really made me stop and think about each person on my Christmas card list, and it was really nice.

    Great post.
    Angie Mizzell recently posted…Having “the talk” (about Santa)My Profile

  17. This is a beautiful post, Elaine! Your children will have such amazing memories of this time of year and their childhood. If anything, I want my boys to most remember the time we spent together as a family during the holiday season – the things we did and the experiences we shared. And Christmas music – because it always seems to lift everyone’s mood!
    Charmin – The Momiverse recently posted…Seven gifts for kids that are unique, educational, or sentimentalMy Profile

  18. What a beautiful post. I needed that right about now.

    Popcorn balls. My grandma used to make homemade popcorn balls and they were the BEST. Way better than the ones you could find in the store (which I can never find anymore at all). I always remember her arriving at our house on Christmas Eve with the popcorn balls. :)
    Kat recently posted…Thinking Warm ThoughtsMy Profile

  19. “The ones who created me.” – What a great line.

    I love the idea of the people in our lives helping to make us who we are, and when everyday things remind us of them, I can’t help but be nostalgic, too. In Big Lots or anywhere. I get that way about the cherries, too – they were my Granddad’s favorites.
    Andrea recently posted…Old School Blogging, Holiday EditionMy Profile

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