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Thread: Best holiday gift? Best holiday memories? Sharing...

  1. #1

    Best holiday gift? Best holiday memories? Sharing...

    I'm feeling a little lack of the spirit this year. Maybe sharing the stories will help those that are abundantly blessed with spirit this year to buoy up those like me? I didn't use the word "Christmas" because CareCure is rich with stories from many cultures. I'd sure love to read some of them!

    If you are feeling low too, be aware. Trying to remember my best holiday cheered me up a lot. I can't remember many gifts. I was tragically denied what I wanted most, a Barbie. (I jest. I survived just fine, Barbie-less.) I was never denied the things kids really need, like bikes, sleds, books or music, wholesome food, warm clothes, creeks and fields to play in, and a little old-fashioned churching as well. I had 2 brothers that snuck into their presents every year, so I learned the value of surprises. One brother was younger, so I got to know the joy and important feeling of keeping Santa real for him for as long as possible. I had tons of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends...I can't imagine how we could have needed more than we had.

    And I can honestly say...Invariably, without fail, the years we were low on cash are the years I remember for riches of a better sort.

    The year I was carrying Jake stands out, because I knew what it was to be heavy with child. (I managed to be heavy with child at 4 months LOL. He was a BIG baby, and I am but a small woman.) It boggled me, the whole story of this family wandering, this woman in labor, finding no room at the inn. We lived in a town of maybe 250, that had a ridiculous total 5 churches that all feuded among themselves. That year, the churches actually worked together and put on a chorale, all the old songs sung late at night in one of the little simple churches. It was a cold, clear white Christmas that year, and every Christmas light spoke to me as I drove home alone, with my newly moving stomach. Hormones, maybe? Could be, but it was awesome.

    And the year I turned 21, 1981, little bro was 15. It was a lean year. Mom tended bar at the local bar'n'grill that Christmas Eve, so brother Bill and I hung out there, and to be honest we felt a bit sorry for ourselves. One of Mom's customers, a single dad with 2 sons around my brother's age, came in. He was a hardcore drunk, and I can't blame his wife for deserting him. I can't forgive her for leaving those boys behind but maybe she had her reasons. Leaving the kids behind is contrary to my DNA but I shouldn't judge her when I never knew her. Anyway, Mom asked the dad K*** what he had planned for Christmas. He just snorted, ordered another beer, and said he wouldn't bother. Mom said, "K***-No tree? Presents? Dinner, at least?" He said "Why? You'll be open tomorrow, won't you? We'll get cheeseburgers." Mom said "No, we're closed for Christmas." I was working in a fan factory and had gotten the traditional ham for a bonus. Bill leaned to me and said "Sis, gimme a ride out to the house." We drove 25 miles to get that ham, snuck it into their house and put it in their fridge. I'm pretty sure it was better than nothing. It's was worth a lot more giving it away than it would have been eating it, and that's a fact. I've forgotten a thousand hams I ate, but I never forgot the one we gave away.

    Mom gave me a quilt she'd made of teeny fabric scraps that year, the scraps were 1" X 3". She really scrounged for material, and it must have been grueling to sew. I have no idea how she did it without me knowing, since we both worked nights. I used it until it was shredded. Now bits of it are framed, hanging in my house. 2 years later Mom had a terrible stroke and never sewed again, so it's always been special.

    It's funny, I remember going through the Christmas catalog and wanting certain toys SO BAD. Darned if I can remember what any of them were now! But I remember 1st grade, b/c I got a baby brother for Thanksgiving, and Nancy Sinatra's Boots album, and WHITE GO-GO BOOTS, for Christmas! I could not have been cooler, I spent the next year folding diapers in my go-go boots. Those boots were made for diaper folding! Lordy I loved those boots. There was nothing I couldn't do in them.

    Happy Holidays, y'all. We had a good day here, I spent a lot of time playing Hair and Makeup Lady with my 6 year old granddaughter. 1 good day sure makes you feel better, doesn't it?

    I hope you all have good days this week. It's the best and worst time of the year.

  2. #2
    Betheny, That is a Great read!! It always makes me feel good to do something for someone else as it did you too. I can remember my Grandparents somewhat spending Christmas with us, gives you a warm feeling, or maybe I just peed!

  3. #3
    I always associate Christmas with driving some long distance in a snow storm. It doesn't feel Christmassy unless I am in a car driving through the snow listening to Roger Whittaker's Darcy the Dragon. I grew up in Northern New England, and my extended family lived between 1.5 and 2.5 hours away. So we were always driving on Christmas Eve somewhere, listening to Darcy the Dragon. That song makes me feel like Christmas even in July.

    The image of Christmas that sticks in my mind is of mother driving around a corner and seeing a car stuck in the snow, spinning its wheels. She pulled over and my father jumped out and picked up the car with just his little finger and put it back on the road (I was about 5, so dads could do stuff like that) The man tried to give my dad money but he refused and we went on our way. I remember it because so many cars had driven by and no one stopped. My family did, and I like to think that we always will be that kind of family.

    That is my Christmas memory. I don't know what gifts I got that year besides pride in my family, and maybe a Raggedy Anne and Andy talking bank from my Grandma.

    Thanks,
    Liz
    Last edited by World Traveler; 12-22-2008 at 08:25 AM. Reason: typos, etc.

  4. #4
    One should never truly feel the blues at Christmas if you can think back and remember moments in time like the one Betheny shared with us.

    You're right Betheny, I think it's the ones we were the poorest the stand out the most sometimes. Like the ones when my girls were small, I managed to babysit and get enough to do socks for them, could'nt afford big wheels so I settlled on purple mean machines a lot cheaper, and it was a lot cheaper in those days to bake cookies. We had a blast.

    Luckily, in those days, you usually got a free turkey where you worked, too.

  5. #5
    This year my granddaughter will be driving from here to her other grandma's house, up in Kansas, on Christmas Eve. She's worried there won't be time up there to make cookies for Santa, so has requested I help her whip up a batch to carry up there with her.

    I plan to do just that. God forbid they slide off the road, but if they do, I hope a family like Liz's will happen by! LOL @ Dad helping them out of the ditch with his little finger! They are superheroes at that age, aren't they?

    Do places of employment still give out the ham/turkey, I wonder? That made the diff between dinner and no dinner for many low-income working families at Christmas.

  6. #6
    Christmas when I was a kid was always spent up at my grandparents cabin in Northern WI. We would hike into the woods to find a tree. The adults would put on cross country skis and snow shoes while the kids always just wore our moon boots (mine we're hot pink ya know .) It would seem like we hiked for miles to find just the perfect tree to cut down. My grandfather would cut it down and drag it back to the cabin. I was always amazed by his strength.

    Then it would take at least an hour to trim the tree and measure it to get it just the right height to make sure it would fit inside and through the door. Sure enough, it never fit. There was always lots of cursing and yelling and the kids laughing. When the tree was finally in its place it was too big for the room and bending at the ceiling. It would be cut off at the top and bottom just to be done with it. We never had a perfect looking tree. It always looked like the middle of one. But I loved it. The kids got to decorate and and we were never told too many ornaments were here or there. We could use as much tinsel as we wanted and it was always the most fun.

    That is my most favorite Christmas memory as a child but also why as an adult I go with a fake tree!

  7. #7
    I am up waiting for my daughter to fall asleep. The girl can stay up til 5 in the morning so I am considering letting her help me do Santa in a minute. I am tired but maybe I can outlast her. She knows the truth anyway but I am not ready to let her grow up just yet.

    I wish my scanner worked because my son left the funniest note to Santa. It says get what you want from the fridge (we didn't want the milk to get old) the carrots are for the reindeer and if you want to help us out put your dishes in the sink or dishwasher. Well the scanner is fine but I have some kind of spyware making havoc with my computer.

    LOL I guess I am training him halfway well!!! Then I have a picture of the kitten trying to eat Santas fudge and carrots.




    ETA it's 3:30 she's still awake......
    Last edited by addiesue; 12-25-2008 at 05:39 AM.
    If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.


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  8. #8
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    Oh now thats funny Christy......

    I was carrying in packages one year and dropped a doll on the back porch. It was forever the doll that santa dropped and forgot to put under the tree.

    My grandmother used to like to play tricks on us kids (me and my cousin) at Christmas. There would always be a suspecting package "from santa" for us at her house on Christmas eve. The package would contain toilet paper or a pack of vienna sausages and always something we would be embarrassed as kids to open in front of everyone.

    One year I decided to get granny back so I went to the local dime store and found the biggest pair of 'draws"(underwear) I could find. Those things were three feet in diameter when you held them up. I took a red pen and wrote Merry Christmas on them. Granny was rarely one to let us take a picture of her. I have lots of pictures of her holding up whatever was in her hand at the time like a frying pan.

    Well when granny opened that package and held up those draws she knew she had been had. Right at that moment I started snapping pictures. Granny was laughing and holding them big things up.

    I cherish those pictures because although a frying pan was as much a part of grannys life as anything. Those pictures show the real granny and how mischievous she was.

    The next year: I got the draws back and we passed them around at Christmas until Granny passed away.

    The nice thing about memories is you can go back to that moment time and time again. You can feel like you are back there experiencing it all again for the first time.

    Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!!
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  9. #9
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    Oh and I cant forget this one.....

    My aunt decided one year to buy Casey who was four or five at the time some anatomically correct baby dolls.

    There was a boy and a girl. They were cute dolls but what does every kid do when they get a new doll?

    Well Casey took their clothes off and of course started asking everyone what was wrong with that boy doll. Oh now that was funny seeing my dad and everyone sidestep telling her the truth.

    Needless to say, my aunt told her something to get it away from her and the boy doll mysteriously disappeared to never be seen again.

    I came across the doll when I moved.

    My poor aunt.....I don't think she really meant to teach Casey the birds and the bees but she is gone now too so at least I have a funny Christmas memory of her.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

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