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Thread: Memories of Christmas Past

  1. #1
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Memories of Christmas Past

    Please share your memories of past Christmases. Any favorite memories of gifts you wanted? Gifts you made for others etc/ funny things that happened/ special moments in your life at Christmas time.

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    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    One of my favorite memories is of my son when he was about 12. I am an avid reader of Harlequin romance books. We had a second hand book store up town at that time. I worked in a Christian bookstore around the corner from the second hand store. My son and his friend made a deal with the store owner to trade some of my son's baseball cards for Harlequin books. Of course I didn't know this. The boys went to the TV store and got a HUGE empty box the size of a console tv. They filled it with books. Then they used their skateboards to put under it and Nathan(my son) pulled and Jamie his friend layed on it to steady it as they pulled it down the street and around the corner to my store. LOL They asked if they could put it in the store til I closed and we would take it home. All I knew at that time was it was a HUGE box with slap dash wrapping paper on it. LOL I didn't know what was inside.

    So I helped them get it in my van and we took it home. I had to wait til Christmas morning to open it. LOL When I opened it I was so shocked to see all of those books!! We counted them and those boys managed to stuff over 300 books in that box!!! It was a heartfelt moment when I saw the pride in my son's eyes when I opened that box.

    I'll never forget that moment.

    at that same time - I have to explain Nathan and I had this one upmanship thing going on at the time. He would try to trick or surprise me with something and I would play a trick on him. We went back and forth with this for awhile.
    so the books were also in the nature of a Gotcha!

    So in the store we wrapped gifts for people. My kids would help out in the store sometimes. So I had Nathan wrap a bunch of gifts for me in the back of the store. what I didn't tell him was he had wrapped his own gifts and didn't know it cause they were all in boxes. LOL That was my gotcha!

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    I remember as I child always getting an orange in the bottom of my stocking. Kids today would laugh at that but it was a real treat back then.
    Another was making our way home from relatives on a cold, cold Christmas night. The old windshield on the old car kept freezing up (on the inside of the car)and my Father didn't know if we could make it home. My parents were worried and wondered what could they do. I don't remember who thought if it but my Christmas gift saved the day. I had gotten one of those dime store sets of bath gel, perfume and bath salts from my cousins. Dad soaked his handkerchief with the perfume and kept wiping a little circle of clear glass in the windshield. That perfume had to be 50 proof alcohol because it really worked. By God's grace, and that little bottle of perfume and we arrived home safely.

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    We received a naval orange, a big red apple, 1 or 2 walnuts and a few pecans in our shoes that we had put outside our bedroom door. Our tree did not get put up until Dec 20or 22nd but it stayed up until Jan 7th. On Jan 6th, Feast of the Epiphany, we received a gift from the Wise Men. Remember that the 3 Wise Men followed the star in the East to bring gifts to the Christ Child. Life 75 years ago was much simpler.

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    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I had gone back to college when I was 35, working on a degree in photography. I had a 40 mile drive to school for classes and to use the darkrooms there. For Christmas, my husband built me a darkroom in a storage room in our basement. It had all the basics. After Christmas, we went to the camera shop and I was able to buy all the extras to fully equip the darkroom. All our friends and family knew about it, but no one said a word. What a surprise.

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    It's a funny, bittersweet memory. It was the last Christmas we were all together. The Nutcracker Suite was playing and my Dad came thru the front room dancing on his toes, hands above his head like a ballerina. My Dad was a tall man, over 6 ft, so it had all of us laughing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I remember as I child always getting an orange in the bottom of my stocking. Kids today would laugh at that but it was a real treat back then.
    Another was making our way home from relatives on a cold, cold Christmas night. The old windshield on the old car kept freezing up (on the inside of the car)and my Father didn't know if we could make it home. My parents were worried and wondered what could they do. I don't remember who thought if it but my Christmas gift saved the day. I had gotten one of those dime store sets of bath gel, perfume and bath salts from my cousins. Dad soaked his handkerchief with the perfume and kept wiping a little circle of clear glass in the windshield. That perfume had to be 50 proof alcohol because it really worked. By God's grace, and that little bottle of perfume and we arrived home safely.
    Tartan, I too remember getting an orange at Christmas, and how special it was. In our little rural community in SW Arkansas we had a little church where people for several miles around would gather for special events as well as worship services. On Christmas Eve there was a decorated tree, and a program that involved the children. I remember my sister and I sang "Away in a manger". Each child got a little paper sack that contained an orange, and other goodies. Happy memories of those days in the late 1930's.

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    Christmas Eve was when we opened presents. We were staying at my grandma's house. Our daughter was a month old and the first girl since me. She rec'd 5 dolls, and 1 was a soft body doll. After we had cleaned up the wrapping paper, and everybody had left we put our son to bed, and we couldn't find all five dolls. We found it in the morning when our son carried out of the bedroom. He loved that doll. My grandma always said that if a boy liked a baby doll he would make a good daddy. My son loves his kids and grands.
    Love to quilt and play with the great grandkids

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrammieJan View Post
    Tartan, I too remember getting an orange at Christmas, and how special it was. In our little rural community in SW Arkansas we had a little church where people for several miles around would gather for special events as well as worship services. On Christmas Eve there was a decorated tree, and a program that involved the children. I remember my sister and I sang "Away in a manger". Each child got a little paper sack that contained an orange, and other goodies. Happy memories of those days in the late 1930's.
    I too grew up in the rural area of Oklahoma, the Christmas church gathering was so special, alot of us would not have gotten these treats had it not been for thee church. It was also the school for years 1st though 8th grade. We rode in the horse pulled wagon with loads of quilts to keep us warm, this wagon ride was not a treat it was our only mode of transportation. I'm 79year young
    Last edited by LITTLEOLDME; 12-13-2014 at 07:02 AM.
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    I grew up in California but my parents did not and I got an orange, an apple, nuts in the shell and Christmas ribbon candy (not wrapped) in my stocking. Both my parents are gone I would like to ask them where, or why the tradition started. I'll have to ask my older siblings if they remember the fruit and nuts before we moved to california.

    I remember one year I was maybe 9- or 10 mom had a very old very traditional fruit cake recipe, we knew it was going to make a large amount by the sheer number of ingredients and amounts but we had no idea that we had nothing big enough to mix it in......had to go to the store twice to buy baby bathtubs to have something big enough. I swear it took us 3 days to bake all of those cakes.
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    Super Member wendiq's Avatar
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    I grew up an only child in a small town in California. Church was a big thing and Christmas at church even bigger. Santa would visit and give every child a stocking filled with an orange, an apple, candy canes and nuts. It was always special!
    At home, we generally put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving....Used lots of the silver tinsel....took forever to put it on the tree. I did this even when my own kids were growing up. They always wanted to "throw" it on and I insisted it be done strand by strand like I had done....took days, but sure made for a pretty tree. Then as the days went by, gifts would appear under the tree. We always opened the gifts Christmas Eve and Santa would come and leave "me" a special gift that night that I would find on Christmas morning. People, were mostly, happy with much less than they are today. The Holidays were much simpler and IMHO, much more enjoyable. We sent cards and visited. Cookies, fruitcake and brandy cake were special treats then. I miss those days....

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    My mom and dad put up the Christmas tree on Christmas eve while we were asleep before going to midnight mass....we put out cookies and milk for Santa and when we came back from mass our gifts were underneath the tree....on Christmas day we went to my grandparents house where we would get a special treat....a small gift and a bottle of pop....the last time I went to my grandparents we were 50 grandkids.....we got our stocking on New year`s day....an orange, candies and a few little gifts....that was the tradition on my mom`s side of the family...
    Last edited by huntannette; 12-13-2014 at 08:12 AM.

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    I went to med school at the age of 40;we sold our home,quit our jobs,moved 2 teenage girls and an unemployed DH across country where we lived in a low income housing project...many changes! My parents got us train tickets to go to their home in Montana for the holidays. We had a wonderful time,my mother baked each kid their favorite cookie,and my dad( who previously had told me I was nuts to go to school at my age) told me he would help us out!
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

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    My best memory of Christmas is the whole family gathered around at Mom & Dad's house. Before we opened presents Mom would start reading "T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the house - then we all joined in and recited the entire story, every year. 23 people laughing and crying and never missing a line.
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    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    we always went to church on Christmas eve and then came home and opened gifts. There was my mom and dad and me. Mom always filled a huge stocking for Dad and for me. She put lots of candy and little presents she had picked up all year into it with nuts and oranges and fun little surprises. then we opened gifts and no matter how many she wrapped and gave she would always remember one or two she had stuck into a closet and forgot about. LOL

    My dad would always wait til the last day to remember he had to buy mom something for Christmas. then he would have me pick out something and go get it. One year we got her a set of crystal goblet that the top half were cranberry color and they were so beautiful. she used them to set her table for dinners for years and years.

    At church they always had a 20 foot tree that rose up into the rafters in our little church. There was a program and afterwards they passed out sacks to all the kids with candy nuts and an orange and candy canes. I remember helping to fill those sacks and hand them out. Such fun!

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    Our tradition when I was young was to go next door to "visit" Marko and Louise after dinner on Christmas Eve. My sister and brother and I would bring them a small gift and they would give us a box of cookies and candy for the family. Lo and behold when we got back home Santa would have made his appearance and we would open presents. How did Santa know just when to make his appearance? We fell for that one for a long time and as the oldest I never did let on to my siblings that there was no Santa. Mom and Dad half killed themselves to get dolls and buggies and bikes out of hiding places before we came bursting in the door. Later on my parents stories of their frantic scramble and poor Louise's ploy to keep us at their house for as long as possible made for some hysterical family tales. Feasting on Louise's delicious cookies and candies that evening is a special memory too. She made toffee, divinity, fudge as well as every Christmas known to mankind.

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    We always went to my grandmother's house on Christmas night. All my aunts, uncles and cousins were there. The adults ate in the dining room, we kids ate at card tables in the living room and parlor, where the tree was. One year, Grandma gave all the granddaughters matching nightgowns. We ran upstairs to put them on, then modeled them for everyone. We all kept them on the rest of the night.

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    Also, my grandmother and my great aunt, who lived together, were of German descent. Every year they made springerle, a German cookie that is rolled out with a special rolling pin. I loved looking at those cookies, but I didn't like the taste!

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    Senior Member Leslie333's Avatar
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    When I was little my parents would decorate the tree after I went to bed on Christmas Eve. I still remember the thrill of coming downstairs on Christmas morning to find the decorated tree and the presents under it. A tradition we had was that I put a stocking on my bedroom door that my grandmother had made for me. Santa would put a present in it that was a game or something that I could play with and I was allowed to get up Christmas morning and get that stocking, but not go downstairs. When my son was a couple years old I took that stocking that had my first initial in sequins and changed it to be the first initial of my son's name. Starting that year he put the stocking on his door on Christmas Eve and Santa would put a present in there for him to get in the morning before everyone else was up. My son is now 19 and home from college, so it's hard for "Santa" to find a fun gift for in there. Just may be lottery tickets this year!

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    While I have many wonderful memories of Christmases past, some were memorable for different reasons. When I was 8 my Grandmother died on 12/21. Christmas of 68 had my brother home on leave from the Air Force. Christmas of 74 we got engaged. Christmas of 83 my son (3 YO) had been sick and had a terrible reaction to medication he'd been given and was hospitalized. DH's Grandmother died 12/24/89. Many Christmases evoke warm, happy memories of family and friends gathering. Each event pulls us together, makes us stronger and realize how much we have to be thankful for, and allows us to truly appreciate Christmas.

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    My favorite Christmas was when my son was 5 -I gave him a set of real tools for ''beginning carpenters'' they were small enough for little hands. By the end of Christmas day the tree and 3 end tables were shorter but perfectly level. He was the only grand child,and it was 'cute' LOL. Grampa bought him all kinds of wood and they spent a lot of time making things together in the basement. My little sister is only 4 yrs older than my son and they would paint and decorate all the bird houses and feeders together. That little set of tools created so much more than objects for many years. He gave it to his oldest son and now my oldest great grand son has it. And apparently the first projects are suppose to be the shortening of table legs. The best $20 I ever spent

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    Senior Member ladydukes's Avatar
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    I have a lot of precious memories as a child. One Christmas I remember us older girls getting "Betsy Wetsie" dolls. Another year, my beloved Mother made us three older girls cowgirl outfits with little bolera vests and skirts. We got boots, cowgirl hats and pop guns. We had a great time. My Grandparents had a movie camera and filmed us at Christmas time. Those movies are so precious to us!! We are having them digitized.

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    I also received an orange or tangerines in the toe of my stocking. It's an old tradition based as far as I can tell the the orange was considered a luxury item in the winter. The is even a mentioning of an orange in a stocking of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book. We also got gold wrapped chocolate coins based on the merchant that had three daughters and no dowry. Funny how we keep doing things and we don't even no way
    Sewflower

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    one of my favorite memories was when I was about 12 yrs old. I wanted really nothing from my boyfriend, so I asked for purple snow. On Christmas Morning, I answered the door, to see that Andrew had spray painted my front law purple with food dye. how romantic was that???
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

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    This is a difficult story for me, but one of the best Christmases ever.
    In August 1985 my DH was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. That Christmas we were living in a little bitty trailer, in a little bitty trailer park ,near the hospital so he could have his Chemo without travel time, to make it easier to get him back "home". When Christmas rolled around we had no money for gifts or decorations (ours were in storage in our home town 300 miles away, and unavailable to us). One day in mid December my 2 DD and I went to a food bank to get help, and I met a wonderful older nun who interviewed me, and we talked for several minutes, one of her questions was "did I have faith?". I said yeah, I guess I do. It was a rough question to answer at that time.
    On Christmas Eve, I sent DH with our last seven dollars to get some decorations to use on the tree that the neighbor gave us as a gift. While he was gone, the same nun knocked on our door and announced that we had been adopted for Christmas! They brought in more food than we could store, and offered to hold the excess for us, many gifts for DD's and ourselves, they also brought a star and tree skirt for our tree, and an invitation to dinner at the Convent. I remember being overwhelmed with so much kindness. When DH came home and found all the gifts, he cried. I remember his words "My babies will have a Christmas morning!". The seven dollars he took with him got us four packages those old styrofoam apple ornaments in two sizes. Our tree was wonderful with nothing but those silly tacky apples and gifted star and skirt. During the night our youngest DD (age 3 1/2) got up and opened every one of the gifts. I caught her at it when I woke up at about 3 am. I spent the rest of the night patching paper and rewrapping the gifts.
    What no one knew was that that would be his last Christmas. He was gone by August. I still hang an apple on my tree to remember my best Christmas ever when I learned that a little faith can work miracles.
    Last edited by madamekelly; 12-14-2014 at 10:54 AM.
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