Friday, December 20, 2013

My favorite Christmas memories

I'm back.  I had loads of work to catch up on, not that I'm ever caught up but I made a huge dent in it.  I'm determined I'm not going to be working Christmas Eve or Christmas!  Yeah right we'll see if that happens, but I was talking to a long lost cousin of mine who I found on Facebook a few weeks ago and we were talking about Christmas and I asked him what was his favorite Christmas memory and I told him mine.  And in the spirit of Christmas and ho ho ho and all that's glistening and white, here's mine.

I was seven years old.  It was my first Christmas in Burbank, California.  My mother had married someone in the Army and he was stationed at Fort Ord, California, so away to southern California we went.  So it was Christmas Eve and we finally got our tree up.  Back in the day, it was customary to put the tree up on Christmas Eve.  This was before artificial trees.  After we got the tree up, we discovered we didn't have enough lights and here it was nighttime, Christmas Eve, and everything was about to shut down.  So my mother told me to go with her to get some lights at the store across some field.  I have no idea why we didn't take the car.  Maybe we killed it driving from Virginia to California who knows, lol.  My step-father stayed home with my little sister and my Mother trekked across the road, behind the houses and into this field toward where the store was.

So I remember walking across this field with tumbleweed everywhere which was actually quite common in California and I remember looking up at the sky, at the stars and it was Christmas Eve and it was something really magical about it.  But you have to understand the situation.  My step-father wasn't exactly a really nice person to my mom if you catch my drift, but this one time walking with my mom in the dark across this field with the stars overhead and tomorrow was Christmas was when life was good. 

I have another one.  I was living with my grandmother years later back in Virginia.  We couldn't afford a Christmas tree.  Bless her heart, she was the only one taking care of my sister and I and she did the best she could.  I went out back and cut down a pine tree from the woods in the back and that was our Christmas tree that year.  And you know, I know it's not done, but that was the prettiest Charlie Brown tree you ever saw.  Not a whole lot of presents underneath, but it was something really special about that tree.

One more and I'll call it a day.  We were back in California and I got this really neat metal 2 story doll house for Christmas.

It had a magic wand that you put underneath the floors of the house and you could make the figures move all over the house.  Anyone remember that?   I would die to have one again just to relive the memory. 

Here's another memory.  I remember telling my daughter about this Tammy doll I used to have.  A Tammy doll was much like a Barbie doll.  See pic below.

So the story went, my aunt told me I could pack one toy only for we were going to live with my grandmother in Virginia (another long story) and that's all the room we had.  I chose this Tammy doll out of everything I owned because it was really special to me I guess.  When I got to Virginia, you know how kids are, I lost it.  Do you know my daughter found an exact replica of that very same doll on eBay and gave it to me one Christmas?  Now that was something special.

The holidays are a great time for remembering Christmas pasts.  What's your favorite memory or favorite gift you received?


Morgan Mandel said...

We didn't have much money, so my Dad used to go out every Christmas Eve and hunt for a bargain or free tree. He'd always find one, but it was usually pretty mangy looking. Along with some of the breakable bulbs,we'd also scatter tinsel on the branches.I don't know if anyone uses tinsel anymore.

Morgan Mandel

Dorothy Thompson said...

I remember tinsel, Morgan! I wonder why we don't use it anymore except for that fact pets can choke on it?

Rose Anderson said...

Cute post. I remember Tammy dolls, never had one though. We always got our tree on Christmas eve, probably for the same reason as Morgan's family. But our family built a Christmas eve tradition around decorating it. Being the youngest of five, I always got stuck hanging tinsel. Ugh. I've disliked tinsel ever since. Happy Holidays!

Melissa Keir said...

My husband went looking for tinsel this year and finally found it. It used to be sold in a box wrapped in plastic, now it's just in plastic.

The tinsel was the worst to get off the tree!

Does anyone remember the doll (I think one was Vicki) who had hair that could grow and shrink with a twist of the button on her back? What about a dressy Bessie Doll?

Dorothy Thompson said...

Omg Melissa...Tressie something?

Cheryl said...

Thanks for sharing your memories, Dot. We didn't have much money either, but my parents always made Christmas special. Each year when the Sears Wish Book (remember that?) came in, we would sit down and write out our lists. My mom would hide our presents under her bed or in her closet.

We couldn't afford a Barbie house, but one year I got several rooms of Barbie furniture. It didn't matter to me that I didn't have the house. That they got what they could was good enough for me.