Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Christmas Memory: Day One

Hey friends! Golly Moses, I seem to be mercurial about this blogging thing. It's been years since I started - and I don't seem to be able to log in a story once a day like my friends STEVE ON BROADWAY and DEEP DISH. These blogs are among my daily reads and I marvel at how they do it. Ah well. I just can't seem to write a story for every day and since my last entry I have been traveling and work my ass off, not to mention having a little block on a story I started about women who have anorexia and bullemia, not to mention gays with manorexia and boilemia.... I started it and just haven't been able to finish it. Maybe it's cutting a LITTLE close to home, eh?

But today... TO DAY is December 1st. The holiday season is upon us, kids. And NOTHING inspires me like Christmas. The blogging possibilites are endless. Why, I remember one year when I blogged about great Christmas cds... and one year when I wrote about Christmas movies... and you get the idea.

But yesterday I was talking to Brady and as we reminisced about some of OUR great Christmases together, I got to thinking: I would love to hear about some of everyone's favourite Christmas memories in their lives. So I am going to do a quid pro quo kind of thing here and, every day, I intend to write a little memory of mine out and post it. I hope, I encourage everyone to post something here or on my Facebook page - a line, two sentences, a paragraph, anything about a holiday memory from their life that they look back on, fondly.

And in the meantime, maybe I will finish that body image story and write some others. So sorry to have gone MIA again, kids! I hope youse'll keep coming back and reading!


Christmas Memory Number One:

Brady asked me what Christmas was like, for me, as a child. I remembered one year, particularly, when my brothers were about 1 and 5 years old and my sister was around 13 (making me 9 years old) - and I may be hazy on the ages but it was in that age range of years... We were living in Ohio in a big, long house (not a tall one but a long one) surrounded by a big yard full of trees - it felt like we lived in a forest, way off the main road. The walls were all wood and the carpets were all dark green shaggy, plushy stuff. Upstairs, their rooms were off to one side of the house and my room and my parents' room was off to the other; in between was the big, creaky, staircase downstairs. We always awoke on Christmas morning around five am and hung out in my sisters' room, waiting for mom and dad to get up and telling each other "go wake them.." "no, YOU go wake them!" and hovering over the top step on our bellies, looking down into the living room to see what Santa had left. Finally, after making so much noise on the creaky floors and chatting (a little too loudly, so that they would hear us and wake up), we managed to get mom and dad up. HOWEVER. first they had to go down and turn on the lights and make a pot of coffee and get the super 8 movie camera out (super 8, right? not 16 mm? I can't remember...) so they could film us coming down. And we were all required to dress. So I put on my striped Sears Toughskins jeans and a sweatshirt and my sister dressed in her best Marcia Brady and my brother slipped into some dungarees and a t shirt and, finally, finally, finally, down we descended into FREAKIN' TOYLAND!

We had gone to bed with a pretty tree in the corner of the living room - nicely decorated with some presents underneath it. NOW there was a field of Fisher Price toys that spread so far out into the living room that a person could barely get through the room. There was a play kitchen and a choo choo train and the Fisher Price castle and a purple banana seat bicycle and a rocking horse and blah de blah de blah... just a perfect spread of varieties of toys. It was a glittery, exciting, eye widening, mouth dropping sight. And there, in front of all of it, on the floor, was the plate and glass for Santa. The glass was empty and the cookies were gone.. all except one that had had a bite taken from it. Clearly, we had left too much out for Santa. Over on the fireplace hearth, dad sat, filming us with that little hand held camera.

This, for the rest of my life, is the way I imagined Christmas should be for all children.

Not til I was an adult did I look back on this memory (and others from my childhood) and consider the time and effort it must have taken mom and dad. How long into the night on Christmas Eve had they spent, setting this up (and hoping none of us would awaken and catch them!) and how my dad (I always assumed) would eat those cookies and drink that milk. No wonder they didn't want to get up at 5 am! They had only just gone to sleep!

I really must send them a thank you note.
Note: The photo in this story is from a different Christmas - one where I was just a baby and my younger brothers had not been born. See how my dad and my sister and I are all wearing matching candy cane striped jammies? Sweet!


Blogger patnstephen2 said...

Our father had the tradition of keeping the living room door shut tight on Xmas morning. No one was allowed in until mom and dad were awake and had coffee in hand. Of course I know now that he and mom probably had a 1/2 hour's sleep in the night after playing Santa's elves. The opening of that door was the biggest and ...most exciting event of the whole season. My dad would drag it out an INTOLERABLE length of time (for children) and whoever he felt behaved the best that morning would get to open the door and run into the room first.

11:35 AM  

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