Christmas Pastgreenspun.com : LUSENET : hohoho : One Thread
Do you have a memory or story from some Christmas past that you'd like to share? Post it here.
-- Heather (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 21, 2000
After 17 years of Christmases, I don't think any one particularly stands out in my mind as unforgettable or very important. They all hold memories, but I couldn't tell you exactly which one certain events happened on unless I sat here and really thought about it.
When I was little, Mom and I lived at my Grandmother's house. Christmas Eve would be spent with grandma, pappy don, mom, and all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. My aunts and uncles would exchange gifts with us then and we'd open them sharing in the mirth and laughter of just being together as a family unit. Around 12, everyone would clear out and I'd be forced to bed after setting out cookies, milk, and carrot & celery sticks (the reindeer need to eat, ya know) for Santa. Christmas morning would begin bright and early, usually at the crack of dawn when I shot out of bed and downstairs to open gifts. I'd be greeted with piles upon piles of gifts that probably cost my mother 3 pay checks. Being an only child with a single parent has it's advantages. I still remember getting the sled and the wagon I still have now, a teddy ruxpin doll, numerous holiday barbies, and fisher price doctors kit. We'd then go to the kitchen to have Christmas breakfast then watch the Christmas parades on TV.
When I was 7, Mom and I moved in with Denny. Christmas changed greatly starting that year. We went to my Uncle Jim's house for Christmas Eve instead of Grandma's beginning that year. Mom had picked up drinking again and I witnessed my first Christmas Eve with a very drunken mother. Little did I know, they'd become a tradition all in their own. Instead of an artifical tree, we now had a real one. Christmas lost some of it's magic and the presents began to become fewer as I began to want more expensive things like that brand new and oh so popular NES system and the ORIGINAL Final Fantasy game for it.
When I was 9, we moved into this house. Mom had a huge fight with her brothers & my grandmother. She stopped speaking to one brother all together and cut contact with my grandmother for almost 8 months. Christmas fell on one of those 8 months. It was a sad Christmas, everything had changed. I don't think I remember anything special about that Christmas besides crying under the tree, wishing my grandmother was there.
From age 10 to 16, Chistmas was pretty much the same, except things became less important for my parents decoration wise. Slowly, year by year, the tree would get put up later in the month and the ornaments would go on even later, as an after thought. We would have Christmas Eve here at the house with my grandmother, pappy don, denny's parents, and a handful of my parents close friends. Gifts would be exchanged among us, dinner would be servered, Christmas carols would blast, and the booze would flow. Everyone would go home close to 2 AM and I'd wander to bed even later than that. My parents would now have to beg me to get up and open my presents instead of me jumping on their beds making them get up and do stuff. Then we'd pack up and go to Denny's parents house for a very early supper of ham and all the fixings. We'd come home and then slowly drift apart to play with our gifts.
As for this year, things are slowly but surely changing even more. It's all becoming more evident that I'm growing up, but that's another story, saved for the Christmas Present.
-- Heather (email@example.com), December 23, 2000.
i know that this probably isn't the best 'christmas past' memory. however, it is the one freshest in my mind, and the one that i look back on with the most clarity and the most deep sighs.
merry christmas, 1999, taken from my journal:
"last night, while at my grandmother's beautiful house in temecula, california, surrounded by people who love me and want nothing but the best for me, and mountains of presents, and the most beautiful and loving great dane in the world... i was searching the bathroom up and down for a pair of scissors. or a pin. or something else just as sharp. i was tearing that bathroom apart, and i found nothing. i wished that everyone would leave the kitchen so that i could filch a knife and they would never know it.
desperate, i saw a safety pin that i had used in a the play; it was holding a keychain in place on my trusty pink shoulder bag. i took it apart and started scraping it gently up and down my arm. then harder. then i discovered that if you raked it across your skin in a certain way, there was a hook at the end of the safety pin that would dig deeper. i stopped looking at my arm while i did it; for about ten minutes i was at work.
then i went to eat dinner and open presents. i felt wonderful. in pain, but wonderful. it's like i had a hunger to hurt myself, even though nothing was wrong. well, i ate too much. but that's always what happens to me. i'm used to it.
as we opened presents, i opened a kit full of nail polish and manicure-type things. my eyes settled immediately on a pair or nail scissors. my face lit up, and i told my grandmother, "i was just lamenting earlier how i needed some nail scissors." if only she had known why...
...later that night, after we had watched a movie for the millionth time and i had fallen asleep watching it, i crept through the house in the dark and found my kit sitting in the living room. i pried the scissors out and proceeded to be a little more daring than i had with the safety pin hours earlier. it didn't work as well, though, and i had to be more careful, because i was out in plain view and someone could walk in and see me at any second... "
-- Amber (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 21, 2000.
Christmas will always remind me of Natasha. Every time I hear people carolling or smell the ham, I won't be able to shake Nat off my mind.
It was the year of '98, two years ago, when my who life changed. Nat was the goddess everyone worshipped from afar, and the weird thing was, she never noticed. Never did notice how beautiful she was, how popular she was, and how everyone went crazy around her. She was the high school prom queen that every guy wanted to nail, and every girl wanted to be her.
Everyone wanted to be her friend. They went up to her gushing about this and that. I wasn't like that. I was one of the few who sat afar watching her, worshipping her from afar. I was a very shy kid, I wouldn't make friends unless someone came up to me and said "hi".
Christmas eve '98. Nat came up to me, and I could hardly believe my ears when she asked, "Want to come over for dinner?"
Me. I was nobody. Nobody knew me well, and the famous Natasha, she one everyone wanted to be friends with, asked me to hang out with her. I couldn't open my mouth.
"Well, is that a yes?" I looked into her eyes. "Okay," I said.
It was a tradition to have your Christmas dinner on Christmas night. But not Nat's family. They had it on Christmas eve, always had and always will.
It was weird at first, then I started to get comfortable. Nat's family was so nice, and Nat was...Nat. I didn't ask any questions, didn't want to be somebody who begged to be the famous Natasha's friend.
After dinner, Nat's father sent me home. On the way, Nat looked into my eyes and said, "I knew you wouldn't ask any questions. I knew you weren't like the rest. That's what I like about you."
So I asked her to join my family's Christmas dinner.
We went on rocky road after that, inseparable. We shared everything. Stayed over at each other's houses all the time.
Two years ago I was the nobody in school. Two years ago Natasha told me I was the only person who only cared.
The thing was, nobody at school or at her house got it. People who tried too hard disgusted her. Like Phoebe, her stepmother. Like the endless girls in school.
-- Sheryl Lim (email@example.com), December 22, 2000.
Our Christmas is like almost any other family's; we go to bed Christmas eve, wake up, and open gifts. But one year it was different. My mom works in the ER and it was her turn to work Christmas day. We were undecided as to when we should open them, and the best part about Christmas is being eith your family. My dad, sister, and I then thought up the plan to go to Midnight Mass come home, and if mom had been up to it, she (Santa) would have set the presents out before we came home. She did just that, and even though it was 1 AM, we still opened presents like it was Christmas morning. Technically, it was. I was just so happy that all members of my family were there. My mom has to work again this year, but we've decided to wait till she gets home to open them. Christmas isn't Christmas without your family.
-- Rosie (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 22, 2000.
hmm I'm abit late with this, but I thought I'd add in a thought.
none of the years of christmas past really stick out too much; it was always the same. we'd go to the grandparents house in ohio every year. xmas eve, we'd open up gifts from relatives after dinner [which I'd complain about; I'd always ask, "soo when are we leaving?!? huh huh?" while pulling on everyone's sleeves]. I hated socialising at the house with all these little cousins running about everywhere. I wanted to go home and open presents and then go to bed happy. I thought of the dinner afterparty deal as just a prolonging of the inevitable. bleh. we always would go to dinner at red lobster or this place called 422. I wrote a poem about one particular xmas at 422 where things went awry and everyone began crying or screaming. that year sucked. my cousin's dad threatened to ground her because she was sitting in *his seat*. I just sat there and tried to ignore everyone's yapping.
on xmas morning, I'd open gifts from mom bright and early while pictures were taken and then we'd have an all day eating fest filled with wedding soup, raviolis, stuffing, turkey, whatever anyone else brought. it was mostly italian stuff since my grandma and everyone else at the house is italian. everyone stays and plays about [we even have trivial pursuit games each year; until last year when we weren't there] until around midnight where everyone says their goodbyes, puts on their winter gear and leaves while we go to bed. we have it easy since we live there. heh. that's how xmas is. no surprises ever on xmas day since I've been around except last year it was celebrated at home which there wasn't much to say.
one xmas eve when I was little, I did have abit of bad luck. when getting out of the car at the dinner afterparty place once my shoe slipped off and my foot with just tights on slipped into the snow. I cried and cried; it was frozen and mom had to wrap it in a towel. and then we did things different and went to my aunt's house to open gifts afterward. I thought this would make me feel better about the foot deal so I grabbed a present as did my cousin and I shook it abit then we proceeded to open them as the grownups snapped pictures at us and my face dropped. I had gotten EARRINGS!! I didn't have my ears pierced. I crawled up on the couch and began to cry again. found out I opened the wrong gift which made me feel just as worse. bad for a kid to have this much bad luck, eh?
okay, I'm babbling here, but those were the xmas' that stick out the most. every other was pretty normal I s'pose until last year when we stayed home..last year was just lonely as is this year but that would belong in christmas present now wouldn't it?
-- Amber (email@example.com), December 24, 2000.