Christmas Present : LUSENET : hohoho : One Thread

Do you have a memory of Christmas present that you'd like to share? Post it here.

-- Heather (, December 21, 2000


The tree is up, but the decorations aren't on it yet... even though it's the 23rd. The Christmas shopping isn't done, yet it's the 23rd. I don't know what I want for Christmas and almost want to tell my parents to make a large donation in my name to Monica's Heart, but it's getting to late for much of anything. The Christmas cards still haven't been sent out, but what's the use now? They'll get their afterwards.

The older I get, the more things become less important to my parents. Like decorating the tree becomes a huge hassle. Finding a gift for me and the expense of it becomes a chore. Everything becomes a huge nusance.

Yet, when Christmas Eve rolls around... everything will be in it's proper place and done. That tree will be decorated, those cards will be sent, I'll have a gift, the presents will be wrapped, the food will be cooked, the house will be decorated, the dogs will smell good (and so will I), the Christmas carols will be blasting, and everyone will be happy (even if they have to have a more than 3 shots of rum and eggnog to produce the effect).

Was Christmas always like this, but I just never noticed it because I was younger? Is everything just becoming clear now? Or, have my parents just begun to get older just the same as I have? The Christmas magic is in the air, it's just not been blown into full effect yet.

Christmas will be majorly different in one way this year, Pappy Don won't be here to celebrate it with us. His death not to long ago looms over us all in a constant reminder that we're not all immortal. The wound is still fresh, with a small scab on it that, with a small bump, will be pushed off and reopened. Certain smells, memories, and pictures bump that scab all to often as of late. You can see the pain in my grandmother's eyes at the slightest mention of his name. It's going to be rough, but will make it through. We're all going through this together which makes it a bit better, I suppose. As disfunctional as my family is, we all still find comfort in being together for short periods of time.

I wish I could say this Christmas will be wonderful, uplifting, and great... but if I did, I'd be lying.

-- Heather (, December 23, 2000.

christmas at age nineteen differs incredibly from christmas at 6 years old. christmas at 6 was my last in england, with snow and real christmas trees and carollers and magic and believing and so much happiness it was hard to breathe. cold mornings, presents opened by open fires and snowmen and red cheeks and mittens. christmas eve in bed by 8 and trying desperately to sleep to make the morning come. so much magic. it seems like a different little girl experienced all that. believed all that.

i guess that now i know too much. and money makes me worry (read:panic) and christmas presents are expensive and difficult, and i have to work all day christmas eve and the entire week before that and it almost feels like too much of an effort. but just stopping and thinking the way i have tonight reminds me that christmas is not without its magic this year. i'll go to my best friend's house on christmas eve, and we'll drink champagne (too much, no doubt) with all her extended family. and we'll exchange presents, and wear stupid hats and singlets and laugh and swim in the pool at ten o'clock and we'll feel magic. even if its not the same. and we'll believe in something, even if it isn't the same thing. we'll believe in the fact that we can celebrate, and love and laugh, no matter how old we are. and the choir at church at midnight will still make me shiver, and coming out of the church as christmas day begins will still make me feel a little younger than i am. and even though there's no snow and outside isn't cold, but humid and sticky instead, it doesn't mean it isn't christmas.

christmas morning i may not leap out of bed as soon as the sun surfaces, and when my little brother and sister wake me up at 7 i may moan and groan and want to sleep longer, but i really do love getting out of bed, and sharing presents and laughing and sitting in front of the fan.

christmas lunch on palm beach, 35 degrees celcius in the shade may not be on the front of christmas cards, but it feels wonderful. lying in sand and barbecuing sausages and swimming with cousins. and i won't believe that the world is perfect, and i won't believe that presents are endless and free, but i'll understand now that i am free. and that understanding doesn't have to mean lack of magic, it can mean increase of knowing the wonderful things there are to know.

and i know i sound like a sap, and i know i really shouldn't be this sentimental. but working in retail can really make you detest christmas. and the thing is, it can still be wonderful no matter what's changed, you've just got to find the things that make it that way.

-- rach (, December 21, 2000.

I'm not sure if this is the type of thing you're looking for, but to me it's important. Usually at Christmas my family shops, puts up the tree, plans a party, yah know! The usual. Well this year we did something a little different. This year my Dad met a woman. Let's call her Anne. Well Anne had 4 kids, all under 7, and was living in a house with her abusive boyfriend. One day he threw her and the kids out. Leaving her with basically nothing except for the 9000 dollars she was able to grab, and a few essentials for her and her kids. She was forced to move into a motel for weeks until after being put on low income housing she found a house in the projects. Of course she was forced to move there, it was better than staying in one cramped room in a motel. But the place was very small, it was only two bedrooms and now there were six people living there. Anne, her four kids, and a sort of live in babysitter. The apartment had two twin beds, well matresses thrown on the floor, a tv on a crate and their clothes in bags. One day my Dad was talking to Anne when she admitted that she had nothing for the kids for Christmas. The only toys they were to receive were from Salvation Army, and their Christmas dinner was going to be hotdogs. When I heard this from my father I felt horrible. And even worse, her car had broke down so she had no way to take her kids to school. (The kids went to a school too far away for the buses.) So she had to call school and tell them that the whole family was going away for a week on vacation. Of course as soon as my Mother and I found this out we knew we'd have to do something. I mean you can't just sit back and enjoy this lavish Christmas knowing that people are out there with hardly anything. So my Dad talked to a whole bunch of his friends and we're all joining together and getting them everything. Some people are getting, sheets, pillows those things for the bed, wash clothes and towels, blankets, food, kitchen utensils, and clothes. We bought them $350 worth of clothes. Which may sound like a lot and to them it probably is. But for us it wasn't anything. We bought this warm shirts and jackets, hats, gloves, pajamas, socks, underwear, all of that! Just because they have nothing.

I just feel so happy, and utterly unselfish. I truly feel the Christmas spirit. You know, doing things for others. Giving, and not receiving. And it's wonderful. I'm really happy and proud of myselfs. I can't wait to see the looks on these childs faces when they discover all of this. In no way was my family trying to spoil them, we're only trying to help lift their spirits in such a bad time. Doing this has definitly put me in the Christmas mood so much more than shopping for my family or friends ever would. When you give to someone who actually needs these things, it's so much better, so much more fulfilling. If you're mall, or wherever has one of those big christmas trees with little children/family names on them, and you pick one and buy them some gifts. Do it, please. I don't think anyone realizes how much this means to these people. If you ever see the collectors on the road, asking for anything just for needy families please give them something. Anything, even if it's only a dollar is important. I don't think that many people understand that these families will take whatever they can get. They aren't like us, thinking "no I hate this, I so have to return it." They're pleased because they know if could be so much worse. They could be getting nothing. Well I hope this post made sense to someone, I hope that it shed some light how little things can mean so much.

-- Sarah (, December 21, 2000.

I'm 20 and this is actually becoming more like my first Christmas. Until I was 9 my family and I had a pretty traditional Christmas just like most people. When I was 10 though things changed. My mother who was Catholic found a new religion, a religion where Christmas didnt exist. I skipped Christmas every year along with my sisters until this year when I deviated from the fold. My beliefs and views of life and of religion have been steadily changing for a few years and now that I've moved out everything is more clear to me. So this is my first real Christmas since I can remember. I'm being transformed into a child again. I'm also spending it with my father and enjoying every minute of it! There's nothing like the baking of cookies, the endless hours of finding the perfect presents, the building of a magnificent tree, and of course who can forget the music. This Christmas will remain forever with me as will the ones to come.

-- Matthew (, December 21, 2000.

I've been lacking my typical amount of Christmas spirit this year because of the passing of my mother this past spring. My father and I decided that decorating this year would just be too much of a hassle. I agree to a certain extent especially because no matter if we decorate or not, Christmas is going to be rough this year. Perhaps this isn't the most healthy way to deal with our grief, but I think my father and I both would like the holidays to pass as quickly as possible. So far December has dragged by, which I guess I had to know would happen. I've attempted holiday shopping, but seeing all of the holiday spirit around me including seeing families together drags me down. I suppose I could focus on all the Christmases past spent with my mother.. but another part of me knows that any holiday will never be the same now that she is gone. Hopefully one day I can balance it all out and start new traditions for Christmas.

-- Linda (, December 22, 2000.

There are three Christmas traditions in my family. Dad finding a suitable Christmas tree on the side of the road in the dead of the night, Mum's annual Christmas stress (what on earth am I going to buy your grandmother?), and watching Carols on Christmas Eve (my brother changing all the words). Two out of three are broken. We have a fake tree this year (it's nice, but it doesn't have the pine smell) and Mum bought vouchers for everyone and scratchies for my grandparents. I'm clinging to Carols like a liferaft. If my brother doesn't sing "Torch the school with kerosene" instead of 'Deck the Halls with boughs of holly' Christmas will not be the same. It's the last Christmas before I hit the city of Melbourne solo to start university, and I want it to be the best.

-- Briony (, December 23, 2000.

Christmas in my family always had a somewhat negative stigma attached to it; the tension gets so thick around the holiday season that instead of cherishing each other and growing close, we get so frustrated with ourselves and each other that we end up constantly fighting. Most of the tragedy in my mom's life has always occurred around the holiday season, making her kind of skeptical of the season's "magic". And even aside from that, the fact that she has had to spend the past 20 Christmases without both of her parents tends to make her slightly depressed around the holidays, and throw that fact on top of the fact that she is now terminally ill, and it makes for a pretty rotten time. Although she always hid it well when my sisters and I were younger, now that we're older she feels she doesn't need to be so secretive about things. I don't blame my mom for not feeling the urge to spew forth lots of joy during the holidays, and to be honest I'm not one to be overly psyched about the holiday myself. Money also had a lot to do with our unpleasant Christmas experiences; things have gotten even tighter than usual since my mom got sick and can't work, and I have personally found out this year just how hard it is to make ends meet around the holiday season. One whole paycheck of mine barely bought gifts for two of my friends and my two sisters; and now it's two days before Christmas and I haven't gotten my mother or my boyfriend of ten months a single thing. And the more I think about all of the things that bring me and my family down during the holiday season, the brighter the good stuff shines. I realize that I have so much to be thankful for: The fact that my mom has made it to another Christmas, the fact that--although we may not be able to afford big, elaborate gifts for each other--we are all still fed, clothed, and sheltered, the fact that I have a boyfriend who loves me and doesn't care that I don't have the money to buy him anything yet, the fact that my nephew is completely healthy and happy,... and the list goes on and on and on. I have learned from many Christmases passed that it's okay to be a little down on the holidays, especially considering that ALL people have mixed emotions during this season, but I have to recognize that things could always be a whole lot worse and I have so many more reasons to be thankful than depressed.

-- Sabrina ( <--am i supposed to post my URL here?) (, December 23, 2000.

continuing [sorta] from christmas past ....

this year, we're staying home again. this really depresses everyone I think. like there's no sentiment to anything without being in ohio where the cheers and festivities are. really, I think it's harder on us than them possibly. they at least all get to be together. we're here alone. I had all the opportunities in the world to get there this year I guess but I didn't want to travel. we don't really have the money to spare but grandpa was willing to buy us tickets so I guess there was no excuse besides me and my panic problems.

we're probably just going to pretend it's not xmas and maybe talk to the relatives on the phone like last year. at least last year we had a tree [which I took a picture of with my digicam, but I lost it on the old harddrive so there is no proof even :( ], but this year there is no sign of anything cheery besides the holiday bags from gifts we got in the mail, my holiday mix cd and our stockings hanging on the mantel all lonely.

I guess that's the way things go sometimes though. I'll try not to become too sad since I might seem all of them after xmas sometime.

-- Amber (, December 24, 2000.

I am sitting here, in a computer chair, in an empty house, perched in front of the blue screen of my laptop, on my first Christmas away from home. Phone calls back to Alaska have already been made, my family has gushed and wished me well. Presents have been opened, and are laying in a small pile by the table downstairs. "Goodnight Elizabeth" by the Counting Crows is playing on the radio. I sip on a coke, and reflect over the day.

Overall, a quiet and thoughtful interlude. Nothing too special. Nothing too merry. Nothing quite Christmas-like.

I wish I could go home. Just for a day - just to be able to catch a little of the spirit that I know is being spread there. I just need something to prove that this really is a day I used to cherish.

Merry Christmas.

-- shae (, December 25, 2000.

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