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Try to remember December 12, 2014

Posted by karinshah in Uncategorized.
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In memory of Sky and Banner, our basenjis who await us in heaven. If they're not there, I'm not going!

In memory of Sky and Banner, our basenjis who await us in heaven.
If they’re not there, I’m not going!

Christmas isn’t like it used to be, for one, both my kids have birthdays on either side of the holiday. I’m responsible for all the trials and tribulations of buying presents and everything associated with spending the holiday at my parents’ house in NYS. (Including the worry of travelling through Erie and Buffalo on the way!)

But I still love Christmas. I love the lights, the food, the festive music, and even the cold (Sorry, Aussies. No matter what you tell yourself, Christmas isn’t the same without snow. 😉 )

Today I got thinking about my childhood and some of the things I loved best back then (besides waking up on Christmas morning to a family room over-flowing with presents.).

I loved the old black and white movie THE MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS. When I was little it was played right around Thanksgiving and signaled the start of the season. We had a channel called PIX back then, that came from NYC (despite the fact we were 5 hours’ drive from NYC). Every Christmas, PIX would have kids call in and play this game, where they had to say PIX when it appeared on the screen and then they would win something. I couldn’t take part being too far away, but the idea of calling in and winning something made me watch these kids say “PIX, PIX, PIX” as if my life depended on it.

My favorite holiday song was, “Do You Hear What I hear?.”

My favorite activity was making (and eating) cut-out cookies. We had all the colors and would try to make the angels, and Santas, boots, and reindeer look like their namesakes. (Now, I confess, I just frost everything white and put colored sprinkles on them.)

There was bad stuff, too. Our church had real evergreen boughs that almost always triggered a horrible asthma attack in me. No one ever knew what to get me for Christmas because I always asked for the same thing—a dog. (See horrible asthma attacks above) There were occasional fights, etc, but when I look back, it’s the good stuff I remember.

How about you? What were your favorite childhood Christmas activities, memories, songs, gifts? (Aussies, you can even mention the sand in your teeth. I was just kidding about the snow thing.)

Of course, being grown up does have its perks. I finally got that dog (or four. Though not all at the same time)

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Karin

 

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Comments»

1. Caroline Warfield - December 12, 2014

As an only child I frequently felt like the person in the spotlight under some pressure to LOVE what I got, and of course I usually did. I particularly remember the year I got Mouse ears (the first year of the original Micky Mouse Club) and pink peddle pushers what we might now called capris. They were velvet believe it or not.

karinshah - December 12, 2014

I loved the old Mickey Mouse club. I still get an excited little quiver in my stomach if I see clips. 🙂

2. Susan James Berger - December 12, 2014

Wow. You brought back a lot of memories. My first ten christmas’s were spent in Buffalo, NY. I remember the newscasters talking bout Santa being spotted on the radar. I was so excited! I remember lying in bed on Christmas Eve, staring up at my neighbor’s snow covered peaked roof, hoping to see Santa land.

karinshah - December 12, 2014

Where were you in Bufffalo? My sister is in Clarence and teaches in Williamsville.:-)

3. caroleannmoleti - December 12, 2014

Such a bittersweet post. Christmas was a big extended family affair when I was young. It started a week or two in advance with cooking and baking together with my mom, aunts and grandmothers. Butter cookies, homemade ravioli, gingerbread, strufuli…. We each had a role–putting on the sprinkles, decorating the gingerbread, rolling and cutting strufuli dough, using and old fashioned key to seal the cheese into dough pillows for ravioli.

Aunt Barbara always had Christmas Eve, and we sang carols and ate, and ate, and ate. My dad made breakfast for the extended family on Christmas morning and we opened presents all together. It looked like a toy factory! Then we’d go to Aunt Lana’s or Ooomie’s house for Christmas dinner.

My grandparents are all gone, aunts estranged, and my dad died in 2011. Mom is a shell now that she’s lost her compass though my sisters and I try to carry on–for the sake of our kids who remember their great grandparents and their beloved Be Pa. We cook a fraction of the traditional dishes. Yes there are many ghosts of Christmas past in my life.

But there are also the ghosts of Christmas present, happy spirits who swirl around Christmas Eve when we host my husband’s Christmas Eve birthday party. Jewish friends, assorted college buddies of my kids far from home, whomever happens to be around come to my house for Christmas cheer.

Not sure what Christmas Future will bring, but I try to look ahead as I page through old photo albums.

karinshah - December 14, 2014

Oh, CaroleAnn! Your Christmas past sounds yummy! Hope today’s will be full of family and friends!
Merry Christmas!

4. Shari Heinrich - January 6, 2015

Besides my facebook post, a fond memory is a shared event with my mom, my sister, and me: decorating our rec room in the basement for the New Year’s Day party my mom hosted (Aunt Fran always hosted Christmas; Aunt Tootsie, Easter; Uncle Barney, Thanksgiving; and mom NYD). Up would go the silver tinsel in swags around all the walls. Then up would go the original glass ornaments, the smaller-scale ones–were they from the 50s? 60s? I still have a few of them that Mom has shared with us kids. We’d hang one from every other swag of the tinsel, if memory serves. As the last steps, we’d dust, set up coasters, uncover the pool table, vacuum the tinsel droppings. However long the decorating and cleaning took us, we’d be listening to old Christmas songs on the 8-track tape. I also share “Do You Hear What I Hear” as one of those favorites. Now, the names of the songs and the singers are a whisper in my memory. But if that tape played, I’d probably be able to sing along with all of them, and I’d be 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18… years old, down in the basement, decorating it for New Years Day with my mom and my sister.


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