I hope everyone who celebrated this amazing day had a special time with family and/or friends. And found wonderful and surprising goodies under the tree and that everyone stayed warm and safe.
On the seventh day of Christmas I’m taking a trip down memory lane. A peek into the past. Christmas for me was acts of tradition that seriously haven’t taken place since 1987. I’ve had a lot of influences the past few weeks for reminiscing and getting completely nostalgic. I’d like to share a typical Christmas Day with you from my childhood.
I would wake up at 5:00 am on the dot every Christmas morning. My parents still asleep until 6:45 am and I was not allowed to touch anything under the tree. But I was allowed to take my stocking down off the wall and bring it to my room and occupy myself until I heard Mom in the kitchen rattling pots and pans.
My stocking was always overstuffed with an apple, orange, box of Life Savors, fruit flavored lip gloss and then there were random things that were always different each year. This particular year Santa filled my stocking with an assortment of colored pens, erasers, pencils, Hershey Kisses, and last but not least a heart locket, empty of pictures of course.
I occupied myself with putting my locket on. Proceeded to try on the different flavors of lip gloss. Mind you when I was finished my lips were so shiny Santa could have found my house in a blizzard had I been wearing the stuff and shining a light on my face while standing on the roof. A burst of fruit bowl on my face. Then the pencils and colored pens caught my attention. I sat for almost forty-five minutes writing, drawing random flowers and coloring them in. At which point I heard the gurgle of the coffee maker and only smelling the aroma of cherry mixed with grape and strawberry. I tiptoed to my door and looked down the hall. Mom was standing at the counter with two coffee cups in her hand.
I stuffed everything back into the stocking and ran out to the living room cradling the stocking and contents like it was a treasure I was afraid of dropping. I sat on the floor under the tree and patiently waited. And waited. And waited.
My dad finally came out of the bathroom with his coffee in hand and sat down in his chair. Mom had busied herself with getting breakfast ready and sat down on the couch.
“Okay Jeannie.” Dad would say as he did every year. I noticed as I turned to grab the nearest gift that Santa not only drank the milk, ate the cookies but also had a Highball (Jack Daniels & Coke on Ice) before he jumped back on the sleigh. I was a bit miffed that Santa would drink while on the route to delivering presents. I shook my head and told myself to ask my dad later and send a note to Santa telling him not to drink and drive his sleigh. What would happen if he got drunk and forgot what he was supposed to be doing? Or had a sleigh accident?
First present was for my dad. Tools of course. As was all but the presents I got him which every year were socks, underwear, a new wallet and a couple of workshirts. Funny I don’t remember the workshirts being in our cart when Mom and I went shopping for Dad. Strange.
Second present was for Mom. New pots and pans. The rest of her gifts were random things for the house that more than likely my dad would use for cooking, or taking apart when he realized mom didn’t vacuum (yes she got a new vacuum this particular year), and he needed parts from it to use for a project he was working on later during the new year.
Third present was for me. Crayons. I searched the pile for the coloring books. The two things Santa brought me every year. The usual school outfit or two, slippers, a new nightgown, a baby doll, and a large box in the back against the wall happened to be the one item I had begged Santa for. Heidi the walking doll! I spent the entire day playing with her trying to make her walk.
We hadn’t had a grand Christmas this particular year. Money was a bit tight but that one item. The walking doll was what made my Christmas. Well not really. What made it was our breakfast.
We cleaned up the wrapping paper into a giant black garbage back, stacked our presents on the couch and went to the kitchen. We ate Omelettes, toast, bacon, homefries, and while my parents had coffee I had chocolate milk.
After breakfast I sat in the living room coloring with my walking doll sitting next to me. When bored and noticed that it was snowing I ran to put on my snowsuit, boots, scarf and mittens and opened the door. Our black lab Hawkeye came running and he and I spent the entire day making paths in four feet of snow, sledding (He’d pull me up the hill, I would put him in front of me in the sled to slide down the hill. Finally cold, legs sore and wanting to curl up in front of the wood stove while my mom cooked dinner, we headed back for the house.
Our dinner a couple of hours later was a feast. Garden Salad, Turkey, Stuffing (homemade), Squash, Potatoes, Green Beans, and half a dozen other vegetables, sweet potatoes too! There was always the ever present and much desired cranberry sauce, and my dad sitting at the table with my mom’s Cocketeils on his shoulder.
We would eat and after my dad would go to his chair and watch television while my mom and I cleaned up and did dishes.
I would go to my room and play while mom stuck the pie in the oven and curl up on the couch. With my dad napping, mom cutting the pie, I would curl up on the floor with a blanket, pillow, coloring books, and crayons waiting for my portion of the homemade apple pie with a slice of zucchini bread and butter on the side. Then Mom would pass out on the couch, dad still in his chair and I’d fall asleep with a crayon in my hand. A short nap. I’d be woken up by the dog. He wanted out and I wanted to be outside in the snow until dark started to fall. Mom would be crocheting, and Dad in his office working on his radio equipment.
Hawkeye and I would run and play in the snow until too tired to move, come trudging in the house to find I had a cup of hot cocoa on the table waiting for me. Then we would be off to bed. I would sleep this night with all my Christmas gifts on my bed, the dog at the side of my bed and the sound of snow falling on our aluminum covered roof.