Ed and I just celebrated our forty-second Christmas as husband and wife. On Christmas Day, we both agreed, we feel that we’ve never had a truly ‘bad’ Christmas during all those years. What a blessing! Today, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Christmas memories from the past forty-two years, and linking them up over at Retired-not-Tired. After all, it’s Memory Monday! I’ll be back, later in the week, with some highlights of the Christmas of 2014, but for now, let’s step back in time–way back to the 70’s!
Of course, spending mine and Ed’s first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. was awesome, but celebrating the first Christmas with our new baby daughter was even better! I bought enough toys for ten children, even though our daughter, Brandy, wasn’t even quite three months old on her first Christmas! I guess you can safely say that I spoiled her.
Then there was the following Christmas, when I ended up putting up three different trees, over a four-week period–all in the same room! We put up our first live tree, then discovered–the hard way–that a Buck Stove (wood burning heater) can quickly kill a live Christmas tree! By the time we needed that third, and final tree, all of the pretty trees had already been cut. Our tree cutting experience reminds me of a scene out of the movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The tree we ended up with was bigger than our car, and would barely fit through the door of our house!
The year our daughter woke up and walked into the living room, while we were busy assembling ‘Santa’s Gifts’, was another memorable time. I almost had a heart attack, right then and there! Fortunately, Brandy was still very young, and was half asleep, too, so she didn’t realize what was happening. Crisis averted, when I quickly herded her back to bed!
Another memorable Christmas involved a Barbie Dream House with about a million tiny pieces, each requiring a tiny sticker to be applied to each tiny piece. That “Dream House” ended up being one of Ed’s biggest nightmares! He stayed up almost all night Christmas Eve, working on it. That was also the Christmas that I was pregnant with our oldest son, and the Christmas my parents decided to spend the night with us, so they could watch our daughter find her gifts from Santa. There was a lot going on that year!
Then there was that Christmas when the children asked for a trampoline. It’s always tricky trying to assemble a trampoline, in the dark, late at night! Enter one ‘tipsy’ brother-in-law, who showed up to help assemble the trampoline, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Things went pretty good until the ‘tipsy’ brother-in-law decided to try out the finished trampoline, and hit himself in the nose with his knee! He went home with a bloody nose, and never even got into a fight! That trampoline provided even more free entertainment, the following day, when my mama decided to jump on it, too! Fun times.
For many years, our family would spend Christmas Eve with Ed’s family, then come home, put the children to bed, and spend the rest of the night putting toys together and arranging things around the Christmas tree. As a result, Ed and I got very little sleep on Christmas Eve. Because of this, we always had a rule that the children couldn’t get up before sunrise, on Christmas Day. I suspect, sometimes, the children often got out of bed before sunrise to sneak a peek, then crawled back into their beds to wait for daybreak. My suspicions were confirmed, one Christmas, when I heard My Pal 2, the talking robot, go off in the middle of the night! The children didn’t know that My Pal 2 was motion activated, so imagine their surprise when the toy suddenly began talking, in the silence of the night!
Other favorite memories include the one and only year it snowed just before Christmas (1989), making travel treacherous, here in the south, but making things so much fun for the kids. That same Christmas Day, Ed had to drive 55 miles, in the snow, to pick up his brother from the airport–the same brother who banged his nose while jumping on the trampoline! While Ed was at the airport, he bought me a copy of Time magazine. I’d been searching for that particular copy of Time, with Tom Cruise featured on the cover, but had failed to find it. I was thrilled when Ed presented me with the magazine, and it was my favorite Christmas gift, that year!
Last, but not least are all of the fun memories our family has had over the years with a huge pair of “Christmas Panties”! Way back in the 80’s, my late father-in-law found a huge pair of pink ladies underwear in a dumpster, and brought them home to his wife as a joke. Thus, the saga of the “Christmas Panties” was born! Since then, every year, the gigantic pair of panties gets passed around to a different family member–either a man or a woman. The recipient must keep the panties for an entire year, write a note to the next recipient, then pass the panties on, the following year. Every note written, since the mid-eighties, is still attached to the top of the gift box! Some of those notes are hilarious!
The years passed too quickly, and all-too-soon, our children grew up and ‘Santa’ no longer came to our house. Our parents began passing away, one by one. For many years, Christmas came and went, without the magic of ‘Santa’ in our house. Our house was filled with teenagers and adults. As you can imagine, I was thrilled when some grandchildren finally began arriving, so we could experience the magic of ‘Santa’, once again! Throw in the antics of “Buddy”, our granddaughter’s elf on the shelf, and we’re having lots of fun, again, watching new memories being made with our next generation! The magic of Santa lives on…
A couple of years ago, I compiled a lot of our old Christmas pictures and made a Christmas memory montage. It’s at the bottom of this post. The pictures are in chronological order, beginning with mine and Ed’s first Christmases with our families, Christmases with our children, and ending with our oldest two grandchildren, at Christmas. There’s Brandy with all of her toys on that first Christmas, Ed putting toys together, the trampoline that provided so much entertainment, the Christmas snow, and, yes, even some pictures of those pink Christmas panties! Oh, how I do love a good Christmas memory!