In addition to Java at Friday Follow, I’m joining Linda for Flashback Friday today. Today’s topic is Christmas presents of the past. I’ve decided to write about Christmas with my children while they were growing up, instead of my own Christmases as a child. Those years hold the most special memories to me–and I can remember them more vividly than my own childhood Christmases. Precious memories, indeed!
Joy on Christmas morning...
For many years, we celebrated Christmas Eve with my husband’s parents, and we always opened gifts with them on Christmas Eve. After a busy evening of food and fun at the in-laws house, we would come home, put the children to bed, then get busy preparing for the arrival of Santa. Most of the time it would be one or two in the morning before we finished getting everything put together, and displayed under the tree. Finally, we’d fall into bed, exhausted, only to have our little ones wake us up a couple of hours later–to see what Santa had brought!
We always stressed to the children that they were not to get out of bed to see what Santa brought until it was daylight outside! This rule was made to insure that we didn’t get caught doing Santa’s work! Once, when our daughter was still pretty young, we looked up from our Santa work to see her standing in the dining room! Fortunately, she was still half asleep, and I hustled her back to bed before she realized what we were doing. After that incident, we made the rule about not getting up!
Does she look like a candy theif to you...?
One year, when the children were older–and not so obedient–they got up before daylight. It so happened that Santa had left them a “My Pal 2” talking robot for Christmas. I’d just gotten into bed–about 5 a.m., when I heard that robot start talking! When the children touched the robot, he began talking–and he wouldn’t stop! Busted by a talking robot! Needless to say, they hightailed it back to bed in a hurry–before they got into trouble! We still have that robot, and we still laugh about that Christmas morning when they got busted.
We wrapped some of the gifts for the children, but most of their gifts were left unwrapped. I always put name tags on their gifts, even if they were unwrapped–to make sure they knew what belonged to whom. I remember disguising my handwriting so the children wouldn’t recognize it, and I always used special wrapping paper on the gifts from Santa. (My daughter does the same thing with her daughter now.)
Not too long ago, my daughter asked me where I used to keep their gifts hidden until Christmas. I told her I just kept them in boxes in the “junk room”. There were so many boxes of junk stored in that room that nobody thought about any Christmas gifts being hidden in there. I’m famous for my over-flowing junk room…and it came in handy!
One of our Christmas traditions when the children were small, was to take them to the dollar store at the mall, give them a little bit of money, and let them do their own shopping for us and their siblings. They seemed to enjoy making their own choices, and we got some interesting gifts in those days! Later, the elementary school began sponsoring Santa’s Secret Shop, and the children would take money to school and do their Christmas shopping there. I still have a red ceramic cardinal, and a small gold ceramic nativity set that our youngest son, Brad, picked out and bought for me.
We always had stockings, but we never had a fireplace! We had a free-standing Buckstove in the corner of the living room. Every year I hung lighted garland around the corner, behind the Buckstove, then hung our stockings under it. I always enjoyed filling the stockings, and I think the children enjoyed their content–usually candy! I still have their stockings, I just can’t part with them.
I’m going to end this post with a funny story about my daughter and our Christmas tree. I’ve used pretend candy for the garland on our Christmas tree for over 30 years. I have all kinds of candy garland– lifesavers, gumballs, gumdrops, and fruit slices. I even have fake popcorn, too!
showing a portion of our tree with candy garland
The first candy garland I bought was some plastic candy on a string that looked just like real hard candies that had been strung. The plastic candy had cellophane wrappers on it, exactly like the real thing, and it had large balls that resembled peppermint balls, strung in between the covered candy. (You can see it near the top of the tree in the photo above. )
Over time, I began to notice some of the wrappers were missing, and I wondered what happened to them. Years later, my daughter confessed to unwrapping some of the pretend candy–and trying to eat it! I still have that candy garland, and occasionally I still use it on my tree. Whenever I use it, I laugh while envisioning my little girl trying to sneak a piece of Christmas candy off the Christmas tree! I’ll bet she was disappointed!
Thanks for taking time to stop by today, during this busy time of the year. I look forward to your visits, and enjoy your commets more than you’ll ever know! Have a great weekend, everyone!