What??! Don’t tell me you never over-sampled the holiday beverages *hic ‘scuse me* … anyway let’s see what Lauren (our wonderful Hostess) and her co-conspirator elf, Maggie have for us on this Christmas Eve!
The Question: Memories of being Naughty and Nice as a kid
As has been mentioned more times than is seemly (in my opinion, anyway); I spent half my childhood (roughly) with people who could have taught Scrooge and Grinch something about being most UN-Christmassy. So I have only a few examples (lucky you, if someone is reading today, you get a short one today!)
I don’t remember my tiny tot years very well, but one memory is that my ‘baby’ brother and I (he’s 16 months younger than I am) got up at some unGodly hour (like 2:30 a.m.) and spying what Santa had left us, unwrapped every one of our gifts. I expected that Santa would come back and remedy the evidence of our naughty behavior, but nope. My first ‘spoiled surprise’ Christmas. Ma wasn’t amused and I think both of us were lucky to get any gifts at all. I was probably three.
After we all came home from the place that shall not be named for fear of spoiling THIS Christmas – one year I was very very bratty. We had a small puppy and the dog got one of my precious toy horses and chewed it up. I was disconsolate, despite it being Christmas and all, and kept whining about the horse throughout December. Despite warnings of “be careful what you wish for” and “Santa is watching you, quit being a brat”. Christmas morning dawned and there ensconced in solitary splendor was a solitary plastic horse. My brothers had a virtual cornucopia of gifts, and were happily diving in. I tried not to cry, but one little tear down the cheek and my soft-hearted father got the rest of my gifts (of which there were many), but said again “Be careful what you wish for! If you GET it, you might not like it so much.” I’ve never forgotten that either. Karma anyone?
Another year when I was a tweenager, things were fairly stressful at our house, my mother was in the hospital over Christmas having yet another hip replacement (on the same hip yet). She had, I think, four total hip replacements on that leg over her life. Having undergone the surgery myself, it’s not something anyone wants to do ONCE, let alone four times. Anyway no Ma in the house for Christmas morning. I had been a bit autocratic with my younger siblings and was bossing them around, given that I was the oldest kid and responsible for them while Ma was in absentia.
I don’t know where he found it, but on Christmas morning I got a big lump of coal plus a couple of other small things. See? said my father, Santa DOES know if you’re being naughty..” (I was 12 or 13 and past belief in the old elf). Anyway the ‘coal’ was a big lump of rock licorice, a favorite candy of mine. It came with a tiny hammer and pick, so one could smash the rock and get a sample of the candy. It took me a good six months to finish that too.
My mother told a story every year at Christmas about when she and Pops were first married. I was maybe two and my ‘baby’ brother was a babe in arms still. In those days (and these too probably) the frugal or limited in funds parent bought things on ‘lay away’ so they could spread the cost over several months. That way they could buy things they couldn’t otherwise have afforded all at once.
My parents had gone to a local guy who was a carpenter/furniture maker of sorts and had him build a tiny table with two wee chairs for me. The idea was that I could have tea parties I guess. My parents had paid the guy a bit every month with the last payment to come in December. I don’t know what the circumstances were, but on Christmas Eve Pops went to give the guy his last payment and found that the guy had sold the little table set. He claimed not to know if my parents were actually going to finish paying or not, and he had an opportunity to sell it, for more, to some other people.
Apparently that was my ‘main’ Christmas gift. I think I got a doll or a stuffed toy too (I guess, I don’t remember). My mother was distraught because it was too late to find something else and everything had closed early for the holiday anyway. Late on Christmas Eve, my parents got a knock on the door and opening it found a big basket full of stuff, not only packages but food and fruit and a small ham.
In the packages were hand made p.j.s for my brother and a flannel nightgown for me. Some small toys were also wrapped up. Ma always said that was the BEST Christmas we ever had. Seasoned with good will and kindness from strangers (nobody stepped up to claim the credit, although Ma said she knew because of the clothes. There was one neighbor/friend of my parents who sewed like a dream).
So that’s enough for a not snowing yet, but threatening to December 24th a good 50 years later. This year I have the gift of solitude (how did they ever know what I really really wanted?? 😉 ) and a good dinner at a friend’s house with a jigsaw to put together in the morning with this same friend. Ziggy is included. It’ll be a good day tomorrow.
🍾🍷..🎄🤶🏻🎅🏻🐶🕊 MERRY CHRISTMAS, FELIZ NAVIDAD, MELE KALIKIMAKA, NOLLAIG CHRIDHEIL,
圣诞节快乐(Shèngdàn jié kuàilè), क्रिसमस की बधाई (krisamas kee badhaee), לעבעדיק ניטל (lebedik nitl)
from me to you. 🦌😇⛄🕊⛪