Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Memories

DH and I did our weekly shopping at Wally World yesterday. As we were wandering through the 'seasonal items'/'toilet paper' aisle (weird combo, I know), I noticed that there sure is a lot of 'stuff' out there for parents to put in their kids stockings. There was almost as much candy as at Easter or Halloween! Then there were the little games, toys, and other treats for the little monsters. And here I thought it was just the excitement of tearing into paper and boxes that made kids hyper on Christmas. No, it's all the junk they find in their stockings!

At the risk of turning into one of those old people that are continually reminiscing about how things were when they were young, I thought I'd share a bit about how things were when I was young! Keep in mind that it was the late 60's or early 70's that comprise most of my childhood memories. But maybe that will be entertaining for some of you younger whippersnappers. (where are my dentures, anyway?)

My parents formative years were also the depression years. My dad's family lived in rural Arkansas, and he was (I think) the oldest boy of a total of 9 children. So their family didn't have a whole lot of money to begin with. You can imagine, then, that I grew up under folks who didn't have much when they were children, and so weren't the type to squander money or spoil their children!

In our Christmas stocking each year, we'd find an orange, maybe an apple, some nuts, and maybe a candy cane. Once I think I remember receiving some McDonald's gift certificates, which were amazing. I don't remember ever going to McDonald's or other fast food places as a child. It seems like there must have been other stuff in our stockings, but for the life of me, I can't remember what. Socks, maybe?
I guess you would describe my parents as people who gave gifts of things you needed; not necessarily things you wanted. This is not to say that we didn't get some fun things, but our Christmases were not about toys or the newest fads that came along.

One thing we ALWAYS got for Christmas was a new pair of pajamas, and usually a new pair of slippers as well. There were things like underwear, a sweater, and maybe a dress for us girls. We did get some games: Tinker Toys, Yahtzee, Monopoly, and Life to name a few. (The Tinker Toys were actually made of wood back then, and Monopoly had metal game pieces) As I got older, books were always towards the top of my Christmas list. I remember we were always warned that just because we put it on our list didn't mean we were going to get it! Mom was always VERY practical! Someone in my family, though, has a picture of my sister and I in front of a Christmas tree. One of us is holding a gun and another a stuffed skunk, if I remember right. I still find it hard to believe that one of us (had to have been one of my brothers) had been given a gun of some sort. Mom was very non-violent and was very much the type to say things about not pointing things at other people because "you could put someone's eye out"!

Christmas was a pretty exciting holiday; probably for all kids. Once, I must have been told by my parents that we weren't to get up too early; I remember going into my brother's room, waking one of them up and asking if it was time to go downstairs yet! We used to go to my grandparent's house to pick them up for church every Sunday. I remember one year I was sure I saw reindeer prints on their roof. They were probably more likely just bird prints, but I was SURE that this proved Santa Claus was real and had been to their house!

As we grow older Christmas changes, of course. DH put up our Christmas tree this year for the first time since we moved here six years ago. Don't know why we haven't bothered till now. Probably because I often have to work Christmas, and we don't make a big deal about gifts. It's kind of hard to buy a surprise gift for DH when he looks at the bank account on line every day, you know? We'll be going to my inlaws house this Christmas. They always put on a spread of waaay to much food for just the four of us! But then we get leftovers, too...bwahahaha!

In any case, I hope you've enjoyed my little entry about my Christmas memories. Tell me some of yours!

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