Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Meme

This one came from Scarlett, who started this meme herself just for us, and calls it “12 of my favorite things”. Here are her rules:

Please share 12 of your favorite Christmas things: they can be memories, traditions, songs, presents, beliefs, whatever it is about this season that you love.

I'm supposed to send it to 12 people, but I'm just going to open it up to anyone who wants to continue it.

1. The year that Richard had just turned 12 and Julie was a week away from 10, I bought them new bicycles. I put cards on the tree with hints, which led to hints, which led to hints. They followed their hints around the house and finally out to the garage, where they were so busy looking for another hint or a wrapped box that they didn't see the two bikes until I gave them a few verbal hints.
2. For years Christmas dinner was curry. When we returned to California from Fairbanks, we had Christmas with my parents, which was a traditional meal. So, we had curry on Boxing Day (December 26).
3. When Julie moved out and was dating Ted, they went to his parents for Christmas, and Richard and Kathy and I went to visit Julie and Ted for Boxing Day -- and, of course, had curry.
4. One year in Fairbanks, a friend of mine spent Christmas Eve and Christmas with us. The two of us sat up all night listening to music and making snacks and talking. Finally it was so late that I realized that I couldn't stay up till the usual time for opening presents, and if I went to bed right then it would be noon before I was willing to get up again. So, we woke the kids, opened presents, and had breakfast before I went to bed.
5. When the kids were very young and I was going to college, I put them in the stroller Christmas Eve and went out to see if there were any cut price trees. The lot owner helped me pick out the nicest tree that would fit in my apartment and then wouldn't let me pay for it.
6. When the kids were younger than that, I used to hold Christmas on December 27 so I could get them presents on the 26th -- they were too young to know the difference and I could get them much better presents at the after Christmas sales.
7. When I was about 14 Daddy had a pair of diamond and ruby ear rings made and froze them in an ice cube. Then, before we started opening presents, he brought a glass of orange juice with that ice cube in it to my mother. She had to be told to look in her glass, since she was paying attention to us kids open our presents.
8. For my 12th Christmas I received a wood burning kit and a paint-by-numbers kit, which was a good thing because that day I broke my ankle with the skates I'd received. Daddy was home with scarlatina, and so the two of us wiled away the hours of our convalescence painting and burning wood together. Since I couldn't go out, I couldn't get home late, and since I couldn't do chores, I couldn't get in trouble for that, either. It was probably the best time Daddy and I ever spent under the same roof.
9. I used to love going to midnight mass on Christmas Eve, even after I became an atheist. But then the Catholic Church stopped doing Latin mass, and I never bothered to go back. There was something about the Latin, the singing, the incense -- it really made me feel connected to the time in my childhood when I went to Catholic boarding school and began every morning with mass.
10. These days, Mama and Aunt Flo are living on fixed incomes and helping my niece Kristie out more than they should, so they tend to skimp on their own nutrition. Julie, Ted, Richard, Kathy, and I get together and send them a box of steaks. They enjoy them for months.
11. The year that Mama was engaged to Daddy and Aunt Flo was engaged to Uncle Wes, when I was nine, unknown to each other, the two men bought Mama and Aunt Flo the same satin lounging set -- one was red and one was blue.
12. Before my father died, we would always travel from where ever in California we were living that year to Modesto, where my parents had grown up. We would stay with my father's mother, and spend part of Christmas day with her and part with my mother's parents. I was the only child in the family at the time, and most of the presents under the trees at both houses were for me. I was the center of attention and I loved it.

Twelve Days of Christmas Tree © Peter Y. Chou,


J at said...

I remember looking all over the garage, and not seeing the bikes. How clueless could two kids be? ;)

I remember having crab on boxing day in the city. Did we have curry once, too?

I also remember the year you woke us up for gifts. :) I think that's why so many Catholics open gifts on Christmas Eve...they stay up for Mass, and so they can sleep in without the kids going insane.

Maya's Granny said...

I had forgotten the crab. Yum. Maybe we didn't have curry in San Francisco on Boxing Day.

Uncivil said...

Your Dad putting those ear rings in the ice cube was genious!

Weeweechu a Merry Christmas