---Alice Abrams

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Christmas

Here's a trip down nostalgia lane. I remember so many wonderful things about being young and anticipating the Christmas season. Here are a few:

1. Number One with a bullet! My mother's cooking. She took gourmet cooking classes and no one could make a "Black Bottom" pie like she did. She always told me to use Swan's Down flour and not to overwork the dough. My pie crusts never turn out like hers.

2. Piling everything in the car to go to my grandmother's house, which was just a few miles away, but there was always the excitement and anticipation of seeing family and - presents!

3. We always had Christmas dinner at our house since it accommodated a lot of people. My mom and dad always decorated the tree together and it was a family affair. When I was very little, they would get me my own little tree and my own ornaments, so I could play with that and not the big one. I also had my own creche and nativity figures to reposition over and over again.

4. Christmas dinner was always a huge event. My mom always did the tablecloth, the "good silver," which included the serving pieces. That was eons ago when young women getting married usually had things like that given to them as wedding gifts. Now, we want I-Pods!

5. One year, during the sixties, my dad inquired at the local Navy base in Long Beach, and we had two young sailors come and spend the day with us. They were far from home and family and my dad was always a very giving man. Of course, I didn't see that side of it. I was in my teens and they were wearing uniforms. Even so, the message has always stayed with me. They stayed in touch with my folks for several years.

6. Again, piling into the car! At one point, we had a '60 Mercury station wagon which was the size of a Mac truck! We would jam as many people as possible into that thing and drive around certain neighborhoods that were known for their amazing displays of dazzling lights. There would always be a traffic jam but everyone was in the holiday spirit and there was never any "road rage."

7. My dad put an artificial Santa on the toilet in the guest bathroom, along with a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It was the hit of the day!

8. My folks bought me a gigantic doll house, which they were assembling Christmas Eve. I happened to wake up and stroll through the room and my mom convinced me I was sleepwalking and got me back in bed before any damage was done.

9. My dad was extremely quiet and reserved, but during the season he would wear one green and one red sock - very out of character for him. I think that's why we got such a kick out of it!

10. My dad would take movie pictures of us. The best part was watching them when my dad played the film backwards. It was so much fun watching my uncle take the mashed potatoes out of his mouth and deposit them back on his plate!

11. After everyone went to bed, I'd sometimes sneak back out of my room and turn the tree lights back on. I could spend hours staring into the twinkling lights. Do you remember the globes that would bubble? They fascinated me! The sights and smells of Christmas - nothing can equal it.

12. I also liked exploring the house before the gifts were wrapped, trying to find the hidden stashes. There were too many places to cover and I only found a dress once. I then discovered that having to act surprised on Christmas morning was too much of an effort.

13. My favorite memory of Christmas is going to church and hearing the familiar songs and the ages-old Christmas story. I truly know it's the Christmas season when I hear Handel's Messiah...
Whatever the Christmas season means to you,
may your holiday be merry and bright!
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Pamela Kramer said...

One red and one green sock! Love it. Great List and Happy TT.

beth said...

Oh I love your list! Happy memories!

Joyismygoal said...

SO nice and CHristmas memories are precious

Natalie said...

Ah...great memories! :)

My Thursday Thirteen is up too! :)

Anonymous said...

We share some of the same timeless memories!

Loving Annie said...

What a wonderful 13 memories you have of the Christams season, Gracie !!!

Jane said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful childhood. I think what your father did (inviting two young navy guys to your home) was an act of true kindness. I am sure those young men never forgot it.
My T13 is up.

Mitchypoo said...

What wonderful memories! Great TT! Made me nostalgic.

Christine said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful holiday memories! It sounds like you've got a lot of them to treasure :D

jennwa said...

You are lucky to have such sweet memories. You definitely reminded me of some of mine. Thanks.

Denise Patrick said...

Wonderful memories. It sounds like such a happy childhood - at least during Christmas.

Happy TT!

Jeff B said...

What a great read. I was fortunate to grow up in a loving home too.

Linda said...

What a great list and great memories! I especially liked where you spoke of your Dad taking in two sailors who were away from home during the holidays. What a kind and generous thing to have done. I can remember being away from home on some Christmases and just being totally alone and miserable. Wish I'd had a nice family to take me in!

Nicholas said...

Some wonderful memories there.

Desert Songbird said...

Wonderful, wonderful memories, Gracie. They brought some great ones for me.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I can't do my mother's pie crust and I so tried. I too tried to find my gifts before they were wrapped. I didn't do very well either. Great Christmas memories Gracie. Hope you had a wonderful TT. :)

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Gracie. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories. I enjoyed reading each one. I think it's great that you grew up in a close-knit family. Holidays are always special when you spend it with the family.

I could just imagine how happy you were when you realized that the doll house was real and not just a dream.

Watching those movie pictures together and reliving happy moments must have been a great bonding experience for the whole family.