Monday, December 19, 2011

More Random Christmas Memories

My siblings and I used to put on a Christmas pageant for our parents. I was always Mary, my brother, Joel, was Joseph, my brother, Brandon, was usually a shepherd, and my baby sister, Emily, was Baby Jesus. We wore robes and tied bath towels on our heads. The manger was our red vinyl beanbag chair. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.

Here are the four of us on one little sled: Me, Joel, Brandon and Emily

My dad always used his pocket knife to unwrap his gifts, and offered it to anyone who had trouble with ribbon on a gift or tape on a box. Nothing says “Christmas” like a small, sharp knife.

Santa Claus always put fresh oranges, pears and apples in our stockings, along with nuts still in their shells. Inevitably, our stockings were full of a rotting, gooey fruit and nut science experiment about the middle of January.

My mom would usually put away one gift for each of us until New Year’s. I grew up thinking that everyone got a gift on New Year’s.

My dad would take us caroling around the neighborhood, and then make his famous hot cocoa for us when we got home.

Dad pulling me on a sled in the back yard ~ 1973

We children usually all slept in my room on Christmas Eve. A couple kids in the bed and a couple in sleeping bags on the floor. Lots of giggling! Chidren's anticipation of Christmas morning so thick you could cut it with a knife (maybe my dad’s pocket knife). I don’t know how late we usually stayed awake, but I do remember how difficult it was to go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Our family always had Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve evening, and cold turkey sandwiches on rolls on Christmas Day.

Watching all the Bass/Rankin stop motion Christmas specials on television… and the cartoons (How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol…). This was back before people had VCR’s in their homes, or cable television for that matter. We waited all YEAR to see these specials, and if we missed a special, we MISSED it until the next year.

My mom’s side of the family always had a Christmas party in December. Everyone brought pot luck to eat. We all SANG carols together, while someone in the family accompanied on the piano. We drew names each year for who we would give a gift to the next year. Santa Claus almost always showed up to these parties. No one sings at family Christmas parties anymore. Maybe that’s a tradition I can start with my kids and my siblings (hint, hint).

Ice skating at the Provo Boat Harbor.

Sledding down the hill (road) in front of our house.

Tubing by the beaver farm across the street from our house or Japs Hill. (Sorry, I know that’s politically incorrect, but that’s what that hill has been called since my dad was a little kid in the 1940’s.)

Building snowmen with my dad in the back yard and not thinking anything of the fact that he NEVER wore gloves.

Joel, Frosty and Me ~ 1977

And Christmas music... so much Christmas music! Jim Reeves, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, Burl Ives, and on and on, and it was playing in our house beginning November 1. I know this is where I got my love for Christmas music.

Dad (without gloves OR jacket) building a snowman with Joel and Brandon ~ 1979


Suz said...

Love it!

Japs Hill- My mom said a Japanese family lived there.

Merry Christmas

Luvs ya

Lyn said...

That's what my dad told me too... as to why it was named "Japs Hill". Apparently there was no such thing as "politically correct" back in the day.

Thanks for the comments!

Love ya too!