Monday, 12 December 2016

Share One Memory

A rather jaunty Winnie this morning

What's your most vivid Christmas memory?

It may be sad........hopefully it isn't
It may be happy ( I hope it is!)
It may be just powerful, arbitrary, goofy, bizarre or just plain banal.
Whatever it is, I'd be interested in hearing it..........today, all warm in my shit Christmas jumper, I shall be shopping ( on line), Christmas card writing, gift wrapping and , if I have time sorting out miniature hampers for Greta and sister Janet who will be baby sitting Winnie and George respectively over the Yuletide.....after another early night, I am beginning to feel a tiny bit more human.

In bed this morning, when I was dragging myself out of that paralyzing moment between waking and actual movement I mused about a whole collection of Christmas memories

- a dreadful, lonely Christmas day in Sheffield when my car broke down leaving me home with a pork pie for lunch!
- a wonderfully funny post Christmas dinner family variety show, with everyone performing an act
- unintentionally getting a group of psychiatric patients rather drunk after plying them with Sherry that I was told was non alcoholic ( and getting bollocked by a stern nursing officer in the process)

My final choice was a fleeting moment of just a few seconds, experienced on a Christmas morning many moons ago.
The Prof ( who had hair then) and I ( who had a waist) had swapped gifts in front of the fire. In that post gift frenzy we retired onto the couch under the dining room window and had a hug where we were immediately joined by our first Welsh terrier Finlay, Scottie Maddie and an old cat called Joan.
It was a strange moment, for without anything needed to be said, it suddenly felt like " home"
- an all encompassing  feeling of being " home"
A pile of dogs, homos and cat on a couch!

That is my Christmas memory!
What's  yours?


139 comments:

  1. Kpork pie? Sounds special.

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    1. A pile of dogs, cats and homos on a couch would be my most memorable Christmas too. It's yet to happen.

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    2. You havent lived!
      Mind you any self respecting homo couldnt cope with your boney knees

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    3. Yes - I used to suffer dreadfully from carpet-burns.

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  2. My fondest memory of Christmas is playing Escalado, a horse racing game. My old Grandad, the old kind who smoked a clay pipe and wore a waistcoat, used to cheat all of the time but I remember the laughs we had back then.
    The worst memory was receiving a leather satchel for Christmas, I've never forgotten my dissappointment at that present,
    Love Winnie's photo.
    Briony
    x
    x

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    1. Escalado..is that the one with metal horses and jockeys?

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    2. Yes, I think the old horses were lead but probably not now. Not even sure if you can still buy the game, there was a handle that was turned and it shook the course thus moving the horses along, Great fun

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  3. Early 1950s and I woke on Christmas morning to find a pillow case stuffed with pressies at the foot of the bed, but I was heartbroken. No sign of a much wished for a hula hoop. The day was saved when I found my much wanted pink hoop tucked behind the bed head, all wrapped up. Pure joy..... I also had a sewing set which I loved, not for the sewing things but the little cardboard chest of drawers complete with tassle drawer openers. Simple much loved gifts. Happy Christmas to you and the prof and big kisses for the gorgeous four legged family members. X

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    1. Would a child of today get all moist over a plastic hoop?

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  4. Going outside after Christmas dinner and finding deep snow. It had snowed non stop for three hours

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  5. At age 5, staring out the dining room window, watching huge flakes of snow falling against the night sky. Suddenly, I was convinced I saw Santa in his sleigh zoom over our neighborhood!

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  6. I was seven...We had a beautiful real tree. Lots of toys mothers homemade candy and a big ham. We rode the sled in the snow. Many many years ago.

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    1. Someone made that special for you

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  7. Old grump says the best Christmas was last year when I worked and could ignore the whole business. I was told this year I must apply for leave and I have and so will be hard at work standing around watching my partner serve Christmas dinner to the family freeloaders. We used to always take a good ham to our Christmas hosts. No one does that for us. The 'rich' uncles will pay.

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  8. We used to celebrate Christmas at my grandmother's in Maryland, which involved a 2-day drive from our home in Florida. We used to set up her little artificial tree, about two feet high, and have a very modest holiday. I loved those trips!

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    1. Small is beautiful! But i am not a size queen

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  9. When I was about 6 there was a power cut on Christmas Day, but luckily we still had an old Rayburn stove/heater. It took a long time, but we still had our hot lunch and warmth, we didn't mind because we had our presents and snow to play with.

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    1. Usounds like a norman Rockwell painting

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  10. The year I got an Evel Knievel stunt bike - I'd have been about five years old.
    It was all down hill after that.

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    1. Well at least you were nevr oeft wanting me old son

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  11. One Christmas is etched firmly in my mind. The house was full (a typical Irish Christmas), the table was laden, and BIG Aunty May was about to seat herself on a rickety kitchen chair. Mum shouted "Don't sit there !" But she was too late. Aunty May plopped herself on to the chair and down she went. She grabbed the tablecloth to try and save herself, and pulled half the dishes down with her. My father was in stitches (it was his aunt), my mother was all concern, my Uncle Bernard (Aunty May's husband) shouted "Jesus, save the dinner" (yes really). The adults managed to hoist her up, she was fine, and salvaged what they could of the dinner. I remember getting the giggles every time I looked at her, and my mother giving me filthy looks. A great family Christmas.

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    1. Thats EXACTLY what i was after

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    2. John, I have many of these stories...all true.

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    3. Keep em comming

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  12. In 1968, my family and I were returning from Christmas Eve services, listening to the radio in the car. As the Apollo 8 astronauts were completing the first orbits of the moon, they read the first part of the book of Genesis. It was very moving to listen to those scratchy, far-off voices as the snowflakes fell, knowing that they were the first humans to see our planet, grateful that they could share part of their experience with us. They also beamed the first images of Earth from space, including the famous "Earthrise from the moon" photo: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/full_width/public/297755main_gpn-2001-000009_full_0.jpg?itok=qSgNdG2o Magical!

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    1. " people" of today wouldnt quite get tge magic of this......i can

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  13. Thinking about it has brought tears to my eyes - so many happy memories, my mum always made it special despite not having much money to go round. I'll select just one memory - the year my brothers and sisters put on a puppet show with the neighbours' children. The puppets were all handmade from papier-mâché, the puppet theatre was homemade (probably by my mum) and they wrote the script themselves. I was too young to join in, to my frustration. It just sums up a happy homemade family Christmas. Not like the adverts.

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    1. Its the silly, and the sweet and the mundane which is important here...thank you for this

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  14. The year Mum was broke and everyone got second-hand presents. Pity the bloke who got 'The thoughts of Chairman Mao'. I think it was the same year she got drunk at a party in twizzlehurst (sic) and forgot to buy any veg! We lost her in January aged 95 so no more high jinks.

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    1. I couldnt quite figure if that was a good or a bad memory?

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  15. The Christmas a much loathed brother in law turned up on our doorstep the day before Christmas Eve with a pair of trout in a briefcase...and not even a change of clothes...demanding that as the only woman in the family it was my duty to have him stay until Boxing Day. In the end he didn't stay that long as I spent most of the time in the bedroom crying and hubby told him he would have to go.
    I've barely spoken to him since then and that must have been over thirty years ago.

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    1. Whoa! Now you HAVE to furnish us with a few more details!

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    2. It's a very long story which goes back to my husband and his brothers losing their Mum when they were quite young. Their Dad abandoned them to go off with another woman and loathed brother in law was of an age where he could have looked after them all and chose not to. The two youngest boys were fostered out and hubby and another brother were left to fend for themselves. His jealousy and spite when hubby and I met had to be heard to be believed. He put me down at every opportunity so we didn't see him much over the years and then he turned up on that Christmas Eve and I couldn't face spending any time with him so I told hubby that he had to get rid of him else I would go and spend Christmas at my mothers which would have been almost as bad...lol. He went after lunch on Christmas Day thank goodness and I have barely spoken a word to him until earlier this year when he was having to phone the house making arrangements for him, hubby and another brother travelling to South Africa to visit the grave of their brother who died over there. Now I will hopefully never have to speak to him again. Hubby and I have been married forty years now so he was wrong about me not being the right woman for him.

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  16. Oh John, I have so many Christmas memories and I've been sharing them all month on my blog. One that I didn't post about was the Christmas I was slated to work in the hospital pharmacy in Newmarket (Ontario). I was 24 and had NEVER and I mean NEVER spent Christmas away from my family. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself but halfway through the morning my boss said all the orders had been filled and he was sending us both home on pagers. I called Dad and he was there in a twinkling to pick me up and take me home. "You know," he said to me, "it just wasn't Christmas, but it is now."

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    1. I got the idea for the post from YOUR BLOG x

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  17. Best Christmas ever was a big family Christmas in 3 cabins by a lake in Georgia when I was in my forties. My Mother and our very extended family, 24 in all, including my Mother's great grand kids and in-laws of in-laws and friends of in-laws of in-laws. Canoe races on the lake - one resulting in a hilarious capsizing into the freezing water - no lasting harm, but loads of warm memories. I have a favorite photo of Mother sitting sedately in the canoe at age 78 or so in her soft warm coat and knitted hat with the sun sparkling on the clear water. That photo, seen even in my mind's eye, brings the joy back in an instant.

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    1. I would love to see the photo? Can you send me a copy via email ( i wouldnt post it, i just would love to see it)

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. sent it. I hope to the correct address!

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    4. It was lovely wilma.........thank you she reminded me of kathryn hepburn in ON GOLDEN POND

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  18. http://adyou.me/3r5u
    for best informations

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    1. A wonderfully brief memory for sure

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  19. A broke car sucks on any day, but only Christmas must be unfortunate

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    1. It was, i was 104 miles from home!

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  20. My step son was seven yrs old ...gosh he's now 36 with two children of his own...! Well he was spending Christmas with my husband and i and he was beginning to voice his questioning of whether or not Santa existed... Well we decided to try to give him one more year of believing in Santa.... Earlier in the week hubby and i had gone to an office party where they handed out jingle bells ... So,.... we were trying to get the kids to bed so you know... Santa could come...and you know how you never want to go to bed on Christmas Eve...so to speed things along hubby crept out the back door unnoticed and started ringing that jingle bell...and i played my part asking the kids..'is that Santa? You better get to bed...hurry up...' Well i must have been very convincing..and the bell convincing because before i know it my stepson is on the floor crying , CRYING because he tied his shoes in double knots and couldn't get them undone or off before Santa came.... totally TOTALLY not the intended effect... We felt so horrible..to make him cry like that...We still feel bad about it when we think of it today... sigh......Hugs! deb

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    1. Its all part of the tradition.....a sweet memory of a sweeter time

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  21. One vivid Christmas memory was when I was about five. My older brother and I still shared a room. (He always viewed me as a usurper because he was born after my dad went off to WWII and he had my mom and grandmother all to himself. It took him a while to even accept my dad, let alone a baby sister who came later.) But this Christmas Eve we awoke in our beds to the sound of something thumping on the roof. We both started giggling excitedly and whispered to each other that it had to be Santa. This was in So. California, so no snow, but it still was magical to me.

    A sad memory was when I finally had to let go of the Santa myth. I had held on to it like a drowning man holds onto a life preserver, but when my dad asked me if I wanted to go with him to buy things for my mother's Christmas stocking the reality finally hit me. I was about nine.

    The ultimate bad Christmas was in 2012 when my mother passed away suddenly on Dec. 22.

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    1. I forget that christmas can be a bittersweet time too......my bad time is new years

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  22. Getting a transistor radio with a single ear piece. It had a knob to twiddle for stations and an on/off slider. It was blue and white and I thought I was the most grown up person in the world. I loved that radio so much. x

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    1. We all love knobs to twiddle when growing up

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    2. Dirty boy! hehehe

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  23. my first christmas with my husband, shopping for my first tree ever since leaving my parents home, decorating it with dime store baubles, watching him string the lights, so tall and rooted, so handsome and witty, and I remember feeling like I'd won the husband lottery. He had hair and a waist then, and though he has neither now, I still see him that way. Hubba bubba.

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  24. My most vivid Christmas memory is staying with a Jewish friend and her family in Eastbourne. They all argued non-stop about everything with no holds barred. Coming from a rather repressed family, I was stunned by the free-for-all. My friend had to reassure me that this was absolutely normal in Jewish families and I should simply join in.

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    1. There is something incredibly liberating about a bohemian family especially if you hail from a repressed household like mine

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  25. A few years ago, I'd bought a leg of lamb to roast on Christmas day and stored it in the garage fridge. When I went to take it out that morning, the wrap had broken and it had spoiled. I decided not to let it ruin Christmas. We always take a drive up the coast. That year we drove further north and found a tiny restaurant open at Ragged Point. My DH, 2 sons and I had dinner overlooking the ocean on Big Sur at sunset. It's become a tradition. Already have reservations for this year.

    There was also our first year married, when we decorated a potted ficus tree in our tiny apartment in leu of a "normal" tree, because there just wasn't room for one. I'd found tiny little silver glass ornaments that we still have and use 31 years later.

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    1. Traditions......are more warming and safe than almost anything else

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  26. Mine is corny but absolutely true.
    I moved from California to NYC and met my husband and married him right away and moved out of our tiny apt in NYC to a house in the suburbs. My husband, me and the cat that came from California with me. She flew in my purse.
    (yes, you know how long ago that was )

    About a week before Christmas, my little cat disappeared. Every day I searched, called, asked neighbors and wept for the loss of that little cat who had no street smarts .. not to mention, being from California, she was not a snow cat.
    On Christmas morning, we were having coffee, getting ready to open our presents, when I swear I heard a meow. My husband told me Don't be silly. I listened and it was all quiet.
    A few minutes later, I heard a meow.
    I jumped up and ran and opened the front door and there was this bedraggled little thin cat ... she walked in, lay down in front of the fireplace and muttered something about bringing her some breakfast.
    A few months later, we had 3 tiny black and white kittens and one tiger ... that floozy !
    So my Christmas was very Dickensian in a cat sort of way.

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    1. Disney is buying the rights to this one! Xxx

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    2. Ha :) Now that would be a good Christmas story ..

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  27. When the kids were young we moved to a new city for my work... We scrimped and saved for a house, and didn't have much left for Christmas that year. All our change had been rolled up and taken to the bank to pay for our heating oil. Necessity was the mother of invention that Christmas as I made a tree from a great roll of green paper and stuck it on the wall. All three children helped make paper ornaments and paper chains to decorate it and a gifts were handmade, second hand or very inexpensive. I made them all stockings to hang by the fireplace. Almost 30 years later they still speak of that Christmas and how fun it was.
    Barb

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    1. There is theme here about " homemade christmases being the best"

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  28. I was so happy when I was in the sixth grade to get a tape recorder for Christmas. I'd reenact stories from Mad magazine with it. For instance, I reenacted a Mad satire of Walter Cronkite (an American TV anchorman, in case he's not known in Wales) but with the actual opening from his news show, which I taped off the TV.

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    1. A show girl from an early age me thinks

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  29. I'm enjoying reading everyone's comments. About 30 years ago I was a mum of two and working long hours. There just wasn't enough hours in the day to get everything done. Each night I would pass a Christmas tree stall and was always too rushed and tired to stop and get one. Two days before Christmas Eve I realized I had to stop but when I got there, the sellers had gone and the site was deserted except for some unwanted, unsold Charlie Brown trees. I tossed one in the trunk of my car and took it home and my kids took on the challenge of decorating it. They still remember and were just telling their children about the Christmas Nana stole a Christmas tree!

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  30. I loved playing new board games with my grandmother, mother and siblings for hours on end!

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  31. There is a new one where you put what looks like a dentists brace on your teeth, then try to pronounce words to each other. Sounds fab ( as long as you have lovely teeth)

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    1. LOL, I would fall over laughing .. I am giggling at the thought of it :)

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    2. Clearly thought up by some demented person who has never had to wear a bite plane (said the person who does have to wear one)!!!

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  32. John i hope you know what a treasure you have here. Everybody has a little story teller in them don't they?! I think you might have the makings of a book idea here.... I would read it... I read and enjoyed them all here... Hugs! deb

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    1. With all of the shite in the news, I thought we all needed a boost.

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  34. This is the memory that comes to mind when asked this question!
    Must have been around 7-8 . . . around 1945. . , I was sitting near the Christmas tree and heard sleigh bells and my dad walked into the room. That was when I figured out Santa Claus . . . I still have those brass sleigh bells, restrung . . . and bring them out each December . . .

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    1. See above.... A few bell stories too!

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  35. Oh, God, what to pick? There are many reasons why I REALLY don't like Christmas. Well,take your choice - the year my older brother showed me everything in my mom's closet and it showed up under the tree from "Santa Claus" - I was 4 1/2 years old. The year my parents were separated and I got one (1) gift - the ugliest maroon purse, and I had to show my cousins who got cashmere sweaters and fancy dolls. I was 8 years old. The following year, I received a "Cinderella" watch and all the girls in school got real ladies watches. I never wore the thing. Later in life, I couldn't wear my wide gold wedding band that caused a rash and I asked my then husband for a narrower one, with diamonds - for months he just grinned that bleep eating grin and said "You'll see". Christmas came, he had gotten me a cheap locket. Then there was the Christmas at the cabin, we were flat broke and the only thing we could get from the help center was tennis balls. Years passed and I didn't do the excitement about Santa with the kids, he was just a man, but DH was really into it. On foggy Christmas Eve, the weatherman said the radar showed "Santa' on his way - could the children go outside and bang as loud as they could on pots and pans to let Santa know where the children were? DH had our little boy outside in the cold banging on a pot with a big wooden spoon, while I cried. I didn't want him to grow up later and remember with embarrassment the incident over some fictitious man in a red suit.

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    1. Sharon, another mix of bittersweet, with a few more bitter ones xxxx

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    2. Sharon. You seem so sad. I feel sorry for you

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  36. I have a few, the year my mum dressed a set of dolls for me, a bride, a flamenco dancer and one in a sari. The year my MIL was bringing the turkey, she arrived without it and was convinced her husband had hidden it. When she got home the turkey was sat on the drive, it seems she'd put it on the roof of the car, got in the car and forgotten about it.
    In 1986, the year my FIL died, my now ex-husband decided to set a budget of £5 per head for each of the children, it didn't buy a lot even then. I had to be very inventive.
    We have a new memory, from Saturday, taking 2 grandchildren to watch a local Am Dram panto. The full details are on my blog.

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    1. I read......
      Love the turkey story
      The stuff of legends

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  37. My Dad stuffing the turkey with help from my Gran who had dementia and he called her tweetie pie listening to the Messiah on the tape recorder (reel to reel) and Dad singing along with it. When he had his first major heart attack at Christmas the consultant agreed to us bringing in the tape recorder and playing the Messiah - and ensured the volume was at full tilt.

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    1. Reel to reel! Bloody hell

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  38. I was nine and my brother five years old. Christmas Eve my brother rushed into my bedroom in the middle of the night and excitedly dragged me to the bedroom window and proceeded to describe the Father Christmas and his reindeer streaking across the sky - he was totally convinced. His imagination had got the better of him but I played along and said that I could see Father Christmas too!

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    1. Lovely.....do you ever speak of it now?

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  39. A school nativity comes to mind. A snooty teacher wanted only blond, blue-eyed angels who were light on their feet and unlikely to fight with the shepherds. I knew one four year old just dying to be an angel but with thick rimmed glasses, ginger frizzy hair and a wee bit of puppy fat she didn't tick snooty teacher's angel boxes. But I persisted ok nagged at staff meetings and snooty teacher relented sighing, "But she simply isn't angel material." The little girl's delight at being an angel was so heartwarming and she relished every moment.
    All went well until standing behind Mary who was solemnly holding the new born king she bellowed in a brilliant scouse accent " Hey Mrs **** do you think I look like Barbie in this?" and gave us a twirl. Snooty teacher hissed at me, "As I said simply not angel material." Still makes me smile☺

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  40. I have happy memories of my early childhood Christmases, not much money but love in abundance, and still believing in the magic of Christmas. When we came home fro midnight Mass I was allowed to put the baby in the christmas crib, and open one present! That was all the incentive needed to stay awake and excited the whole time! Presents were carefully thought out and few, but wonderful. And, do you remember having to write a Thank you letter for each one received from distance ? I had to write one each morning after breakfast!

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  41. Looking forward to the shot glass of special raisin 'wine' when I got to my Nan's for Christmas when I was a child. I would still be in my Christmas coat when I walked over to her large wooden sideboard covered in different decanters and bottle of spirits. It was non alcoholic but she'd insist I only have a tiny amount in case I got drunk. I played along with her and made out I was giddy with drink. We played that game many times over the years.

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    1. Grans and their grandchildren..a special bond x

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  42. The way Real Life is these days for some of us, stories like these can be helpful ... when a person thinks things are horrible or can't get worse, you can read about how bad it was for someone else and it got better .. or a person can look back on what was a bad time and see how things improved.
    Bad days don't last forever .. thank you god.
    Believe me ... I know what I am talking about <3

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  43. I have lots of different memories - all the family coming for Christmas tea (2 sittings!) and the children performing a play from a "Jackdaw" pack; going to nana's on Boxing Day,playing Housey-housey; the waking up at 4.00, opening my pillowcase and then going back to sleep, pretending to be surprised as we opened the pillowcases on mum & dad's bed; leaving a note for Santa Claus asking to make me into a little boy (called Jamie) - he replied, in back-to-front writing, saying sorry but that wasn't his job!; the year my dad got a piece of coal in his stocking saying he'd been a bad boy!! The year my big sister's present to me was decorating my doll's house for Christmas with a Christmas pudding cake from Sayers, and tiny paper chains; and making up stockings for mum & dad - always with a Fry's Chocolate Cream for dad, and Whole Nut chocolate for mum...Happy memories...

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  44. Christmas memory.....I was probably 8 or 9 years old and was hoping Santa would give me a real-looking 'six shooter' gun. Christmas day I was one happy kid!

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    1. All old queens love a six shooter

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  45. I am mother of 3 bi-racial children
    born in the 1960's.
    These were "awkward" times to say the least.

    My daughter liked dolls and received
    one from Santa every year.
    She always liked them, but something
    was missing.............
    Doll shopping was a serious task for me.
    Usually started searching in early Fall.

    When my daughter was five years old
    I came across a Madam Alexander baby doll
    with black curly hair and cocoa toned skin.
    The doll was entirely too expensive,
    so I put it on lay-away for months.
    Christmas morning came, the pretty box
    from Santa was opened.
    Daughter's face lit up like the star atop
    the Christmas tree.
    She hugged her new baby doll tightly
    and cried out..... "Oh Mommy !!
    I lover her so much, she is beautiful,
    she looks just like me !!!"

    Best Christmas Ever !!!

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    1. Sweet, made sweeter by the timeline.
      Thank you

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  46. I was little and walking home with my parents on a cold day right before Christmas.
    We had gone to the Sears store in Chicago. It was late and very dark. The snowflakes were gently falling and the windows in all the stores were lighted with decorations.
    I remember my parents holding a big box but didn't pay attention
    We lived in a tiny house and I slept in the living room. I remember waking up on Christmas morning seeing some presents and happily saying "Santa Came' ! I then went back to sleep. I then really work up "Santa Came Santa Came" and under the tree was a little set of plastic food that came in a set. with a table and chair. So happy.
    The night I walked home with my parents seeing all the lighted windows, they carried home Santas gift of the kitchen play set.
    I think of this often.
    Just a small happy child with her parents.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Funny, when i started this i was expecting adult memories..now most of the cherished mmories are from childhood!

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  47. One Christmas, when my son was about 6 we were decorating the Christmas tree, and when it was finished, I asked him to sit on the floor near it, so I could take a photo to send to my Mum. He sat down cross legged and obviously remembering his part of a shepherd in the school Nativity Play, he asked me earnestly, 'Should I look up in wonderment? 'My son is 52 now, but I really wish I still had that photo.

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    1. If you find it send it me, i may do a blog entry just with readers photos

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  48. My Christmas memory is very sad I am afraid John, and yet I look back on it (from a distance of 25 years) with a feeling of warmth now.
    My first husband was at home but in the final stages of terminal kidney cancer and we chose to have Christmas at home, knowing it would be our last together (he actually died on Feb 4th). On Christmas morning he gave me a hand-made watercolour card (he was a gifted artist) and inside it just said "love and thanks for everything." I have it still, in spite of being remarried very happily for twenty three years.

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  49. I would love to see it pat

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  50. When I was a kid (many moons ago in the 50's) we used to have a very full house with lots of aunts and uncles, cousins etc. My older sister and I (both real show offs) put on shows and mimed to 78 records, prancing about on a makeshift stage. omg really terrible, our poor relatives and no one ever complained. Also the adults stayed up for hours playing endless games of cards and getting drunk on whisky for the men and sherry for the ladies. My sister and I used to play a game called "Guess who farted" and we would go around sniffing each persons seated bottom in turn until we found someone who had. We would be in fits of giggles and the adults would oblivious in a drunken stupor, oh happy memories. Christmases seem very staid and sober now by comparison. Hope you and the Prof and all your animal family have a good one. Sue

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    1. Guess who farted?
      How delightful x

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  51. I think I was about 5 when the tally man came round to show off what was on sale for Christmas. I saw a beautiful teenage doll. I really wanted that doll. I woke up on Christmas morning and there it was sitting on a pile of books. 1959 was a great Christmas!

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  52. My favorite memory is my brother creeping down the stairs on late Christmas eve, then coming back to tell me "Amy, you only got half a Barbie"! I had asked for and received the Barbie Head that you could put makeup on, and do her hair. I love that memory.

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  53. We took our son who was three years old to visit Santa in his grotto. When asked what he wanted for Christmas, he told Santa that he would like a yellow bike. Santa smiled and handed him a little gift from his sack. When we got outside the grotto, my son, with tears in his eyes, opened the present, found that it was a tiny teddy, and told us that there had been a mistake, that he had asked Santa for a bike and was given the wrong thing, and that we should take it back. We had to explain that this gift was a little extra one from Santa, and that he would visit our house with a bigger gift on Christmas Eve.

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  54. Just remembered a story about Christmas that makes me laugh now. When I in my first year at senior school,my auntie and uncle bought me my first hairdryer. I felt so sophisticated and grown up I showed everyone that came to visit. My mother, who had a bee in her bonnet about that particular auntie was really peeved it was such a hit and made sure she told everyone that it was bought with green shield stamps. She still doesnt like being upstaged.

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  55. My first Christmas in my own home, my dad was home from working overseas, and wanted to cook the dinner. We got into the drinking early, and dinner got later and later - my dad was so drunk he spent all the day cooking one dish of sweet potatoes, and my mum, (they were separated at the time, divorced since) had to step in and take over the cooking. I think it was about five when we finally ate! We spent the night playing board games and drinking games, and it was a brilliant day. It was the last Christmas my parents were on friendly terms, so I do treasure the memory.

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    1. Lol.......dysfctional and funny all at the same time x

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  56. 1972 ~ my Grandmother and a bottle!

    I wrapped that sucker up tight so she wouldn't know what it was. How do you disguise a bottle of Bristol Cream anyway? So I just rolled the sparkly paper around and around, some ribbon, a bow and lots of love. Xmas morning she and my Mom sat on the sofa and I handed Nanny my gift. She just looked at the parcel, perhaps knowing what it might have been. I couldn't tell until the last unfurl of paper, then uncontrollable laughter began and continued with tears (of joy) streaming down her cheeks, then my Mom's and mine. She truly didn't know what it was and it made her so happy. Bristol Cream was her nightly ritual. A month and 1/2 later she succumbed to a massive heart attack as I held her in my arms while the paramedics arrived. She so enjoyed life and Bristol Cream was the sweet cheery on her cake.

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    1. Brought tears to my eyes Ron , thank you for this x

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  57. I'll tell you a story from my daughter's childhood. She and I had just escaped her crazy and dangerous father and gone to my parents house. She must have been 7 at the time. The next door neighbors came over in the evening and invited us to their fancy holiday party that very night. We went over and at one point, after snacks and drinks and gifts, we were getting ready to leave. The hosts said, wait just a few minutes.

    Just then, as we were standing in the front hall, some called out, 'Is that sleigh bells I hear?' Sure enough! There was a jingle coming from outside and a faint 'Ho ho ho!'

    My daughter's eyes grew round. She looked at me and her grammy and said, 'Let's go home! Santa is coming!'

    Later I thanked the neighbors for letting Christmas last for one more year for my little girl.

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  58. Christmas Eve 1974 cyclone tracey called. 8 months pregnant!
    We rescued 2 cristal glasses from the garden and each Christmas Eve would have a drink. Sadly my dh died in July so I will spend Christmas with family and that tradition will cease.

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    1. One of the last comments is the best memory

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    2. my dad still talks about all the people who were evacuated from Darwin to Sydney. What happened to you, Mary Jo?

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    3. Kyrie I was evacuated to Sydney where my daughter was born on 29th January. No she wasn't called Tracey!

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  59. The year my Dad brought home the turkey on Christmas Eve. It was the size of a baby elephant. He bought it from a chap he worked with, who "grew 'em special". There was a little bit of a disagreement between Mum and Dad about the cooking of it. Dad insisted it stayed whole (I think he had visions of carving the monster with a Dickensian flourish) Christmas day came dawned, presents were opened, Mum went off to start cooking the turkey. Suddenly there was a commotion and a fair bit of swearing, from the kitchen. We all panicked, rushed in to find my Mum, all 4'9" of her wrestling the beast of a bird back onto the kitchen counter, brandishing a hacksaw she'd raided from Dad's toolbox. The bird was too big for the oven, and had to be dismembered for cooking. It was like a scene from Sweeny Todd! They both loved Christmas and made it mad and special and fun. I miss them both every day but especially at this time of year. Best wishes to you, the Prof and the animals.

    Janey x

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  60. One of our first Christmases here (probably 14 years ago) we were finally baking the sugar cookies I thought we had to have when a pickup truck slid on the icy road right outside our house and hit the telephone pole which carries the electric wires as well as phone. We were plunged into darkness and went immediately out to check on the driver. He was fine, on his way to visit his dad for the first time in years. We all waited for the police, tow truck etc. in candle light and I baked the cookies. There were lots of flashing lights before it was all over and the boys were thrilled. The emergency electrical dudes were swift and effective heroes that night!

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  61. A funny-ish one was having 20 to dinner, power out, large turkey seeking heat....hauling that big bird across the street to the neighbors (who had not been invited) to roast. Then inviting them to join us, great time. The most difficult one was the first one, 25 days after my son died. The empty chair, the raw emotions by everyone present but I know, in my heart, he was with us. Subsequent holidays where we remember the good times, before the pain, before the loss. There have been few but we keep trying. The best one is yet to come, I hope.

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  62. Great question - sorry I am late to the party - I was off visiting my parents for a long weekend. When I was about 8 or 9, we had a massive crop failure on the funny farm (honey farm.) That was the fall my mother went back to work, to help put groceries on the table. Christmas was kind of frugal and mom and dad were apologetic about it. I received two two "Whitman Coin Albums" books to collect American coins in, I still have them, they are one of my most treasured gifts from my parents. Simple, inexpensive and they couldn't have made me happier.

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  63. I'm enjoying reading the comments. When I think of my childhood Christmases there are two that come to mind. One when I woke up every hour on the hour the whole night; I vividly remember checking my little watch with my flashlight. I could hardly bear the suspense. The other memory is getting a nine-inch fashion doll with ten outfits, including a bridal gown. I still love tiny clothing, and actually that's what motivated me to learn to sew on my mother's treadle machine - to make doll clothing. My parents, especially my mother, worked hard to give us happy memories.

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  64. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and feeling the weight of a full Christmas stocking at the end of my feet. I could not resist- I put on a tiny side light and started looking through the stocking. Suddenly I heard footsteps on the stair - quickly turned out the light but too late. Both parents appeared and I was in BIG trouble. Dad was in the Police and just back from night duty, unfortunately for me he noticed the light from my room.

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  65. Dining on plates of Beef Wellington and crab legs served on white linen table cloths in the galley at the South Pole research station. Then posing outside at the South Pole marker with 3 friends all dressed in our finery (me with bare arms) at -5 degrees F. and thinking how very lucky we were.

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    1. And the prize fo the best comment goes to you x

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  66. A bit late but I remember a box of books. A plain big old brown box, full of new books from one of those postal book clubs. I don't know if it was themed but many were about animals, like Golden Eyes, form the POV of a puma, and Born Free about Elsa the lion and so many others. I was an avid reader and it was the best present ever, even if they were to be shared with my sister! Especially good because I'd been very sick the night before. Coincidentally that was when i worked out there was no Santa, because my dad who never stayed up with us stayed up with me and tried rather impatiently to get me to hurry up and vomit and go to sleep. I got very suspicious at this and connected it to the pillow cases waiting at the end of the beds!

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  67. As a family, we always attended Midnight Mass. So that my my mum didn't have to bother with making tea on our return she'd brew a pot before we went and when we returned about ab hour and a half later we all drank it - stone cold by then, of course - with a slice of Xmas cake. Goodness knows why none of us refused, but it seemed an obligation.

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  68. Over thirty years ago when I was about 19, I escaped the family Christmas to spend the evening with friends in the city. My english showgirl friend Tracy (who came to NZ in the cast of What, no Pyjamas and never left) taught us a game called Waft The Kipper, and we played it at the Botanic Garden. I love to introduce this silly game to friends.Each person gets a newspaer. From one sheet, you rip a shape that is your kipper. the rest you roll up into a wafter. Everyone lines up at the start and on Go, you beat the gound just behind your kipper to reate a draft, which then wafts it forward. It is the stupidest game ever, and lots of fun, especially after the inevitable Christmas bevvies!

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    1. This sounds wonderfully silly - thanks for sharing it. I like to have a few silly games in mind for family get-togethers!

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  69. Sorry to be late to the party (spent most of yesterday making chocolates for my WI branch party).

    In 1970, our family broke from routine and we stayed at my mum's parents instead of them staying with us.

    Once all the children had gone to bed, my little Welsh granddad persuaded my dad and uncles to join him in the loft to stomp around and pretend to be Santa and his reindeer.

    That and two years before, when my great uncle (the one that ran a sweet factory) turned up at my aunt & uncle's shop and one by one gave all the kids a ride round the then quite un-posh streets of Notting Hill in his Bubble Car.

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  70. I would say the only Christmas I remember - shows you how memorable the holiday is to me - was when I was about six. I reached into my Christmas stocking and there - amidst the chocolate coins and tangerines, was a leather case containing a child-sized tool kit. It was the best thing I ever got and I still have the hammer. Which, at my current age, makes it a relic.

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  71. You could publish a little book with all these stories!

    One year, next to the Christmas tree, Santa left a 24" bicycle for my 8 year old sister. There were also two little teddy bears. One teddy bear was blue and the other was black. They looked like Pandas and were super soft.

    I picked them up and hugged them both. Dad told me on of the bears was for my sister, to give her one. I started crying and Dad accused me of being selfish. He didn't know that I was crying because I didn't want to hurt either of the bears feelings by choosing one over the other. It humiliated me because I was 12.

    I let my sister choose which one she wanted and always loved the black and white one extra special because she didn't choose it.

    What a dork I was! (p.s. I am still very kind to stuffed animals and dolls!)

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