Tuesday, December 04, 2018
What's your favorite childhood holiday memory?
A family tradition?
A favorite treat?
A favorite gift?
An annual event?
Number of views (1074)/Comments (49)
12/4/2018 12:54 PM
December 23rd 1981 I decided to open all my gifts while my mom was taking a nap. I played with them silently and put them back in the wrapper/box and I also had the nerve to re tape them back. My mom woke up and discovered what had happen. My grandfather was suppose to be watching me but he was was sleep in his chair. My mom was so upset she cried. December 25 came and lets just say it did not feel like Christmas because I HAD NOTHING TO OPEN. :(
My mom to this day keeps wondering how did I know which gifts were mine to open. lol
12/4/2018 1:36 PM
One year the whole family (mom, dad, sister, aunts, uncles, grandparents and me) was together celebrating Christmas at our house. My cousin, who was living in Colorado, called to wish us a happy holiday. We all decided to sing the "12 Days of Christmas" to him over the phone. People were assigned one of the days to sing. My parents were assigned the ninth day, which is “nine ladies dancing.” It gets to the ninth day of the song, and my mom, God love her, blurts out “nine women swimming.” We all turn to her, thinking what the heck did we just hear? My dad looks at her, saying, “No more eggnog for you.” The whole room erupts in hysterical laughter. We never finished the song. All the while, my mom is wondering what’s so funny. Of course, my cousin in Colorado is hearing all this on the phone, probably mystified as to what is going on. Yeah, my my mom was known for mixing up words and phrases. We now call them “Mary Ann-isms.” Hopefully, those nine women didn’t freeze in that swimming pool …
12/4/2018 1:40 PM
That is a VERY funny story!!! Wish I would have been there to see it in person!!!
12/9/2018 12:36 PM
Thank you for sharing that memory it was hilarious.
12/4/2018 2:16 PM
When I was 5, my dad built me a three story doll house, complete with 1970's style shag carpet, bicentennial wallpaper and a real staircase made out of tongue depressors. He and my mom wrapped it in a HUGE box that was taller than me. It was my favorite present to open EVER and I still have it. It went through a rehab in the 90's when my niece was little and is now it's ready for a 21st century refresher. It's extra special to me now that my dad has passed on. It still brings me lots of joy. :)
12/7/2018 3:28 PM
12/7/2018 3:29 PM
12/4/2018 2:44 PM
My mom and I making homemade Christmas cookies while listening to Elvis Christmas music, over and over. We would make so many different kinds of cookies and just give them away to people. I still use the recipe book, that was my mother's grandmother's, to this day. I can see all the stains on the pages, along with my mother's handwriting and checkmarks of which ones we were going to make and which ones I would be responsible for. Mom will be gone four years in April of next year...today she would be 75. Last night I couldn't sleep and so I got up and made a batch of Spritz cookies from that precious recipe book, and I brought them to work today to share. Everyone went on and on about how good they are. I'm so happy to remember Mom and tell everyone who will listen, and that I had the best baking teacher ever!
12/4/2018 3:03 PM
We did this too! I actually just saw the old Christmas records we would play over and over again at my parent's house this weekend. They've gotten so much use, I'm surprised they still work!
12/4/2018 3:49 PM
Hi Martha, I've learned through the years how many people actually gave away homemade cookies just the way we did! Back then it was definitely a wonderful spirit of giving and loving. Thank you for sharing!
12/4/2018 2:47 PM
The special quiet and smell of the cold snowy air as I rode my new bike before any of the neighbors were awake.
12/4/2018 2:59 PM
Growing up, my parents' house was "neutral territory" - the adults in my family didn't get along and everyone knew they couldn't argue at my house or they would have to leave. Anyway, every Thanksgiving and Christmas, my grandparents would come over and it was one of the only times I got to see my cousins. We would see my grandparents through out the year, but on the holiday, they spent the whole day with us. I remember the one year my grandma gave me $10 and whispered in my ear not to tell my cousins because they didn't have enough for everyone. Miss them terribly (they both passed about 15 years ago). Sometimes I miss the big, extended family reunions, but I very much enjoy the small, quiet time with immediate family.
We started a tradition with my son though - every year he picks out a new ornament and he picks out the colors for decorations. This year - he had to pick out his ornament the weekend the stores put out the Christmas decorations :)
12/5/2018 3:59 PM
One other thing that I cherished... we would go to midnight mass at our church. Carols would start at 11:00 (so we'd be there at 10:30) and everyone would wish each other Merry Christmas on the way out at 1:30 or so in the morning. The one year, I remember opening the heavy church doors to the most beautiful snow. Then of course us kids would go "straight to bed" when we got home only to wake up about 4 or 5 hours later.
12/4/2018 4:19 PM
Each year I get a homemade decorated jingle bell ornament from my aunt and uncle in the mail. Each year's bell ornament gets added to the collection of the bell ornament Aunt Ann and Uncle Ron made the previous year. :)
12/4/2018 5:01 PM
I was so excited the night before the BIG day that I really thought I heard Santa on the roof and ran to my mother and told her .... Being excited for my daughter and she put the milk and cookies out.. I snuck out of the house and had a string of bells. just outside my daughters window I rang them and came back in to hear her saying she heard Santa outside.. sure sounds like something was passed on..
12/5/2018 8:57 AM
With 6 kids my parents did not have a lot of money for Christmas. When the Sears Christmas catalog came they hid it away, that way we would not see it and get big ideas about what we wanted Santa to bring. On Christmas day after all the gifts had been opened the Christmas catalog would magically appear! Then we would eagerly page through it and pick things out for next year - like any of us would remember when the next Christmas rolled around! We still laugh about this, and at Christmas, after the presents are opened, one of us will announce that it is time to get the Christmas catalog out! I have to give my parents credit, though, it prevented us from getting our hopes way up for things they could never afford and gave us some additional excitement after the gifts were opened.
12/5/2018 11:16 AM
Christmas Eve at my grandparents with all the aunts, uncles and cousins!!! when there was snow deep enough to make snow forts and have snowball fights and some of the uncles were just big kids and would help build the snow forts and join the snowball fights. The aunts would be helping grandma prepare the best dinner ever. One year, we had wild duck instead of turkey. It was good, (just a bit greasy) but we didn't dare say anything because we did not want to hurt anyone's feelings. After dinner, we would open gifts, and as we got older, my grandma would always get all the girls long, flannel night gowns, and I am not sure what the boys got, because the girls outnumbered the boys 2:1 and we would always compare this was all preteen years when it was fun to go to grandmas. Sad now that we are grown and most of the elders of my family have gone, and the old farm house is falling in on itself. Breaks my heart each time I drive by it, Gone but not ever forgotten.
12/5/2018 11:39 AM
oh so funny :):)
12/5/2018 11:57 AM
I was so exciting knowing Christmas was coming, on Christmas Eve I would go to bed early knowing that when I wake up it would be Christmas.
12/5/2018 2:01 PM
Every year we would go to my grandma's on Christmas Eve. We always got home late in the evening so I knew it would be time for bed shortly after we got home. I always made sure to drink a couple glasses of water when we got home so that I would have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. When I went downstairs to use the bathroom, I would sneak into the living room and shake our presents and try to guess what Santa brought us. My mom and dad had no idea until I told her a few years ago.
12/5/2018 4:02 PM
My husband and I and my two daughters moved to St. Louis area about 25 years ago when the girls were 10 and 4. Not having family here, we created our own tradition of going out together to pick out the Christmas tree, making cookies and hot chocolate and decorating the tree while watching It's a Wonderful Life. I always gave the girls one gift on Christmas Eve...Christmas pajama's so they'd be all cute for pictures on Christmas morning!
12/5/2018 11:06 PM
Growing up in the Phils, my family and I celebrate christmas eve (noche buena) with our neighbors. We will all go to church together and have a street party after that. We would bring all of of our family specialties. Each family will prepare a special presentation ( dance,song or skit) for everybody to see. There were also games and prices prepared for the children followed by exchange gifts. When the clock strikes 12, all of us would greet each other merry christmas with hugs and kisses then go home to open presents. I miss celebrating Christmas back home :( I also miss eating my favorite putobumbong.
12/6/2018 8:19 AM
I did the same thing one year, but I didn't get caught. I told my mom a couple years ago and she was so mad at me
12/6/2018 12:11 PM
Christmas (season) of 1996, my family adopted a black chow puppy that was with us for almost 16 years. We came across a truck with 3 pups and one of the parents. We talked about getting one of the pups as a family.
Christmas (season) of 2014, I adopted an Australian shepherd puppy that was with me for almost 3 years before seizures got the best of her.
Lesson: Puppies continue to be great Christmas gifts for family, someone else, or for yourself.
12/6/2018 3:26 PM
Grew up in fostercare and my first christmas in the system I was 4. Like most kids in the early 70's I sat with the Sears catalog and circled what I would like to get from Santa. On my list was a Fisher Price record player (red with the plastic records). Come christmas morning it was under the tree! I couldn't believe that I would get it as there were 10 kids. That was the best Christmas ever and to this day I still have it.
12/7/2018 3:31 PM
12/7/2018 3:05 AM
1982ish? I got an Atari video game and a rat terrier puppy. Christmas night, after playing video games all day, the puppy(Tiny) chewed all the wires on my video game and my dad spent that weekend re-wiring it!
12/7/2018 6:02 AM
I remember always searching for my presents. For a long time I believed in Santa Clause. One Christmas I woke up and there was nothing under the tree. I went to my mother crying she told me Santa was running behind and go back to sleep. I laid down but I was not sleep and I saw my mother and my aunts putting items under the tree. Finally I did fall asleep and when I woke up I was so happy. My presents where never wrapped so I never got the excitement of the surprise in the package. But I did get to open the toys from the packages, however I think wrapping is so much better and fun for kids.
12/7/2018 3:00 PM
I remember traveling to Mississippi as a child for the holidays (Christmas) to visit my grandparents. I was very upset that we were leaving our house and cried repeatedly that Santa Claus would not be able to find me/us. Little did I know that all our Christmas presents were packed in the trunk of the car and 'Santa' showed up in Rulesville, Mississippi while we were visiting and our presents were under the tree Christmas morning.
12/7/2018 3:19 PM
The Christmas I was 3 or 4 money was very tight. My grandfather made me a doll cradle out of scrap wood. I'm almost 53 now and I still have it. Another Christmas.......we always got the same thing in our stockings.......ribbon candy, orange, Lifesaver book and a brand new 24 box of Crayola crayons.........when I was 6 or 7, I emptied my stocking and there were no crayons........I pitched a fit of epic proportions.......turns out Mom had gotten me the 64 box and it was wrapped and under the tree because it wouldn't fit in the stocking......my older brother still teases me about it.
12/7/2018 3:23 PM
Another fun memory was that my mom who worked 3 jobs would take an afternoon off and we would go downtown to see the windows at Famous Barr and Stix, Baer and Fuller----they had the animatronic characters that were mesmerizing. Then we would get to go through the Santaland at Famous Barr. It was magical!
12/7/2018 10:58 PM
I've made it a tradition to take my grandniece to various department stores and decorate the display trees with the ornaments hanging in the aisles. This was yr 5 for us!
12/8/2018 1:00 PM
My husband has 16 brothers and sisters and every Christmas eve we have a pajama contest. Each "family" has a theme and we see who has the best pajamas and we play games and eat and just have a good time and it's just one big sleepover party!
12/8/2018 1:25 PM
When my son was 2 1/2 years old we lived in a very small 1 bedroom apartment. His bed was in my room with me. I put him to bed then woke up about 3 0'clock in the morning about 3 days before Christmas. I heard strange noises in the living room. Went out expecting to find that someone had broken into the apartment, but instead found my son under the Christmas tree opening all of the gifts and having a great time throwing paper in the air and catching it. I had to re-wrap 20 presents and hide them until Christmas eve.
12/8/2018 2:15 PM
Christmas magic belonged to my dad. He made everything beautiful and bright. The tree was his crown and glory. Dad was a perfectionist with the tree. My sister and I wanted to freely toss the silver tinsel on the tree. Daddy would carefully take it off, and strand by strand hang it in careful formation. The tree was stunning!
I believed in Santa longer than my friends. Each Christmas Eve everyone in the house would leave for Christmas Eve service with absolutely no presents under the tree. Each year we would return home to find gifts spilling out from under the tree. Santa had come!! No one was at home. It had to be Santa!
We lived next door to my Uncle Ray and his family. The thought never entered my mind that Uncle Ray could play a part in this Christmas miracle. After many years my cousin, Bob, shattered my fantasy. He told me his dad did that every year. I was so deflated. Uncle Ray was off the hook from then on. I think he enjoyed playing Santa for us.
12/14/2018 11:46 AM
This really made me miss my dad. He wasn't quite that meticulous, but he was "Santa" and would wait until we went to bed on Christmas Eve to decorate the tree and put out the presents. It was always such a magical time for me and my brothers. We never had much money, but daddy made sure to always get each one of us something special. I really MISS HIM!
12/9/2018 12:32 PM
My Christmas memory is of my dad coming to get us on Christmas morning to take us to our Grandparents house to open our gifts from them. On the way there the Temptations version of Silent Night was on the radio and HE ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS sang second verse that Melvin was known for in that deep voice. My dad passed in 1996 when I was 16 but every time I hear that song I think about him singing it in the car.
12/9/2018 5:07 PM
On the Illinois side in the early 60's Mom and Dad would drive us to see the animatronic figures in the windows at the Bank in Wood River. Drive by Clark Boat and Motor to see all the Christmas trees all decrotated for sale lined up by the windows. And go see Santa in the shed either at Eastgate or Wilshire Village. Today the Bank and Clark Boat and Motor is gone and no more sheds to visit Santa. But those memories are never forgotton.
12/10/2018 11:42 AM
As a young child Santa always came to our house on Christmas Eve. My Dad would take us kids to Chuck-A-Burger (a STL institution back then) to pick up supper and my Mom always stayed back because "she had ironing to get done downstairs in our basement". I could just never understand how SHE NEVER HEARD Santa come into our house and leave all the wonderful gifts underneath our Christmas tree. I always felt bad that my Mom couldn't go with us because that ironing just had to get done. My Mom was great and explained that Santa and the reindeers practiced all year to be quiet in houses so no one would hear them and everyone would be surprised to see that Santa had made his Christmas delivery. My Mom was so great as being as surprised and happy to see that Santa had been there while she was busy downstairs doing ironing.
12/10/2018 2:27 PM
I will always treasure Christmas Eve at my in-laws house when my children were small. My in-laws lived in the upstairs of a very small, rented South St. Louis flat, and did not have a much money. But my mother-in-law always made Christmas Eve so special with her amazing cooking, and she cooked everything from scratch!. She made the best chicken and dumplings and pies I have ever tasted. I remember my kids constantly coming in the tiny kitchen where all the adults were gathered, driving us all nuts with their constant "Are you done yet? Can we open presents now?" After the festivities were over around midnight, my husband and I carried two very sleepy children to the car for the ride home. Once they were in bed, my husband and I still had to stay up and put toys together! My kids are now 35 and 41, and my wonderful in-laws are long gone, but we all still talk about the magical Christmas Eves at Memaw's and Papa's!
12/11/2018 2:19 PM
6 of us kids around the big dining room table, each with a pot or bowl and a recipe in front of us....."What was the last thing (ingredient) that I put in here?" Mom would ask us, each one in turn.....she'd go around the table adding eggs or sugar or flour.....we would use our hands to mix each batch of cookie dough, "sampling" it frequently to make sure it tasted right.....
And at the end, wrapping it up in waxed paper to freeze for baking at a later date. Often the later date was only a few days later, but sometimes it never came at all, because we all continued to "sample" it right out the freezer!!
12/11/2018 5:00 PM
Picking out our Christmas tree was something I miss. We went to the tree farm and my parents would leave each kid(there were four of us) at a different tree and then pick their favorite.
12/11/2018 5:07 PM
Tree, not kid. Right?
12/11/2018 5:58 PM
I laughed really hard!! Yes, their favorite tree.
12/12/2018 9:47 AM
My son was about 9 or 10, and desperately wanted a "Harry Potter Potion Laboratory" toy. He opened it on Christmas morning, and started making and drinking the different recipe/potions. One of them looked particularly nasty, and I asked him if it tasted good. He VERY enthusiastically shook his head yes, but I was watching his face practically turn green right before my very eyes, and the next thing I knew, he had to run off to the bathroom to throw up! I literally laughed until I cried!!!! Still one of my very favorite Christmas stories ever!!! (but I do have a warped sense of humor.....)
12/13/2018 11:24 AM
Patricia, I have the same memory. My mom died when I was a baby and my dad was very ill so my aunt (his oldest sister) and her husband raised me. My aunt and her sister (my other aunt) and her husband were bringing in my presents. They made a lot of noise and woke me up. I asked them why they were bringing in my presents and putting them under the tree. They told me Santa knocked on the door and asked if they could help him because he was running late. They said I had to go back to sleep so Santa would not come back and take my toys. I remember running to bed and went back to sleep immediately. When they woke me some time later my gifts were under the tree unwrapped but I was so excited to see what Santa left that I forgot they weren't wrapped. I kept going from one gift to the other saying he got me this and this and this. When I got much older and the reality hit me what really happened I remember laughing hysterically about how they got over on a little kid.
12/13/2018 2:19 PM
I was born in the late 60's and back in those days most people were not well off financially and we never got gifts through out the year like most children do today so Christmas was a magical time of year. We would get the Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog in the mail and it was full of wonderful things for kids and we would look through it page after page until the pages were almost falling out circling items we wanted putting our names on them knowing we would get a few items. As kids back then we were so grateful for what we were given I think it was because we only were given gifts at Christmas. I wish a lot of times Christmas today would be like it was then kids would feel that feeling of what is was like to have it all when you were given very little but so grateful for we had.
12/13/2018 11:28 PM
I have always worked night shift, one Christmas eve it was my turn to work the holiday. My two children were 4 and 7 years old. They called the hospital at about 4 a.m. and asked the operator to speak to their "mommy". The operator got them to reveal my first name but she did not know who I was. She called the house supervisor who knew I had young children at home (they were not not home alone, my husband was there but just asleep). She got me to the phone, my kids were so excited. They said "Mommy Santa has been here! Can we open up our presents?" I convinced them to lay back down and that we would would open gifts when I got home in the morning. They were so sad that I finally relented and let each of them open one gift early. They were so excited. I'll never forget that phone call!
12/14/2018 11:52 AM