Friday, December 17, 2010

Flashback Friday - Christmas Presents in the Past!

When did you open Christmas presents when you were growing up? Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? If you traveled, did your parents take the gifts, or did you open them early or late? Did your parents have Santa leave presents? Were they wrapped or unwrapped? Did you have stockings? What was generally in those? Were gifts simple and practical or more extravagant? Did you give presents to your parents and siblings? Were they homemade or purchased? If purchased, did you pay with your own money or did your parents pay? What are memories of special gifts you received? Did you ever peek and find out what your gifts were ahead of time? Did presents gradually appear under the tree in the days leading up to Christmas and were you allowed to touch/shake them?

As long as I can remember, presents were always in a grand display beneath the Christmas tree. It was the only time that the hallway door to the den was closed. We all had to stand at the door while mom or dad went around into the den and got ready to let us in to see our gifts. I guess they enjoyed the expressions of delight as we discovered what had been left for each of us. I don’t recall anything being wrapped, but instead it looked like a really neat store display window. It was the most exciting morning of the year to say the least!

I have memories of trying to sneak around to the den as my parents and older siblings worked to display our gifts when we were very young. We always got caught and sent back to bed! We did have stockings, but for the life of me I can’t remember what was put in them at this moment. I just know that mom must have paid really close attention throughout the year, because we usually found things that we really wanted on Christmas morning! I’ll never forget the Barbiedoll pool, the year I got an 8-track tape player, or the HUGE teddy bear my brother gave me one year. It’s funny really, because I don’t remember so many details as I remember that we were all really happy and having a good time. I had an aunt and uncle that didn’t have any children, and they usually popped by to see what Santa had brought us.

Christmas night was always spent with that same aunt and uncle (just as it still is today!) so as soon as things settled down (we always started really early!) we had a great breakfast and then headed off to my visit my mom’s mom and sister who lived nearby. We usually had lunch with them, and then left there and went down the road to my aunt and uncle’s house. (my dad’s youngest sister and husband and also my grandparents lived there) We always took gifts to them, and the young kids got gifts from them, we ate a ton and then gathered around the piano and sang hymns. We still do that today!!

My favorite Christmas memory hasn’t changed much. The year I was a Junior in college I spent a week with my oldest sister who had been put to bed with toxemia. It was the first time in my life I’d been away from my parents on Christmas morning, and I remember sitting on the bed with my sister and her husband and talking on the phone with all of my family. We then went to her in-laws for their Christmas celebration and had a really good time. My sister went into labor that night, and I got to be there when my first niece was born on December 26th. That year we didn’t get individual presents, but the family got a video camera to record the family’s newest edition. It was a very special time for me, and one I’ll never forget.


Stela James said...

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Mocha with Linda said...

I loved reading this! And what a special Christmas to see the birth of your niece!

Kav said...

Beautiful memories like yours make you a wealthy woman. One of the things I love most about Christmas is the way most everyone counts past Christmas blessings. Even the commericals get a little nostalgic. LOL.