Christmas Memories

I know it’s no big surprise to anyone that Christmas is almost here. My Kids have made their lists, and have high expectations… maybe too high. I know it’s not only my kids, I hear other’s asking for expensive presents too. I always try to go by their lists, but, set a limit on how much is spent, and that each person has the same amount spent on them.
I grew up with Parents who really didn’t care about Holidays, or birthdays, at least on the birthday thing, mine, it’s 2 days after Christmas. It was always combo Christmas/Birthday present.
 We were poor, so, as I got older I did resent it, but, hey, real life is real life. I do remember having fun looking through the Christmas catalogues. Dreaming of what I would buy, for myself and my siblings if money were no object. I spent my life dreaming, must be why I have a good imagination!  There were some years where I was Santa to my Brother’s and Sister. I always mowed lawns in the summer and babysat, until I was old enough to get a real job. The year my brother Michael was born (Dec. 24), with Mom being pregnant and Dad never giving a darn about Christmas, there wasn’t going to be one for us. If I remember right, a day or so before Christmas someone felt sorry for us and gave us a tree. My brother John and I knew that we had to cut a piece of the bottom off and put it in water in the tree stand. (I was 13, he was 11) We didn’t have a saw, we used the next best thing, a serrated knife. I held the tree, he sawed… I should have let HIM hold the tree; he almost cut my finger off! We got the tree up; the presents were from me, and what ever the younger kids had made at school. I can’t remember what I got them exactly, probably coloring books, crayons, stuff from the Five and Dime. Thing is, they remember, and the memory of that Christmas is special to them. It always was special to me too, I do remember the fun I had buying them presents, but, until recently I had no idea that they remembered.
I guess my point is, sometimes it’s the small kindness that is remembered. I need to work on helping my Children understand this.
I had fun, helped make a special memory with my Brother’s and Sister, and have a really cool scar on my left index finger, that I get to make my Brother John feel guilty about!! What more could I ask for??

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. BH
    Dec 11, 2005 @ 20:24:36

    I\’d say you grew up with a true appreciation for what you had and you\’ll be passing that onto your kids. We deal with the same issues with our boys trying not to go too far while keeping it fun and maintaining the spirit of the season. Liquor helps too.-BH


  2. Barb
    Dec 11, 2005 @ 22:30:00

    What a great memory you created. That was a lot for a 13 year old to take on. It\’s great that your brother and sister remember it with such warm feelings.


  3. wizswench
    Dec 12, 2005 @ 10:48:41

    kitty, your birthday is the same as my beloved grandson (or the original texas tornado as i call him). I am of the opinion we give our kids too much…we indulge them too much and most of them really aren\’t grateful for what they get. Well, maybe for three seconds.I am sooo "little house on the prairie" re christmas…I think we should get to the basics of the season.That doesn\’t include IPODS and PS2 or upchuck barbie dolls.JMTCW.Your b\’day is in two weeks…having your party at Hooters like the g\’son (who will be 6 btw)…don\’t ask me why he picked hooters. Geez.the wench


  4. bren
    Dec 12, 2005 @ 11:22:37

    I always kinda liked the homemade gifts. We never did it in the family (although we should have) but I did it with a group of gals I ran around with. Often time it would simply be an ornament, or a baked goodie. But the exchange would bring us together for finger food, cocktails, and good ol\’ girl time gossip. Yep, those were fun


  5. Leah
    Dec 12, 2005 @ 12:30:18

    You know I read this last night in bed. It made me remember all those Christmas\’ I got promised things from my dad and then never having anything because they spent all their money on my brothers new game system they had to have. I am talking nintendo, super nintendo, the others that have come out since then. And i always got an "you know how it is Leah. You have your mom and grandparents so you get what you want." Now that I have my son, I am spoiling him rotten this year (for reasons you know) and I decided if he doesn\’t get anything else at least he has his Mommy. So I commend you for using your money to get your brothers something because I don\’t think I would have. But I did not grow up with my siblings. I do now however, spend whatever extra I have to get my booties something.


  6. David
    Dec 12, 2005 @ 14:50:46

    Parents didn\’t care about Xmas??? Wow – THAT is sad – blessings on you for seeing to your sibs having Xmas, and on them for letting you know they remember. My folks weren\’t big on B\’days (9 of us and very unwealthy) but Xmas – WELL! I do not know how my Mom did it – I know it started in July at least, but she managed to find at one rummage sale or Thrift store or another, a big load of stuff (even new stuff sometimes). We each got one BIG present (sled, doll for sis, etc) and several little things for each PLUS a stocking each with a little something in the toe and heel plus candy and nuts, etc. If the Xmasses she gave us was my Mom\’s ONLY virtue, she\’d still be right up there in my memory – as I hope you are with your sibs. But of course a mother of that caliber had lots of other virtues…


  7. Unknown
    Dec 12, 2005 @ 17:36:48

    Hey Kittycat,Just between you, me and the fencepost the s.w. i refer to in that story is my real nick-name, shhh I hate it, ha ha ha… Mikey


  8. EdgyKay
    Dec 12, 2005 @ 21:27:03

    Re: "Some people leave this earth with dignity, love and happy memories for their loved ones. I hope I\’ll be like that." Who are you kidding, Steph? OF COURSE you\’ll be like that. You\’ve certainly proved it to me.And this is a lovely entry. Not smarmy or "poor me," which would be VERY easy to do, considering the facts. Funny how those things become easier as the years go by.I\’ve very much appreciated your support and presence the past few weeks. You\’ve become an important part of my life here on Spaces, and I thank you for that.~k


  9. EdgyKay
    Dec 12, 2005 @ 21:28:18

    Oh, and by the way? My best friend in high school, Sue, also had her birthday on Dec. 27. So did her twin sisters. Talk about a triple screw-job!


  10. SAAM
    Dec 13, 2005 @ 06:57:16

    My daughter\’s birthday is Dec 25 and I\’ve always had a party for her a few weeks before Christmas so as to separate the two. So far she seems to enjoy having her birthday on Christmas. I try to spoil her around this time, not because I want her to be a spoiled brat (ICK) but because she is my only child and I want her to have things that I didn\’t necessarily have. Your entry shows that above all the hard times, you learned some important things, which is a true blessing in itself. If we can teach our kids the important things then we succeed. I\’ve thought about helping at a homeless shelter or asking my daughter to donate one of her gifts to a child who won\’t get anything. Real lessons can be learned. I need to do thatSAAM


  11. Renee
    Dec 13, 2005 @ 08:58:16

    How sweet this is …


  12. Greg
    Dec 13, 2005 @ 10:00:49

    Thanks for sharing…Hey, I\’ve done that knife thing before. Never tried again!Thanks for reminding me all…Sister\’s birthday on the 26th. Time to go shop….- Greg


  13. Litespreader
    Dec 13, 2005 @ 11:39:19

    beautiful entry, from a beautiful spirit… i grew up poor\’s neat how the little things make such an impact when youdon\’t have much, to speak of. i know it\’s made me appreciatewhat i do have, so much more. love and peace to you, steph. t


  14. Gina
    Dec 13, 2005 @ 11:57:24

    It\’s def the little things that count! Thats so sweet that at 13 yrs old, you were thoughtful enough to make sure that the others had something they could open on Christmas. Plus crayons and coloring books rock!! Good pick!


  15. K.T.
    Dec 13, 2005 @ 13:38:47

    LOL how long did it take to cut off the buttom of that tree? I also have the picture of the male brain, but I\’m not sure if I\’ll post it. I give you permission to post it in retaliation. YES, the clinic charged me for both proceedures.K.T.


  16. Stephanie
    Dec 13, 2005 @ 15:57:09

    @BH, I hope I\’m passing it on to my kids, as you know it\’s pretty hard with the way things are today. Liquor huh? Vast amounts?? lmao****************************************************************************@Barbie, It did make me feel good that they remembered, and appreciated it.****************************************************************************@Wench, I agree, most of the time they really do take things for granted, and don\’t really appreciate them. Tell your Grandson I said, Happy Birthday! UMMMM he\’s gonna be 6 and he\’s already wanting a birthday at Hooters???? YIKES! I can laugh because he\’s not my Grandson! lmao****************************************************************************@Brenda, That does sound fun! I usually make goodies for friends, neighbors and family. I have a few special recipes that I only use at Christmas. This year I\’m making goodies and fleece throws, and or pillows. I usually make Pajamas for the kids, but I got a great deal on fleece. Sounds fun, you getting together with your friends. I had a couple of fun years when I was managing a travel agency, we (the building) had a, Ronco Christmas one year and the next was Sex toys, now that one got wild!! ****************************************************************************@Leah, That sucks, no other way to state it. Your Father should have treated you just as he did his sons. Nothing like a backhand slap. My Dad used to promise us the moon all the time, but he never followed through, but, at least it was all of us he was screwing over! lol I know you are giving extra love to your little one right now, I think that\’s great. You are his rock and safety, his comfort. You\’re a good Mom. I had no problems sharing my money, I still don\’t. If I were rich, I can\’t think of anything better to do than to make sure (after my bills were paid) that I could help those who might need it. I have a dear friend who says, If he wins the lottery, he\’s gonna send me some. I\’m not sure he has any idea, just knowing that he\’s willing to do that, how much it means to me. ****************************************************************************@Dave, Your Mom sounds very special. She must love you all alot to have been willing to start so early in the year finding presents to make your Christmas special. I came from a family of 7 kids, I know how the birthday thing goes. I know I can\’t give your Mom all the credit, but, I think she raised a pretty amazing Man. ****************************************************************************@Mikey, Mikey, Mikey… I can\’t stop laughing, but, shhhhhhhhhhhh (I sent you an email though, just to tease you about it… I couldn\’t resist!) btw, I\’m glad you\’re back!****************************************************************************@Kay, Thanks!!! I\’ve been kind of afraid that I might end like my Grandmother did. A very scary thought. Sometimes I do the \’poor me\’s\’ but, on the whole when I see how some of my younger siblings are, I\’m thankful I grew up learning how to work and take care of myself. They make me wanna smack them at times. lolIsn\’t it amazing how we come to care for people we\’ve never met in real life? You constantly touch my life, bringing laughter and or moments of reflection, and for that I thank YOU! Consider me part of the, Kay Fan Club! Yikes on your friend\’s birthday and sharing it with twin sisters, that really is a screw job! Having a brother born on the 24th was bad enough! lol ****************************************************************************@SAAM, I think it\’s wonderful that you make a special time of her Birthday! I have a hard time with the whole, wanting them to have what I didn\’t have too. Sometimes I find I\’m the one who wants it more than they do! lol I am thankful for how I grew up, and I hope my kids will be too. You might think about the homes for the Elderly. Many people don\’t have someone to come visit them, or make them feel a part of this special season. ****************************************************************************@Blue, Thanks! and HI! ****************************************************************************@Greg, Tooo funny, I didn\’t think anyone else was ummm shall we say, foolish, enough to try the knife thing! I\’ll show you my scar if you show me yours! Oh, tell your sis, I said, Happy Birthday, and give her a BIG HUG! ****************************************************************************@T, Thanks! You always make me feel better. I admire your ability to understand about letting Indi go and hope that she\’ll find her way back. I\’m just being selfish and miss her. Would it help if I threw a tantrum? lol I do appreciate the little things, because of the way things were. I knew you\’d understand. Thanks! Peace and Love are always needed and appreciated. ****************************************************************************@Manny, Thanks! I have a cousin who says that he used to not like me very much because I was the kind of kid who did nice things for others without being forced to, that and I could draw and color better than he did! LMAO I can\’t help it, it makes me feel good to help or make someone feel special. I agree, coloring books and crayons do rock! I still love crayons! ****************************************************************************@K.T., I don\’t remember for sure, but I\’ll bet it was pretty long. I just remember all the blood and being sure that I could see the bone in my finger! LOLI just might post that Male Brain cartoon, thing is, I think to be true to life, should have 3 areas, SEX, FOOD, and SPORTS! hehe****************************************************************************


  17. Jim
    Dec 13, 2005 @ 16:36:25

    Limits on x-mas, No say it aint so. I like to keep x-mas under 3 credit cards, that usually works for me. I would also hate to have my birthday near Christmas, that would stink. Well I see you have been holding the hands of all of our friends, and I glad, because you do it so well. I am not completely up on Indy\’s story, because I have not kept up with her in awhile, but she always had the most popular blogg around, and a great sassy girl. She has to much energy to stay gone for long, besides Indigo can see the future, so she knows we need her, and you, I dont want to leave you out. Well off to a basketball game, I just want to stop by and say hi, so HI there.!Jim


  18. Bruce
    Dec 13, 2005 @ 19:54:12

    I hope that you can create even greater momories, without the pain. It\’s nice to have a friend like you, and you do understand that we don\’t go out and buy memories… we make them ;-)Cheers!


  19. Barb
    Dec 13, 2005 @ 21:27:23

    Hi Steph! re: Blinded by the light – at least your lyrics made sense! I won\’t confess to what I thought the words were LOLBTW, I totally had a "huh?" moment when I went through my blog walk list today, which I updated very late last night. I don\’t know where my mind was when I got to your link but what I had written last night was bizarre. I had you as Alice with 2 kids and something about a dream log LOL I\’ll repost the link with the right information tonight before I sign off. Just colour me pink with embarrassment!


  20. KatSoup
    Dec 14, 2005 @ 21:38:52

    I remember when christmas was about christmas.


  21. Allissa
    Dec 15, 2005 @ 00:47:28

    "Memory is a child walking along a seashore. yOU never know what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things." -Pierce HarrisThanks for the story. Helps to put things in perspective. Also, I just found your comment today…I don\’t know how I missed it. I want to get some Tanzanian recipes, the problem is that no one here uses them, so I want to find a really good cook and then write down EXACTLY what is used, how it is done, etc. So one of these days… and you know I am a procrastinator 🙂


  22. Jim
    Dec 15, 2005 @ 10:50:09

    Psssssst, to you. I almost got lost in here, with all of the people. Is it time for Christmas break yet?Shut up and sit down, that\’s my life now!LOLJim


  23. ksgrrl
    Dec 17, 2005 @ 21:16:15

    Wow. Great story. My birthday is on New Year\’s Eve which means that I\’ve always lost out on b-day gifts. One of my friends, though, was born during finals week to parents who were/are both professors. Every year until he figured out how to read a calendar, his folks moved his b-day to whatever day was most convinient.


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