What do you actually remember from childhood? Like, what do you really remember about Christmas? Do you actually remember what was in each and every neatly wrapped box, every single year, since you were a kid? Remember every single present, and everyone who gave you each present? I sure don’t …..
Wanna know what I do remember?
Christmas parties at my Grammys house!
The decorations …. oh she had no taste at all! I truly believe she picked out the most hideous tree on the lot, simply because she felt bad for the little fella! It got worse! The poor tree didn’t have life bad enough, so Gram decorated it with silver tinsel (the kind you hope to God your cat doesn’t eat) and apples. Yep, gaudy red apple ornaments. I don’t even know who sold those too her, or what she thought apples had to do with Christmas, but they were memorable!
She had a giant fir tree right in front of her house, and a big old picture window that over looked it. Somehow, with the help of my Uncle and a borrowed bucket truck from work, they got giant Christmas lights wrapped around the thing all the way to the very top! I remember the way the lights walked across the snowy lawn, begging to be chased by children so bundled up they could barley walk. I would waddle over to the tree and plop down into the snow underneath it. I could watch those lights forever …. I wish my children could see those lights!
Food, you could always count of the classics being there. Ribbon candy, which I lost my shit over when I found them at the grocery store this year and may or may not have eight boxes on top of my fridge, port wine cheese log, mixed nuts, salsa dip my aunt always brought, egg salad and tuna sandwiches (with and without onions, I loved her!), and much more!
I remember stomach aches, that didn’t slow me down at all!
There was a VHS tape that always made its debut after a few drinks. It must have been an hour, and taught you every cheesy dance you could imagine. I wish I had tapes of us all sliding across the floor … “Its electric de dedede do”
Someone got us a Kareoke machine one year. Although, I think it was more for the sake of entertainment then a real gift! How else do you think I learned every single word to Crocodile rock!
I’ll admit, night was more for the adults, but us kids were never ushered away! We were allowed to sit quietly while the adults opened gag gifts. We would laugh when everyone else did, even though we didn’t really understand what edible underwear were, or why it was so funny that my grandfather got them ….. cherry is a perfectly acceptable flavor …. what’s so funny?
We watched them fight over yankee swap gifts, and would give our important imput on the situation. Listen mom, aunty is eyeing those candles and she If after you, you should pick the crock pot …. no one wants that thing! Oh hey, it had scratch tickets in it ….. God I’m Good!
More food, more laughter, more watching the sky for Santa, because he always made a special trip to her house that night!
Then came bed-time! My Grammy had pleanty of spare rooms, so every family would retreat to their own. My parents went home because we lived so close, but us kids would stay. Sleeping on the couch, half awake, still not understanding why those underwear were so flipping funny!
MORNING ….. meant a great big breakfast! Yummy!
This was our day, the kids day! Those presents were ours for the taking ….! We had stalked our pray into the wee hours of the night. Flipping them over and over, shaking them, and doing everything put opening them to guess what was hidden inside. Today was the day ….. today they were ours!
One time Santa even came to pass out presents …. 🙂 it was awesome!
Those are the things I remember. Presents and Christmas, those things will always go hand in hand, but those are not what you remember. Those things are easily forgotten because they’ll be back next year, but the other things …. they may never come back …. like Christmas at Grandmas, nothing but memories of Christmas past.