Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas Stories

Flashback Friday is about Christmas/December stories.

Every year, for as long as I can remember, mom, grandma and I would pile in the car on the first day of Christmas break from school and drive the 8 hours to Mesa AZ to spend Christmas with my aunts, uncles, and cousins.
We always stayed at my favorite Aunt G's house and always had so much fun. I always wanted to move to Mesa to live near her when I grew up. But I haven't made it there yet. I'd still love to move there.

We would always have so much food around and go out to eat for so many dinners and my cousins and I would run around, playing and having fun.

There is not really one particular Christmas that sticks out in my mind because our parents' kept the holidays so similar that they seemed to blend together. I could always count on seeing my cousins and playing, watching the original Miracle on 34th Street on Christmas Eve, getting up on Christmas morning and opening our stockings, and then eating something yummy for breakfast. But, before we could even touch the presents we would all have to get dressed and make our beds. That's ok, we managed to survive those minutes of torture.

When we could finally open presents it wasn't a free for all. It started with the oldest person in the room and went down to the youngest. You would open one present and then the next youngest person would open one. It would take up to 3 hours to open all the presents and all of the kids would get so antsy and wiggle and run around looking at what everyone else had and try to sneek peaks of unopened presents.

I was always the quiet one and my cousins would get told to sit down and be quiet, please sit down, where are your manners, quit hitting your brother or sister or whatever my cousins were doing. I wanted to act up so bad but I was the oldest and I had figured out that the quieter you were and if you sat very still you would get to all of your presents much faster.

I did act up one year. It had been a tough year with granny and she just seemed to be much meaner than she was in the past. We had our two chihuahuas with us, Chiquita and Chaco, and that meant there were 6 adults, 5 kids, and 4 dogs. There were fewer relatives that year. One night just after Christmas day and right before we went home the chihuahuas got stuck together. They were outside, trying to um, reproduce, and got stuck. Now I understand why but back then I didn't understand what had happened. Mom told me not to tell people about it because that is just not the kind of stuff you share with anyone. I still didn't understand why you can't tell people about it, I was only in the 4th grade and it worried me to see those two little dogs hopping around outside, stuck together. At one point they were butt to butt trying to run around the yard. The adults were trying to not laugh and us kids were just concerned they were hurt.

Of course since mom told me not to tell anyone about it I proceded to tell everyone about it. Everyone I met at my Aunt's Catholic church heard about the stuck dog incident, everyone at the restaurant after church, and of course any one else who was around to hear the story. I even told my class about it for show and tell when we got back from Christmas break. My poor teacher, it was her first year teaching and she had no idea how to handle it.

I was in so much trouble when we got home. My mom was very disappointed in me for doing exactly what she had told me not to do. I think because I rarely did that. I was such a quiet little girl and always had my head stuck in a book. I think it just shocked her so much that I would disobey her like that and about something so embarrasing that she didn't know what to do!

Christmas's have changed obviously. We can no longer go to Mesa every Christmas, mainly due to work schedules. That is ok, we try to meet half way one weekend day for lunch and to exchange presents. At least we get to see them. Since mom was an elementary school teacher it was easy to get away. Now, not so easy.

Now we spend Christmas Eve with Scott's family and Christmas day at home. We still have fun and I have managed to carry on some of my mom's rules. You can open presents when everyone is up but you have to be dressed with your bed made before we do presents. I think that is the only day of the year that I make my bed anymore. I'm such a hypocrite sometimes. LOL

This year is so different. I am normally so ready for Christmas by now. I wear Christmas shirts and jingly earrings and necklaces and santa hats. I am just so much cheerful. I know it all has to do with granny passing. It will be strange this year but we will all muddle through it.

I'll eventually get in the holiday spirt, probably on Christmas Eve during our church service when we are singing my favorite Christmas hymns.

Everyone have a great weekend.


Rochelle said...

I love those family traditions. No matter how annoying they are. Though I have to tell you, I'm not quite in the Christmas spirit either. ::Sigh::

Theresa said...

I'll second that. Missing the Christmas spirit, but I'm hoping it will hit soon!

Karin said...

Hmmm....I'm half in the Christmas spirit. I think the problem is there is so much to do that it dampens your spirit. Maybe we should all rethink this whole buy nine zillion gifts for everyone thing and just focus on what it's really all about. Wouldn't the retail industry love us if we did that?

Shannon said...

Oh yea, the retail industry would be thrilled. It would be great though to try that one year. It would also help my kids to understand Christmas better. I think next year will be a no-gift year. HMM that is something to think about.