Do You Have Christmas Memories?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yesterday I read a post by my blogging buddy Flowering Mama. Where she related how thankful she was for her country neighbors and it left an impression. I began to think about Christmas memories. Do you have Christmas memories?

I am not talking about those traditions we all go through year after year but memories. What pops in your head first when you think of Christmas past? Is it a gift, a place, a relative, maybe just a simple sense like the smell of pine?

As I spent the afternoon battling this cold, a pattern emerged. I began to realize my memories were nothing like what I expected. What I was remembering were not gifts or any monetary asset I had been bestowed but rather true Christmas memories.

My earliest memory was a smell. As a child my mother’s father always visited for Christmas and with his visit came a special Christmas breakfast. He was a true handy man which could take anything apart and put it back together and have it work. I wonder now if it was not a ploy on my mothers side for all our gifts that had the dreaded. “Assembly required” tag on it.

Any who, the breakfast was always special. Every Christmas morning we had eggs, biscuits, fried potatoes and… country ham and red eye gravy. I sure miss those Christmas mornings. There is nothing like a good country ham.

My mind moved on the junior high. Where I took wood shop and made a sewing chest for my mother. I had to get my boyfriend and 3 other guys to help me get it home, it would not fit on the bus. The tears in her eyes when she opened that gift made it all worth it.

Move on to adulthood to my favorite Christmas memory of all. Once my grandparents got too old to drive to my parents country home I became the elderly taxi driver. A solid hour and a half of three elderly people screaming at each other due to not having proper volume levels adjusted on their hearing aids.

The routine was to load them up and then pick my other grandmother up. This particular Christmas when I arrived my grandfather had the car warming and was rearing to go.

It wasn’t two miles into the trip that it turned into an adventure. Turning around to say something to my grandfather, my grandmother looks at me and says, “Your grandfather is cold, can we turn the heat up?” “Sure,” I responded and proceed to turn the fan up. You are not going to believe this.

The moment I turned that fan on it was as if we suddenly found ourselves in a snow globe. Out every vent portal in the car, the fan blew small white pieces of paper. It wasn’t long before I had to pull over.

A family of mice had decided their car was the perfect place for a winter home. They must have spent all summer hoarding the amount of paper that was stuffed in that car.

Back on the road I once again turned the fan on and I left it on high trying to blow all the paper out. This is when the icing on the cake appeared. Yes, there in the floor board were the dead remnants of the paper shredding bandit.

I pulled into a gas station and vacuumed up our snow globe. We related the story to my other grandmother and laughed all the way to mom’s house. My father, once he inherited the car had to take it apart to get all the paper out.

I know this is a “had to be there” memory but the memory is not my point. The point is I look back now and see the experience is the joy, not the gifts and glitter.

This Christmas I’m wishing for you the experience. To have the ability to take the adventures and turn them into life long memories. This is what Christmas was meant to be; joy and memories.

If you have made it this far I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and JOY! I’m not sure if I will post again before Christmas, depends on how things play out.



Teresa aka JW said, 

We were a poorish family during my growing up years, but two things my parents saved for and did for our family. We celebrated! Christmas and birthdays were big, big, big. We not only got gifts which are important to children, but always visited our relatives for extended family Christmas's and dinners.

I in turn have carried on those traditions. Lot's of celebrating for the birth of Jesus and for each other.

Lots of wonderful memories and I'm still making them.

Merry Christmas, Jules.


December 21, 2010 at 9:32 AM  
Summer Ross said, 

LOL paper everywhere. That would be an experience Jules. One of the things I remember most fondly is my mother, since she is passed, I am always reaching for those fond memories of her and they happen to be holidays. She used to compete with the neighbors in decorations. She wasn't much of a cook but she loved Christmas so much. Have a great holiday!

December 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM  
Martha said, 

That was funny...only you all could have had such a time!

I always remember the kitchen at 318, Issis making pies, and candy. The "marble slab" used for the pulled candy that had to be just a certain temperature and pulled apart by two people over and over ...usually Issis and Dean as I recall. And when really young, Don's family with all the 'mop' dogs..can't believe Ike put up with those. Nine extra in that house, 11 including John and Sharon for good measure plus dogs.. oh my.
Girl cousins slept on floor tucked under buffet...we were much smaller then I
Have a great christmas.

December 21, 2010 at 12:17 PM  
OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said, 

Lovely! paper snow, lol!! My memories are usually mixed with food and flavors - my grandma's pasta (delicious with her special tomato sauce, american cheese, ortega green chiles, bread crumbs and butter on top for a crunchy finish), the first time I tasted sparkling wine (more like cider really, but I felt so grown up drinking it), the Christmas I realized Santa was not real (and had to pretend to my mom that I knew all along holding back my tears)then helped mom buying "Santa" gifts for my baby sister... sharing and nourishing mostly. Have a wonderful Christmas!

December 21, 2010 at 12:22 PM  
Tracy said, 

Hey, do you want to know why I was WIDE AWAKE last night at 2:00 thinking? I never sent you my 'snail mail' address for my prize....I am such a dork! I was so excited and responded initially but then forgot in all my exuberance to come back and do that...oh well, is it too late?

Oh Christmas memories...I'm trying to get past the memories of my parents fighting, my mother scraping pennies to provide a Christmas for 5 children, an absent father and sadness for my mother because she tried so to move beyond that? The reasons I don't like the holidays...I'm trying...

December 21, 2010 at 1:00 PM  
The Golden Eagle said, 

I've never heard of such a thing--LOL. I probably would have jumped and maybe screamed a little when I noticed the paper shredders . . .

I remember looking out onto the screened porch one year and seeing the tree outside, which we hadn't brought in yet. I was only around 5 or 6 then. :)

December 21, 2010 at 1:42 PM  
Alex J. Cavanaugh said, 

That's funny - and just a little gross.
I remember one Christmas feast of hot dogs - my dad was deployed and my mom sick with the flu. My brother and I didn't mind!

December 21, 2010 at 2:30 PM  
welcome to my world of poetry said, 

I wasn't very old but I remember my mother being happy one minute but behind closed doors I heard to crying. It appears my dad died and wa buried on Christmas Eve.....I was three.
We always had good christmas's but there was always a hint of sadness.

Have a Happy Christmas Jules.


December 21, 2010 at 3:00 PM  
Aleta said, 

Christmas memory.... first thing that comes to mind was when my brother and I hid under the table and waited up as long as we could to see if we could spy Santa. Lol.

Other memories - more about the decorating.... Dad would turn on the Christmas music and everyone would decorate and sing. My parents used to have big Christmas parties too and they would make all the food. We would help, fun memories.

December 21, 2010 at 5:09 PM  
floweringmama said, 

Oh yes... PICKLES!!! My sister always gave me a gallon jar of dill pickles for Christmas.

I told you I was a country girl!!

December 21, 2010 at 6:07 PM  
Holly said, 

Thanks for sharing your cherished memories!! I pray you, too, have a beautiful Christmas full of love a joy! (((HUGS)))

December 21, 2010 at 9:55 PM  
oldgreymare said, 

well of course I love this story and the imagery.

Now THAT"S a memory.


December 21, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

I van relate to battling a cold. Had something over the weekend that felt like a tank ran me over. Have a safe and warm holiday season to you and yours!

December 22, 2010 at 2:18 AM  
Flying high in the sky.... said, 

smell... even i have lots of memories stored thru "smell" ... i loved the bit where you would drive for your grandparents.. how cute!! wish i knew how to drive...wish i could do something like that for my parents and grandparents!!! you are lucky... God Bless you...

the most beautiful christmas memories belong to my school days... decorated church..decorated school...freedom..good food ( i was a hosteler) ....the santa..(i became santa once!) and those cute gifts.... love every bit of it .... thanks for taking me back to that time....

December 22, 2010 at 5:47 AM  
Tracy said, 

Silly, I don't NEED a prize; your writing is enough for me :)
I obviously thought of the wrong person...darn!
Yes, I had won a prize on someone's blog and she had asked me for my 'snail mail' address and I totally forgot to send in so in my haste to check that little ditty off my list, I pegged you.
Oh well, a day late and a dollar short!
I'm off to investigate more thoroughly :)

December 22, 2010 at 8:02 AM  
Tammy said, 

Love love love the snow glob image, even if it was the result of a (deceased) mouse! And my dad used to make red eye gravy. Thank YOU for a great memory!

December 22, 2010 at 10:09 AM  
MT said, 

What a fantastic snow globe memory. :) I wish I could think of a memory to share, but my mind is blank right now. Oh well! Have a lovely Christmas!

December 22, 2010 at 10:49 AM  
N. R. Williams said, 

I was expecting you to tell me Grandpa stuffed paper into the vents. Wonderful memory. When I was a child my mother had mini houses that they put lights inside of. We always made a snow scene on the mantel with the house, glass reindeer, a Santa sleigh and woodland scene. I would stand on a chair and play with them for hours. My Mom could always trust me not to break anything. Now I have large houses but at the moment, no place to put them.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

December 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM  
Shannon O'Donnell said, 

Paper snow--I love it!! I remember staring out my window late at night, watching for Santa! :-)

December 23, 2010 at 1:31 PM  
Corine said, 

LOL - love it! Ah... Memories! :D That is what it is all about; I think I shall start blogging a bit more frequently again soon to preserve more of them! Thanks ;) and Merry Christmas! :D

December 23, 2010 at 3:27 PM  
Holly said, 

You WON the I Caught Santa drawing tonight!! Thanks for participating!! Merry Christmas! You code has been e-mailed to you. ((HUGS))

December 23, 2010 at 11:55 PM  
N. R. Williams said, 

Merry Christmas. What's that I hear? The cute prancing of eight tiny reindeer? "George, get them out of the flower bed." LOL
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

December 24, 2010 at 12:04 PM  
Amie Kaufman said, 

I remember being in Ireland and walking into town and across the stone bridge that was hundreds of years old, crossing the river and heading to midnight mass in the freezing cold.

I also remember being in Australia, playing in the swimming pool on Christmas day and sweltering!

December 25, 2010 at 1:57 AM  
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