Your Favorite Christmas Memory

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Your Favorite Christmas Memory

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Dez 5, 2009, 7:16 am

Mine is always Christmas Eve at our house in Hawthorne California. We lived there until I was 13.

We opened presents Christmas Eve after a day of almost sick-making anticipation and the torture of having to eat dinner, wash the dishes and get the kitchen cleaned up.

Then we'd each pick a favorite part of the living room I always sat in the Purple Chair (don't ask), and the three of us kids would distribute presents. Then we'd go around one at a time, opening a present and oohing and aahing and having family members comment on the thoughtfullness of other family members, it's exactly what you wanted!, etc. This took well upwards of an hour or so, even though I don't remember too many more presents than 4 or 5 each.

After all the presents were opened we'd pick up all the discarded wrapping paper, play with, use, or try on things, then put all the presents under the tree. Then we'd put our stockings out strategically for Santa to fill them and leave our unwrapped Santa presents overnight. Then it was off to bed (as we got older we would watch TV until bedtime). One time we heard Santa's sleigh bells and had to hurry to bed! (some neighbor, I'm sure, on a coordinated neighborhood mission)

Christmas morning was alway super too - we had to wait to get up until 6 a.m. I remember us watching the clock at 4 and 5 a.m., just waiting, then rushing into the living to see what we got from Santa.

What's your Favorite Christmas Memory?

Dez 5, 2009, 8:43 pm

The year my parents surprised me with xcountry skiis, that I had put on layaway. I was newly divorced and could not afford to pay for them all at once. 35 years old at the time it brought tears to my eyes.

Dez 5, 2009, 9:10 pm

We lived in Billings, Montana when I was a child. My younger siblings' room was behind the bedroom I shared with my next youngest sister. The littler ones had to go through our room to get to the rest of the house.

Betsy and I, as bossy big sisters, refused to let the others go out into the living room when they first got up that particular Christmas. We said it was too early, and Mom and Dad were asleep and they could just wait until we (the supreme authorities we thought) said it was ok.

Mom finally came in around 7:30 to see why we weren't up yet. It seems that they had gotten us a model railroad for a family gift, and Dad had gotten up at 5:00 to have it running for us when we got up.

Editado: Dez 5, 2009, 11:31 pm

Rather than repost, I'm going to attempt to redirect you to a specific message I wrote in a thread on the Green Dragon, maybe 2 years ago. Wish me luck!

Green Dragon thread: Funny Christmas Story, Post #7

If that didn't work, I'll come back and fix the link.

~Almost~ had it right the first time.

Dez 7, 2009, 10:44 am

I love your stories, WHL. Thanks!

Dez 7, 2009, 11:44 am

#4... oh.... my....

While I would not call this my *favorite* memory, it's related.

It was about 1975; I was just out of college, and sharing a large (cheap) old Victorian house with some other broke recent graduates. The State of Colorado had a free program (still does, but I think now it costs) where one could go up into certain areas in the mountains and cut a tree (just don't take the ones they mark to save.) Three of us made it up the mountain roads in a rattle-y old station wagon, and floundered through several feet of snow in search of Our Tree. Presently we found one that someone had cut down and abandoned. Why, for goodness' sake? Great tree. Already cut - might as well take it. We dragged it to the car - and discovered that it was about 18 feet long; probably why it had been abandoned. So after some debate, and considerable effort, we got it tied on, where it stuck out several feet on either end, and tiptoed back down the mountain, with the small station wagon enveloped in a tree.

We eventually got back to the house in Denver. The drive had fortunately shaken most of the snow out of the branches, but when we dragged the tree into the house, there was still plenty to shed and melt into the rug. The tree was also a good bit taller than the living room, even with the 14-foot ceilings. We could have set it up in the tall bit that went up into the stairwell, but then we'd have had to go in and out the back door for the next month. Eventually, we hauled it back outside, cut off about the top spindly 18 inches, and removed about 2 1/2 feet from the bottom. It *just* fit in the living room, though it filled up rather a lot of the room. It also sneered at staying upright in the cheap little tree stand we had. Several experiments later, we had it wedged into a bucket of rocks, and carefully positioned into a corner.

We did not own a ladder, but two of us held the tree sideways while the third wrapped lights on the upper third of the tree. Glass balls were hung only as high as we could reach with the kitchen step-stool; beyond that, we managed to get some paper snowflakes & origami cranes into the upper branches via the end of a yardstick. (*Then* we added the water to the bucket of rocks that served as a stand.)

The cats were enchanted with their new toy - several mornings, I came down the stairs to discover a plump calico perched on a particularly good branch about 8 feet up. Pulling her out of the tree usually caused more havoc than letting her get down on her own, when she was good and ready.

After the holidays, we couldn't stand to put that tree out for the trash pickup - we eventually gave it to a friend with a fireplace. But they had to come take it away themselves.

Dez 7, 2009, 1:14 pm

What a great story, Rowntree! I especially like the part about the kitties perching on branches.

Editado: Dez 7, 2009, 2:52 pm

I agree - nicely done!

The only part that scares me is that someone would cut it up and burn it in a fireplace -- all that creosote! Did hauling it off include the cat?

Dez 7, 2009, 2:50 pm

Rowntree, I can picture you coming out of the mountains with an 18' tree tied to your car. What a great story. Is it ironic that your name is Rowntree?

Dez 7, 2009, 4:30 pm

I've had a lot of great laughs with the family -- including the back-to-back Christmases when my college-age son got stuck in the Yankee swap with a black faux leather purse and a tube top. But of all the Xmas morning memories, the one that sticks with me was the day I got a baseball glove, a football and golf clubs. For a a kid who grew up loving sports, it was the ultimate trifecta.

Dez 7, 2009, 5:24 pm

Thanks, folks. No, we kept the cats. (More than one climbed it during the holidays, but it was the little calico, Nutmeg, who was *really* persistant about it.)

The name's not related to *that* particular tree, but to the rowan (mountain-ash in the States) which is said to be good luck in Scottish folklore.

Dez 7, 2009, 6:31 pm

Ah, so the people who have been misspelling it "Rowantree" aren't that wrong! I was thinking it had to do with sweets!

Dez 8, 2009, 11:57 am

I got to thinking about this last night, and was wondering - what's the *first* Christmas tree folk here remember?

In my case, it was one in my great-aunt's front parlor. It had those bubble lights, that bubbled faster as they got too hot to touch, and I *think* I remember some other lights with little glass birds on them , that tweeted a bit as they got hot.

Anyone else have a vague (or better) memory of tweeting bird lights?

Dez 8, 2009, 12:29 pm

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