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Perianne
12-16-2015, 02:54 PM
As Christmas approaches, I am sure all of us have lost people we loved and will miss this Christmas. Perhaps we can share memories of those we love here.

I miss my beloved husband, Richard. I woke up this morning with him on my mind and have already lost some tears over his memory. I met him while I was serving drinks in a bar in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I was 25 and he was just 18. He looked into my eyes and (later told me he) fell in love at that moment. Within a couple of years we were married and a year and one-half later we had started a family. He was always my protector and the strength I needed to succeed in life.

For his final Christmas, I bought him a tailored suit that he loved. I buried him in that suit.

Rest in peace my beloved husband. I will always hold the memories of you dearly.

gabosaurus
12-17-2015, 12:16 AM
Bearing in mind that I have only experienced 30-something Christmas days, I can't say I remember one more than the others. Perhaps because they have all been celebrated in pretty much the same way.
We have a snack tray filled with goodies, which everyone munches on while sharing the fellowship that only family can produce.
This is followed by the gift exchange. In my family, everyone gets one gift.
Then there is an excessive amount of food. Nothing beats the pleasure of mass consumption.

Last Christmas there was a genuine moment of panic. My cousin's two-year-old, who was asleep on a sofa in the guest room, suddenly let out a piercing yowl. Everyone ran in expecting worst. Only to find out that our cat had laid down on her blanket.

PixieStix
12-17-2015, 01:49 AM
When I was 8 years old my Mom had bought a ticket to win the Christmas Ferryland drawing for an undisclosed prize. At the my Mom and Dad had 5 kids to cloth and feed.

She received a call telling her that the Cleveland Press and the TV people would be out to our home in North Ridgeville, Ohio. All Mom said is that we won something, we had no idea what it was. I was excited because my Mom was crying tears of joy. About a half hour later a big truck pulled into our driveway with a 10 foot stocking on it, full of toys! Imagine the joy that us kids felt when we saw that stocking. We were ages 10, 8, 7, 6, 5.

The people that presented the prize to my Mom, told her that another 10 ft. stocking full of toys, would be given to a charity of her choice. I have no idea what charity she chose, all I wanted to do was get to those toys and share them with my siblings.


BEST CHRISTMAS EVER :thumb::thumb::thumb:

One of my fondest memories


Thanks MOM for all the wonderful memories that you gave us.

Kathianne
12-17-2015, 06:51 AM
My first 50 Christmases or so were pretty much alike and wonderful, with moments of course. For 40 years they were at my parents' home.

Those who've been around for awhile are aware that my mom was something of an obsessive cleaner, (at least to me and most that knew and loved her. Let's put it this way, she washed the outside of windows monthly and screens twice a year- these were not the pull in to clean windows. Nuff said!)

Christmas cleaning was something else, we all-including my dad were put to work at least a week before. Sometimes my dad's would start earlier which included painting a room or two! All closets and drawers had to be emptied and cleaned out-(in fairness this happened in the Spring too, but Christmas always had its own stress with hidden presents, trees and decorations all over, true stress makers! No matter, mom said it all had to be done. Other than her sister, my aunt, I don't think a soul looked in a closet; no one a dresser drawer in all those years and there were usually 30-35 people for dinner, more after for dessert.

Her shopping must have started in September, though dragging my brother to the malls began after Thanksgiving after we no longer believed in Santa. I think we were around 7 or 8. Mostly would be Friday nights, the malls weren't opened Sat night or Sun then! That was shopping for my dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Needless to say we weren't thrilled to be dragged to toy stores for cousins or Marshall Field's for clothes shopping for others! Poor mom!

My dad was always off Christmas Eve. During the morning and afternoon it was very hectic, picking up bakery goods ordered; meat from butcher; last minute groceries from supermarket-these were chores for dad to do and bring my brother and I along with. Mom was still cleaning! LOL! When home and everything put away the fun times would begin in earnest. We opened the last doors on our advent calendars. Until we were in our early teens, we went to Children's Mass around 4 in the afternoon, afterwards mingling with friends after watching the little kids visit with Santa after and having cookies and hot chocolate.

Around 7 we'd have dinner, always the same: Baked pasta, hot garlic bread, minestrone soup. Then we'd all get to open 1 present-new Christmas jammies and slippers. We'd put them on then watch Christmas movies. It was the one night my brother and I always slept in the living room-starting on couches, ending up on the floor. This went back to my earliest memories-how Santa got all the presents under the tree I have no idea! It probably helped that it seems to run in our family that we sleep like the dead! But really??!!!!

In the morning, around 5, we kids would wake to the lighted tree with presents spilling around us, sometimes with big things like bikes in the dining room! We'd wake up mom and dad, then have to wait while they had coffee and dad read about the Christmas story from the bible. THEN it was crazy opening frenzy! When all the packages opened and wrappings put out to the trash, we had to get all this 'stuff' into our rooms, company was coming! Breakfast was juice and pastries-picked up by dad on his bakery run. Mom needed the kitchen! Pretty much my brother and I were in our rooms, playing with the loot. Dad was peeling and cutting potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. Mom was cooking. Then dad was cutting chicken wings, making meat balls, etc. Mom was cooking it all.

Around 4 company would start arriving. There was always 'Christmas punch' for us kids-lime sherbet with 50/50 pop poured over with maraschino cherries in ice cubes floating on top. The adults were imbibing with cocktails. Always there were at least 12 trays and hot dish appetizers. (Needless to say, dinner wasn't fully appreciated. After years, mom switched from turkey to making a simpler ham and beef roast). Around 8:30 mom's family, including my 5 cousins would come for dessert and playing the 'card game!') We played Rummy Royal for pennies, the kids always won! Sometimes I'd have over $5! Most years at least 3 cousins would end up spending the night, one year they all did, even my aunt. The last company must have left around 2, I was asleep. ;)

I admit that when I was the mom I was not as compulsive at cleaning and there were far, far fewer presents on Christmas morning-but I wasn't raised during the depression and had never wanted for any necessities, few wants. Other than that I stuck with the plan for most things. I didn't have to seat 30-35 for dinner, more like 15-20, but didn't have a huge dining room that ran directly into the living room. Our 'kids table' were two Little Tykes picnic tables, not a banquet table end-to-end with dining table. Dinner began at 1 with fewer appetizers and less drinking. After dinner the kids went caroling, then we'd play Rummy Royal with the kids winning; years later the 'kids' got to choose other games to play. They still do that!

Lots of memories tied up with Christmas including train rides downtown to see Santa at Marshall Field's and lunch in the Walnut Room. Yearly trip to see "The Nutcracker" at Arie Crown. Car trips to drop off toys for "Toys for Tots" and to collect and bring boxes to Food Collection that WGN ran downtown; shopping for our 'ornament people' off the city tree.

I think my parents did a good job of mixing the real meaning of Christmas with the excesses often lamented. The lessons have been handed down to my kids and their cousins. I'm pretty sure the grandkids will have a similar experience growing up. My daughter has already started a new tradition, sort of a blend of what's gone before. Alison's 'advent calendar' is a big, decorated box. Every day they wrap a 'present' of food or a toy or article of clothing and put it in the box. On the 24th they will bring that big box to a collection point to be delivered to some family in town.

Merry Christmas everyone!

PixieStix
12-17-2015, 02:59 PM
More memories please? Thank you and Merry Christmas :2up:

Abbey
12-17-2015, 03:09 PM
As a December baby, I used to often get just one present, and my parents said it counted for both Birthday and Christmas. Sorry that it's not a warm and fuzzy, but it's what I tend to remember most about childhood Christmases.

Which is why I like this:

http://www.kappit.com/img/pics/201412_0939_hiahe_sm.png

Gunny
12-17-2015, 03:10 PM
My first 50 Christmases or so were pretty much alike and wonderful, with moments of course. For 40 years they were at my parents' home.

Those who've been around for awhile are aware that my mom was something of an obsessive cleaner, (at least to me and most that knew and loved her. Let's put it this way, she washed the outside of windows monthly and screens twice a year- these were not the pull in to clean windows. Nuff said!)

Christmas cleaning was something else, we all-including my dad were put to work at least a week before. Sometimes my dad's would start earlier which included painting a room or two! All closets and drawers had to be emptied and cleaned out-(in fairness this happened in the Spring too, but Christmas always had its own stress with hidden presents, trees and decorations all over, true stress makers! No matter, mom said it all had to be done. Other than her sister, my aunt, I don't think a soul looked in a closet; no one a dresser drawer in all those years and there were usually 30-35 people for dinner, more after for dessert.

Her shopping must have started in September, though dragging my brother to the malls began after Thanksgiving after we no longer believed in Santa. I think we were around 7 or 8. Mostly would be Friday nights, the malls weren't opened Sat night or Sun then! That was shopping for my dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Needless to say we weren't thrilled to be dragged to toy stores for cousins or Marshall Field's for clothes shopping for others! Poor mom!

My dad was always off Christmas Eve. During the morning and afternoon it was very hectic, picking up bakery goods ordered; meat from butcher; last minute groceries from supermarket-these were chores for dad to do and bring my brother and I along with. Mom was still cleaning! LOL! When home and everything put away the fun times would begin in earnest. We opened the last doors on our advent calendars. Until we were in our early teens, we went to Children's Mass around 4 in the afternoon, afterwards mingling with friends after watching the little kids visit with Santa after and having cookies and hot chocolate.

Around 7 we'd have dinner, always the same: Baked pasta, hot garlic bread, minestrone soup. Then we'd all get to open 1 present-new Christmas jammies and slippers. We'd put them on then watch Christmas movies. It was the one night my brother and I always slept in the living room-starting on couches, ending up on the floor. This went back to my earliest memories-how Santa got all the presents under the tree I have no idea! It probably helped that it seems to run in our family that we sleep like the dead! But really??!!!!

In the morning, around 5, we kids would wake to the lighted tree with presents spilling around us, sometimes with big things like bikes in the dining room! We'd wake up mom and dad, then have to wait while they had coffee and dad read about the Christmas story from the bible. THEN it was crazy opening frenzy! When all the packages opened and wrappings put out to the trash, we had to get all this 'stuff' into our rooms, company was coming! Breakfast was juice and pastries-picked up by dad on his bakery run. Mom needed the kitchen! Pretty much my brother and I were in our rooms, playing with the loot. Dad was peeling and cutting potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. Mom was cooking. Then dad was cutting chicken wings, making meat balls, etc. Mom was cooking it all.

Around 4 company would start arriving. There was always 'Christmas punch' for us kids-lime sherbet with 50/50 pop poured over with maraschino cherries in ice cubes floating on top. The adults were imbibing with cocktails. Always there were at least 12 trays and hot dish appetizers. (Needless to say, dinner wasn't fully appreciated. After years, mom switched from turkey to making a simpler ham and beef roast). Around 8:30 mom's family, including my 5 cousins would come for dessert and playing the 'card game!') We played Rummy Royal for pennies, the kids always won! Sometimes I'd have over $5! Most years at least 3 cousins would end up spending the night, one year they all did, even my aunt. The last company must have left around 2, I was asleep. ;)

I admit that when I was the mom I was not as compulsive at cleaning and there were far, far fewer presents on Christmas morning-but I wasn't raised during the depression and had never wanted for any necessities, few wants. Other than that I stuck with the plan for most things. I didn't have to seat 30-35 for dinner, more like 15-20, but didn't have a huge dining room that ran directly into the living room. Our 'kids table' were two Little Tykes picnic tables, not a banquet table end-to-end with dining table. Dinner began at 1 with fewer appetizers and less drinking. After dinner the kids went caroling, then we'd play Rummy Royal with the kids winning; years later the 'kids' got to choose other games to play. They still do that!

Lots of memories tied up with Christmas including train rides downtown to see Santa at Marshall Field's and lunch in the Walnut Room. Yearly trip to see "The Nutcracker" at Arie Crown. Car trips to drop off toys for "Toys for Tots" and to collect and bring boxes to Food Collection that WGN ran downtown; shopping for our 'ornament people' off the city tree.

I think my parents did a good job of mixing the real meaning of Christmas with the excesses often lamented. The lessons have been handed down to my kids and their cousins. I'm pretty sure the grandkids will have a similar experience growing up. My daughter has already started a new tradition, sort of a blend of what's gone before. Alison's 'advent calendar' is a big, decorated box. Every day they wrap a 'present' of food or a toy or article of clothing and put it in the box. On the 24th they will bring that big box to a collection point to be delivered to some family in town.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I basically remember my first Christmas as when we came home from Turkey and it was at my grandparent's house. I had more GI Joe crap than I knew what to do with. The entire living room was stuffed with more crap for me and my little brother than you could believe. And it all came from Sears. :laugh:

And I was doomed from the start. I remember sitting in a hotel room watching the traffic signals and analyzing them. We didn't have any in Turkey. And TV was a modern marvel to me. Didn't have snow either. THAT was my favorite Christmas. For me as me.

Tied with it is when my baby girl had her second Christmas. She was the happiest camper in the world. And don't think Daddy's little girl didn't get everything I could afford to buy. :)

PixieStix
12-17-2015, 03:20 PM
As a December baby, I used to often get one present that my parents said counted for both Birthday and Christmas. Sorry that it's not a warm and fuzzy, but it's what I tend to remember most about childhood Christmases.

Which is why I like this:

http://www.kappit.com/img/pics/201412_0939_hiahe_sm.png

My nieces Birthday is tomorrow and for the past month she has posted this meme on facebook over and over. Poor girl

Abbey
12-17-2015, 03:21 PM
My nieces Birthday is tomorrow and for the past month she has posted this meme on facebook over and over. Poor girl


Tell her it gets better! :thumb:

Gunny
12-17-2015, 03:27 PM
As a December baby, I used to often get just one present, and my parents said it counted for both Birthday and Christmas. Sorry that it's not a warm and fuzzy, but it's what I tend to remember most about childhood Christmases.

Which is why I like this:

http://www.kappit.com/img/pics/201412_0939_hiahe_sm.png

Join the club. princess. Mine's the 21st. "Well this can count for both". The one thing I'll give my mom is she always made sure I had a present ON my birthday. The rest of the family did the "this can count for both crap".

Abbey
12-17-2015, 03:31 PM
Join the club. princess. Mine's the 21st. "Well this can count for both". The one thing I'll give my mom is she always made sure I had a present ON my birthday. The rest of the family did the "this can count for both crap".


I know, right? Way to take someone's most personal celebration of the year and eviscerate it.

On the positive side, it has made me VERY appreciative of and grateful for the attention and gifts my husband and daughter shower upon me every year.

(Pixie- I hope I didn't ruin your thread!)

PixieStix
12-17-2015, 03:40 PM
I know, right? Way to take someone's most personal celebration of the year and eviscerate it.

On the positive side, it has made me VERY appreciative of and grateful for the attention and gifts my husband and daughter shower upon me every year.

(Pixie- I hope I didn't ruin your thread!)

Not a problem for me. Even if I did make the thread. But this is Periannes thread :D

Mine is the gift thread ;)

Abbey
12-17-2015, 03:49 PM
Not a problem for me. Even if I did make the thread. But this is Periannes thread :D

Mine is the gift thread ;)

Yeah, that's what I meant. :laugh2:

(Perianne, I hope I didn't ruin your thread)

PixieStix
12-17-2015, 03:50 PM
Yeah, that's what I meant. :laugh2:

(Perianne, I hope I didn't ruin your thread)

:laugh2::dance:

Perianne
12-17-2015, 03:58 PM
When we first came to America, I was just a little, little girl. We were so poor that church mice brought us food. :)

Anyway, it never failed that on Christmas morning my mother had a toy for me. Not something bought at the store, but something homemade. I remember getting a doll house with a little doll. She had made the entire thing. It must have taken her a long time. My mother had no extra money, but she provided for me. How I wish I had those wonderful presents now; I wish I had kept them.

Thank you, Mom. This will be the 12th Christmas without you. I wish I had more adequately told you how much I appreciate what you did for me.

Perianne
12-17-2015, 03:59 PM
I know, right? Way to take someone's most personal celebration of the year and eviscerate it.

On the positive side, it has made me VERY appreciative of and grateful for the attention and gifts my husband and daughter shower upon me every year.

(Pixie- I hope I didn't ruin your thread!)


Yeah, that's what I meant. :laugh2:

(Perianne, I hope I didn't ruin your thread)

Nah. This thread is about Christmases past and Christmas thoughts.

PixieStix
12-17-2015, 04:03 PM
When we first came to America, I was just a little, little girl. We were so poor that church mice brought us food. :)

Anyway, it never failed that on Christmas morning my mother had a toy for me. Not something bought at the store, but something homemade. I remember getting a doll house with a little doll. She had made the entire thing. It must have taken her a long time. My mother had no extra money, but she provided for me. How I wish I had those wonderful presents now; I wish I had kept them.

Thank you, Mom. This will be the 12th Christmas without you. I wish I had more adequately told you how much I appreciate what you did for me.


Perianne, she knows, she knows. :)
This almost made me cry. Since my Dad died last June. I am on my Mom like white on rice. I continually tell her how much she means to me, and how much I appreciate what a good Mom she is and was to 6 children.

Thank you for sharing that!

Gunny
12-17-2015, 04:25 PM
When we first came to America, I was just a little, little girl. We were so poor that church mice brought us food. :)

Anyway, it never failed that on Christmas morning my mother had a toy for me. Not something bought at the store, but something homemade. I remember getting a doll house with a little doll. She had made the entire thing. It must have taken her a long time. My mother had no extra money, but she provided for me. How I wish I had those wonderful presents now; I wish I had kept them.

Thank you, Mom. This will be the 12th Christmas without you. I wish I had more adequately told you how much I appreciate what you did for me.

I hear ya baby sister. We were so poor we didn't even know what poor was. I remember my mom breaking an egg and crying because that egg was part of dinner and I had shoes for Sunday School. I ran around barefoot until I started school.

And those old homemade gifts? I'd take them any day. I can probably tell you every one I ever got. Don't remember much of the store bought crap. Plastic stuff in a package. My great grandma knitted me a wool sweat when I was 6 (and I hate wool and sweaters) and I was the happiest camper in the world. I was freezing my butt off walking to school before that. And she could make peach cobbler that would have you drooling before you got up the driveway real good.Then we'd all have to get dressed up for church because it was still about Jesus' birthday back then.

How times have changed.

PixieStix
12-17-2015, 04:29 PM
Gunny, it still is about Jesus' Birthday. They cannot take that from us. That is mine and I would die for it.

Kathianne
12-17-2015, 04:31 PM
Gunny, it still is about Jesus' Birthday. They cannot take that from us. That is mine and I would die for it.

Yep, seems there's a common thread there, whether there were lots of gifts or few; whether they were buying out a store or making them by hand. We all were raised with keeping the meaning alive.

Gunny
12-17-2015, 04:39 PM
Gunny, it still is about Jesus' Birthday. They cannot take that from us. That is mine and I would die for it.

You didn't get the memo? It's about "Happy Holidays" now. Unless you listen to my twin brother:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCDlqyCJLh4

PixieStix
12-17-2015, 04:45 PM
You didn't get the memo? It's about "Happy Holidays" now. Unless you listen to my twin brother:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCDlqyCJLh4

I don't get anti Christian memo's. It reads like arabic to me

Happy Birthday Jesus


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAvc-t2pqRQ

Gunny
12-17-2015, 04:49 PM
Yep, seems there's a common thread there, whether there were lots of gifts or few; whether they were buying out a store or making them by hand. We all were raised with keeping the meaning alive.

I can't even imagine being a kid now. I want this. I want that. Brand name this. Brand name that. I was happy to get whatever I got. Because I saw them as gifts, not as "you owe me". Honestly I don't like Christmas. Look at who is in this thread. We're all in our 50s and remember when it meant more than getting something. Just another tradition lost. And now they fight over what to call it.

I loved my great grandma's peach cobbler and running around barefoot. When Christmas was a separate holiday you anticipated instead of spending half the year saving for it.. They trainroll Thanksgiving to get to Christmas now. The meaning has been lost to money.

Kathianne
12-17-2015, 04:56 PM
I can't even imagine being a kid now. I want this. I want that. Brand name this. Brand name that. I was happy to get whatever I got. Because I saw them as gifts, not as "you owe me". Honestly I don't like Christmas. Look at who is in this thread. We're all in our 50s and remember when it meant more than getting something. Just another tradition lost. And now they fight over what to call it.

I loved my great grandma's peach cobbler and running around barefoot. When Christmas was a separate holiday you anticipated instead of spending half the year saving for it.. They trainroll Thanksgiving to get to Christmas now. The meaning has been lost to money.

I had pretty materialistic Christmases, from my parents and what done for my own kids. We got 'lots.' As you noted, most of the 'stuff' wasn't the memory makers, it was the wrappings, the time spent with family, and traditions-including church and doing for others over the season and during the year.

My grandchildren are very young, my daughter's is pretty much on the way towards the same as her mom and myself had. Including the new addition of a 'giving' advent calendar.

My grandson is being raised Jewish, along with parents that believe in giving of themselves and what they have.

Christmas alone isn't enough, not the stuff for certain. It's the values that are held that make for the special feelings of gifts, be they an Xbox or a peach cobbler. The recipient knows that they are special to the giver.

gabosaurus
12-17-2015, 10:24 PM
My parents could afford gifts. But my mom's family was left destitute by WWII. Which is why they moved to the U.S. Even when they got to the point where they could things, they never did so. They started the one present per person tradition to emphasize that family togetherness was more important that gifts. My dad liked the idea and carried it over to our family. As did his brother and his family.

I want just thinking about a Christmas my great aunt told me about. It was 1945 and her family had previously moved to the western part of Germany after the bombing of Dresden. When the war ended, the Allies set up relief camps for families with no homes. Some camps had several hundred people in them. The vast majority of them had nothing left.
On Christmas Day, American forces feed everyone in my great aunt's camp. They set up a Christmas tree and gave all the kids chocolate.
I don't know how widespread this was. The French and British were a lot more repressive (and rightfully so).

Gunny
12-17-2015, 11:38 PM
My parents could afford gifts. But my mom's family was left destitute by WWII. Which is why they moved to the U.S. Even when they got to the point where they could things, they never did so. They started the one present per person tradition to emphasize that family togetherness was more important that gifts. My dad liked the idea and carried it over to our family. As did his brother and his family.

I want just thinking about a Christmas my great aunt told me about. It was 1945 and her family had previously moved to the western part of Germany after the bombing of Dresden. When the war ended, the Allies set up relief camps for families with no homes. Some camps had several hundred people in them. The vast majority of them had nothing left.
On Christmas Day, American forces feed everyone in my great aunt's camp. They set up a Christmas tree and gave all the kids chocolate.
I don't know how widespread this was. The French and British were a lot more repressive (and rightfully so).

Dec 24, 1914. The troops said screw all this and crossed lines to exchange gifts. The officers had a sh*t fit. And apparently as rumor would have it, both lines sang Christmas carols. Was a German troop that came out first. Men fought with honor back then. Nobody wants to kill or be killed on Christmas. We always wanted to be home.