It’s that wonderful time of year again, when your friends and family all get together and try to out-gift each other, showing one another how much they like the other person. Piles of gifts stacked high in trunks, zipping up highways to their ultimate destination. A pot of gravy simmering on the stove, waiting for Christmas dinner (which is oddly right smack in the middle of the afternoon, in most cases) to be ready.
Christmas reminds me of good times with my family as a kid. We had it pretty good – my Dad had a good job, and we had piles of presents. My older sister and I usually crept downstairs in the wee hours of the morning – probably just hours after our parents went to bed – and separated our gifts into piles, a matching his and hers pair. We did this for a few years until Santa just did it for us.
Our Christmases were themed. One year I’d get a whole collection of Legos, another it’d be basketball stuff, another was drum stuff. It was always a theme.
Rather than putting together some of the toys while we were sleeping, my Dad would spend his morning putting things together; a bike, a race track for cars, a super mega-doll house that my sister wouldn’t even like. That was our Christmas morning.
Like most kids, we couldn’t open anything until Mom and Dad got up, so we’d sit around in the wee cold hours of the morning, speculating, wondering. The sun would come up and start shining through the windows and we’d know it was almost time to try waking Mom and Dad up. It never worked the first time, we usually had to try two or three more times. After all, they were up until the wee hours of the morning wrapping things and putting them under the tree. In hindsight, it sounds exhausting.
We were lucky as kids. We never had to beg for things – well, sometimes we did. Usually if Mom said no, Dad was a pushover.
Some of my favorite Christmas memories:
- Always making sure Weezie got the turkey neck. Still, to this day, I’ve never met another human being that eats a turkey neck. And Weezie loved her turkey necks.
- The year I got my first drum set. 21 years ago this Christmas! (And, if memory serves, it’s still in my Mom’s basement, stacked neatly away in a corner.)
- The first year that Jen and I split the pile of presents into two – I think I was 8 that year, and it was obviously Jen’s idea.
- Hitsticks. Remember those? The “air drums”
- My first pair of drumsticks. They were more decorative than real drumsticks, and I got them probably a good six years before I got any drums. I used them the first time I got real drums and broke them the same day.
- My Mom’s Christmas decorations. For years, she ran a ceramics business out of our basement and taught classes. So all of our decorations (including most of our ornaments) were handmade by my Mom.
- Getting together with our family. We’re not (and never really have been) one of those families that gets together at the drop of a hat. But holidays were a time that we’d all get together at a designated family member’s house. It was a time to see all of my cousins and all of my Aunts and Uncles in a single room, enjoy lots of cookies and soda, and be happy. It was never about the gifts with the family Christmas party, just about hanging out.
Here’s some photos from my childhood Christmases for your enjoyment.
That’s it for my trip down memory lane. Merry Christmas to you. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed my little photo gallery of my childhood Christmases. It’s fun to reminisce sometimes, especially this time of year.