A Christmas Tag from Gardenia

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Gardenia posted a list over on Her Lofty Perch and tagged whomever wanted to take part. It got me thinking so I figured, why not. It's about Christmas and holiday traditions. While mine isn't really a list, you still get the basic idea...

I used to be really big on Christmas as a kid and even into my twenties. Then it just became a good time to get together with family and pig out on turkey. The rest of the stuff associated with the holiday stressed me out and I began to despise it. Once my brother had kids though, wow, did things ever change. It's so great seeing their faces on Christmas morning opening their gifts and then getting all the family and friends who show up for dinner to play with them before we eat. This year, I'm going to decorate pre-made (ie store bought) generic gingerbread men with both kids the week before while their mom does some real baking. Kids and tubes of icing. This should be interesting.

We used to go to midnight (Catholic) mass on Christmas eve and then come home and enjoy snacks in the glow of the tree's lights before finally fading off into la-la land waiting for Santa. My dad would make stockings out of ... stockings. Each family member got one leg of a pair of pantyhose stuffed with small items, an apple, a mini box of cereal (usually full of sugar), and a mandarin orange. He'd lay these at the foot of our beds while we slept and it was torture when we woke up VERY early and had to stare at them until the pre-arranged official "allowed to get up and jump on the parents" time. Along with the dog/cat/both depending on what pets we had at the time, we'd all pile onto mom and dad's bed - usually at a run and then make a diving leap crushing various bits and bobs on both parental units - and we'd eat our oranges while opening our nylons and various odds and ends. It was quite the sight to see ... wrapping paper and orange peels flying, cats and dogs chasing the flying bits, mom and dad wishing they could have had just one more hour of sleep ... Ah memories.

Next year, that will be my present to the kids - used sweaty panty hose filled with candy and toys! Sorry Dave but I have to keep up my moniker as the best auntie ever!

This year at work, one of my coworkers has asked others to contribute towards sponsoring a family at a local shelter. At this time of year, they let you "adopt" a family but apparently she wasn't the only business who's thought of this as the shelter has asked that, instead of buying presents for the family, they've asked people to buy gift cards for Walmart, grocery stores, etc to help the families. I'd much rather do this than having a cheap gift exchange. However, it seems not everyone wants to give up the tacky gift so we're doing both (note we also have a number of grinches in the office who would rather go for an expensive turkey lunch than help someone less fortunate - I'm not going for lunch this year). One of my new traditions I'd like to start is collecting hats, socks, and mitts throughout the year and donate a big bag to a place such as the Bissell Centre which has already said they've run out of these items to help the homeless in our city. Yikes, it's not even December!

Christmas eve is once again being hosted at my place. Finger food and munchies for the family, perhaps even a copy of Christmas vacation! Ooh I should order one right now. That's a keeper for sure!

Like Gardenia, I'm not going to tag anyone but feel free to post about what you're doing this holiday season.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

What time should I show up on Christmas Eve?

Gardenia said...

Oh, sounds like you have such good memories! Made me want to be there, pantyhose and all. That is funny! But you kids didn't care, right?

Isn't it funny how some in offices will not get off their "we've always done it this way" stool? Good for the rest of you who are making a difference.

Nice post. Thanks.

sp said...

I love the cat photo. We had real stockings too. From somewhere my mom produced three mid-thigh length stockings in purple. My sister and I had matching striped ones while my brother had a deeper purple (closer to black) patterend one. I guess in those days they would have been worn with garters.
Our names were pinned to the top hem of each stocking. As a kid I was delighted to get my stocking stuffed with little gifts and chocolates. In a way it was better than the presents. Looking back I have to wonder where mom got such stockings and holy I can't believe she use to wear such daring things!

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