Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Memories

By Annette Dashofy

In recent years, there has been one hot toy or gizmo that everyone HAS to have. I just saw on the TV that this year, it’s a realistic baby doll that drinks AND eats and as a result, does more than wets its diapers.

I think I’ll pass.

Last year it was the Wii. A few years before that, it was Tickle Me Elmo.
Okay, he was cute. I wouldn’t have minded having one of those myself.

But all of this hubbub about what’s in demand has me thinking back to my own childhood Christmases. Yes, we have to go way back in time here. Before the Cabbage Patch Kid craze.

My parents always insisted that I was spoiled. I don’t think so. Well, not much. But I don’t recall receiving any outlandish gifts on Christmas morn. In fact, I’ve had to wrack my brain to remember very much of the loot I hauled in.

I was a bit too young to remember this doll that was almost as big as I was. (Yes, that’s me). I bet it didn’t need its diapers changed, though.

While I’m throwing in some old pictures, here’s one of my mom and dad and a bit of our silver Christmas tree.

The gift I most remember being excited about was a Hot Wheels track with a loopty loop and a couple of cars to go with it. Yes, Hot Wheels. What can I say? I’ve always been a Tomboy.

One year I received a Magnus cord organ. Play by numbers. I stunk. I have no musical talent to this day. But I had fun with it. The best part was when I coaxed my mom to play. She actually knew a few songs by heart from a handful of piano lessons she’d taken in her youth.

What I do remember are the small things. Shopping with my mom in the snow. Making nut rolls. Dad’s futile attempts to get just the right gift for Mom. Wrapping gifts on Christmas eve. Milk and cookies for Santa. The excitement of waking up on Christmas morning to discover that Santa had been there, left gifts, and eaten those cookies. Visiting friends and family.

What gifts do you remember from your childhood? And what special memories do you hold dear that had nothing to do with what was inside those brightly wrapped boxes?

May this Christmas bring you an abundance of joy and wonderful memories. Happy Holidays.


Gina said...

My most memorable Christmas gift was a little brother, who was born when I was almost four years old. I had asked for him; I asked my parents and I've been told that I even asked the stork at the zoo. Even at that young age, I remember having seen a neighbor girl sitting on her back porch step with her brother and, being a lonely only child, longed for that kind of companionship. Little did I know how far that idyllic scene was from the reality of little brothers! Johnny was born December 20 and showed up at our house a few days before Christmas with a red string wrapped around his wrist. He was my best Christmas present ever.

Annette said...

Gina, how sweet. I dare anyone to top THAT one.

Joyce said...

No way can I top that one!

I had a Magnus chord organ too! I loved that thing, but it didn't help my musical skills either. I can't even play Chopsticks on our piano.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Gina, how sweet! I got the same gift the year I was 10; my little brother was born on the 18th, and he arrived home on Christmas Day. He was "my" baby, since my mother had to work just a few weeks after he was born (I'm the oldest of four, he was the last). She would come home from work, change the baby, and plunk him in my arms once I'd become ensconced in the rocking chair. I fed him while she cooked dinner for us. To my mind there was nothing better than snuggling with a sweet little baby for that hour every day.

Thanks for jogging that memory, especially since I've not been as happy with said brother for the last couple of months, and I need to put that behind us. He is now as old as Barack Obama, 47, as of last week. Time flies.

Karen in Ohio

Sara said...

Gina's story is definitely sweeter than anything I can think of.

I *love* those sharp silver Christmas trees! Too cool!

Annette said...

Joyce, I think the Magnus chord organ actually ruined any chances I had to REALLY learn to play. Every time I saw sheet music, I mentally converted it into numbers!

Karen, another sweet Christmas baby story. Much better than that stupid doll they're selling this year!

Sara, at first I thought ALL Christmas trees were aluminum. Later, I thought it was the dorkiest thing in the universe. Now, I wish we still had it. It's probably worth something. Look out Antiques Roadshow!

Anonymous said...


I had a baby doll just like the one in the photo. Her name is Snooks and she's in my basement. I loved Snooks because she never cried, or needed to be changed, or messed up my other toys.

As the oldest of five, those were very important qualities!

xo and ho ho ho to all!
Kathy Sweeney

Kathleen said...

Lovely. The post, photos and memories are all lovely. I was about 4 when Santa brought a toy riding pony on springs. I was so excited I could not stop trembling!

Enjoy a glorious holiday making new memories.

Lee Lofland said...

Every Christmas I shared with my parents and grandparents before they passed away is a wonderful memory.

Happy holidays, everyone. Thanks for all the well wishes during my illness, too!

stuckinmypedals said...

My dad built me a pink bike complete with a white banana seat. Later in life my husband gave me a mountain bike. Getting a bike for Christmas, no matter your age, is always exciting!

Anonymous said...

what a cute photo! My favorite memory of Christmas involves our neighbor. He emptied his living room to put up a model railroad for his two boys. My brother and I went over to play, but I was outnumbered against four much older boys. Anyway, I had a great time watching.

Annette said...

Oh, Kathleen! Yes! I received one of those horses one year, too! I'd forgotten about it until just now. Thanks for the reminder.

And Merry Jingle Bells!

Annette said...

Lee, you've struck on something that has been casting a shadow on my holiday spirit this year. I've been thinking a lot about my dad and my cousin. This is my second Christmas without them, but for some reason, it's hitting me harder this year than last.

Enjoy your loved ones, everybody.

And Happy Holidays back at ya, Lee. Hope you're feeling all better now.

Annette said...

Doris, my brother had a model railroad, too. It wasn't that big, though. Just a loop around the tree. And being the pesky little sister, I wasn't "allowed" to touch it. But you know how it is...what he didn't know didn't hurt me.