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Author Topic: Share Your Christmas Stories  (Read 26289 times)

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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2013, 09:45:06 AM »
Violinp, that reminds me of my worst Christmas ever. It was just me, but I got sick Christmas Eve, so I missed dad's family gathering, mom stayed home with me. The next day I was running a fever and still sick. We had to reschedule Christmas Breakfast, something that was always at our house because it was mom and dad's immediate families both, and calling people at a time where they may well have left their homes in the days before cell phones to reschedule the location wasn't fun. I watched the scramble and cried because I couldn't have any of the homemade cinnamon rolls. Mom ONLY made them for Christmas, and she wasn't going to save any for me because she didn't know when I'd feel well enough to eat them.

Grandma stayed home with me and skipped her only Christmas time, and then mom and dad and sis went to mom's extended family celebrations. And I will never forget how my sister "accidentally" unwrapped every single of my presents in the back seat, both on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. Even the things that were the same between her and me. Every year my dad's mom got all the grandkids a calendar and a pair of gloves. Everyone knew exactly what those two presents were. Sis's and mine were always identical so we wouldn't argue (usually cute kittens or puppies on the calendar and pink or purple gloves) and she still says she forgot and thought they were hers. Even though she could read my name. And had been told not to.


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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #46 on: December 14, 2013, 09:59:36 AM »
The most uncomfortable Christmas.

When I was in my early teens, we received a phone call from a relative about another relative i'll call Mary.  I don't remember the reason but although Mary was staying with these other relatives, she would be coming to Christmas dinner with us.  Her hosts would not be attending. 

Normally, this would not be a problem but there was something about Mary that was a bit unsettling.    40 years bafore this Christmas she had murdered her husband with a meat cleaver and had since been living in a facility for the criminally insane. 

My mother should have nipped this idea in the bud but she was a kind-hearted soul and couldn't turn down any request from her in-laws.  Special precautions had to be taken so my parents and I had a
meeting to plan strategy.

Under no circumstances was Mary to be allowed in the kitchen. I was 14. Mary was in her 70s.    I had never met her and had only heard about her in the vaguest of terms.  Still, it would be my job to keep her entertained in the Dining Room or den until dinner was served.  I was to keep the
conversation light and cheerful.  Nothing was to be done that could 'set her off'. 

Talk about walking on egg shells! 

As it turned out, Mary was quite a pleasant lady who read a lot.  We had plenty to discuss.  The only glitch came when Mary stated that she preferred smooth cranberry sauce to the whole berry variety my mother had made. When Mary wasn't happy you could hear a pin drop. 

The encounter wasn't horrible but we all breathed a sigh of relief when the relatives came to take
Mary back to their house.

When you're 14, how often can you say you had Christmas dinner with a distant relative who was also a murderer?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 10:08:55 AM by Thipu1 »


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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #47 on: December 14, 2013, 05:20:06 PM »
As a child growing up in a household with usually only healthy food (no white bread, only grain, no cordials or soda, only water or occasionally 100% fruit juice etc etc) Christmas was always a time for treats and naughty food in our house. My mother would always ask us what special treat we wanted. For me one year it was Coca Cola. We always had the rule that on Christmas, you could basically do/eat whatever you wanted.

My family still tells the story about the Coca Cola Christmas where I bounced out of bed announcing to the whole family that i was having Coke for breakfast because it's Christmas and i'm allowed to! I had my Coke, it was awful for breakfast and i've never done it again but even now, 25 + years on, my sister still offers me Coke for breakfast on Christmas day!


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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #48 on: December 14, 2013, 08:48:03 PM »
After we kids were too old for Santa, Mom got bored just putting "from Mom and Dad" on the Christmas tags.  So she started putting down the names of movie stars, TV stars and anyone else who was famous.  She would put those tags on gifts that were things like socks, underwear, nightgowns, robes and so on.

Which led to some hysterically funny Christmas present openings. 

I've carried that on with the kids.  I'm giving our youngest some clothes for her cats.  This is her "toy" present, as she loved to dress her dollies when she was little.  :)  The tags will probably say something like:  "Mike says do NOT open this gift.  Remember, I know where you sleep!"  Spike says:  "Hiss, hiss, HISS, Growl!!!  That means if you even THINK about unwrapping this gift you had better start sleeping with your eyes open!"

Since all of the grandparents are gone, Christmas is now just the four of us and I try to do what I can to carry on some of the funner stuff from their/my childhood.

I still remember when our oldest opened up underwear that my Mom  had put came from Debbie Gibson.  He looked so puzzled and asked her why she had bought him underwear while the rest of us laughed our heads off.  :)

gramma dishes

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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #49 on: December 14, 2013, 10:19:51 PM »

...   (And, it's really really hard to trust a piece of paper you paid 27c. for.  Of course, Christmas day, it wasn't like I could just hop on down to the corner store and buy a second test.  So, I used about $1.08 worth of cheap tests and dealt with the crazy the next day to be able to confirm with something not made by the lowest bidder). ...

Dawbs, I not only loved the happy ending to your story, but I love the way you told it.  I could feel the pain and anguish, the repeated disappointment and the final exhilaration right along with you as I was reading it.

Plus, it was funny!  Fun to read.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 10:27:22 PM by gramma dishes »

gramma dishes

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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #50 on: December 14, 2013, 10:26:30 PM »
We had bought a tree from the same place we always bought our trees.  One day we heard rain.  Except it wasn't raining.  Yet we continued to hear more and more rain.  Suddenly one of my kids came running up the steps and said, "Mommy!! Mommy!!  Something terrible is happening to our tree.  It's all falling apart."  And indeed it was.  The needles were falling and hitting other needles as they fell, knocking them off like dominoes. 

Oh no!!  Grandma and Grandpa were coming and it would be the first time they'd been to our house at Christmastime.  What to do?

The kids had one of those cardboard houses that hook together at the corner.  They turned it "inside out" so that the plain brown cardboard showed on the outside.  They drew boards on the sides.  We put a cradle in there with a doll and they brought down all their stuffed animals to be at the "manger". 

Grandma was quite impressed.  She thought it was wonderful that we had 'chosen' to concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas instead of having all that commercial holiday stuff.    ;D
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 10:28:18 PM by gramma dishes »


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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #51 on: December 15, 2013, 10:49:29 AM »
May we assume that the defective tree was taken down before Grandma and Grandpa arrived?

My Mother's side ofthe family was German so we were what could be what might be gently described as 'Christmas Crazies'. A big tradition was the Christmas Eve afternoon tradition of 'bringing out the bags'. 

Our tree went up as early as possible.  Gifts for friends and relatives were wrapped as bought or finished and put under our tree.  A job of mine was to decorate paper shopping bags that would be used to deliver the gifts. 

On Christmas Eve afternoon, Mom and I would pack up the gifts going to other households.  Dad and I would then drive out to make deliveries.  It was always great fun because other relatives were doing the same thing.  We'd stop at a house, pick up our bag and enjoy a snack with residents. I'd get to chat with my cousins and maybe put an ornament or two on their tree. 

Back home, Mom was playing the host and feeding snacks to other relatives delivering presents to us.  Everybody enjoyed this sort of reverse 'Trick or Treat'. 

After a light Christmas Eve supper, we'd open the bags and put out the gifts we had been delivered under the tree.  Watching the different wrappings come out was always fun. 

You knew that the package wrapped in plain white tissue and tied with red string came from Aunt Carol.  You also knew that the box would contain a cap and a pair of mittens made from scraps she'd collected throughout the year.  They may have looked weird but they were warm. 

The package wrapped in the Sunday comics or the paper patterned with pink and lime Martians
would be from Cousin Jane.  She was the artistic one in the family and her gifts were always cool. They might be a box of colored pencils and a roll of butcher paper but Cousin Jane's gift was always one of my favorites.

gramma dishes

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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #52 on: December 15, 2013, 11:03:22 AM »
May we assume that the defective tree was taken down before Grandma and Grandpa arrived?  ...

Yes, the new "stable" was constructed in precisely the same spot vacated by the naked tree before my parents arrived.


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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #53 on: December 15, 2013, 03:33:31 PM »
We have a "box" story, too. In my extended family, any box will do when wrapping gifts. One year, Auntie wrapped some smaller gifts for my brother in a box that had originally contained envelopes. He unwrapped the box, saw that it was a box of envelopes, and kindly thanked Auntie for the gift.

Later, Auntie realized Brother had never even opened the box, so our mom had him open it and look inside. I think it had some special baseball cards and baseball-themed pencils, etc. in it. Way better than envelopes!

Now every year, someone gets a gift in an envelope box. When it is unwrapped, we act delighted and say "Oooooh, envelopes! Just what I needed! Thank you so much for the envelopes!"

This reminds me that one year my FIL actually asked for cheap brown envelopes for Christmas.  I flatly refused to get him anything so un-giftlike.


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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #54 on: December 15, 2013, 07:29:49 PM »
Thanks...I told the kiddo about it being the day we found out she would exist and 3 year olds don't quite know what to do with that information ;)


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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #55 on: December 16, 2013, 06:49:44 AM »
Got reminded of one yesterday!

The village where my grandparents live is visited by Santa every year, about two weeks or so before Christmas. He comes around on a sleigh pulled by horses (the reindeer need to rest before the big day!). This has been going on for the last 30 years or so, and my grandparents have always held a Christmas party on the day, which features a trip to see Santa with all the kids.

It's always a fun occasion, but it was particularly funny four years ago. My youngest cousin (Tilly) had just turned 3, and it was the first year that she was really getting excited about Christmas. We had told her that someone special was coming to the village, and if she was very good, she might get a treat.

When the time came, we heard the Christmas music outside, and bells, and our grandparents came to "take us". We left the house, walked up the road to the green, and saw the lights and the sleigh and the horses. I asked Tilly what she was going to ask for, and she said...

"Strawberry with a flake!"

Yup, she thought Santa was the Ice Cream Man.

She was not happy when all she got was a candy cane and a promise that Santa would be back with her presents the following week!!!


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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #56 on: December 16, 2013, 03:16:16 PM »
Great thread!  The first thing that occurred to me happened about 5 years ago, when my cousin begged all of us to come to her place for Christmas.  We talked it over and decided it might be different for a change.

A  couple of us stayed at her place, and she had toddlers. Unbeknownst to me, she had some kind of clamps on the toilet for nighttime to prevent them from...doing whatever toddlers aren't supposed to do in a toilet.  Anyway, I woke up in the middle of the night, had to go bigtime, ran into the powder room, and I could not get those things open! 

I had no choice.  I went out front and did my bizness in the bushes.  This set off a sensor alarm, which resulted in several awakened adults (all carrying weapons, including my BIL with a lamp (lol), and a quick call to the cops that all was well.  It's a story that won't die.


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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #57 on: December 17, 2013, 08:28:18 AM »
MiKayla, I would have done the exact same thing. 


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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #58 on: December 17, 2013, 09:21:19 AM »
Story 1: macaroni and cheese

DH and I were married 5 years ago. He has three adult DSs, and I have a 12-year-old DS from previous marriages. Since we married, we've been starting new traditions for our new family. One of them is that we always attend the Christmas Eve service at church after dinner. We then go home, put on our PJs, drink hot chocolate, and watch "A Christmas Story" on TV. When DS was little and still a "believer," this was followed by hustling him to bed and playing Santa with DH.

A few years ago, my stepsons were coming for Christmas Eve dinner, and I decided to add an item to the Christmas Eve tradition: macaroni and cheese. This is no ordinary mac and cheese. It's kind of fancy and a bit of a production to make. The first year I tried this, I worked in the kitchen grating cheese by hand and organizing all the other ingredients. I turned on the oven to preheat, and that's when it happened: The heating element in the oven lit up like firecrackers. I turned the oven off, but it was still sparking. I had to turn the electricity off at the breaker to get it to stop. Now I had a ton of shredded cheese, family arriving soon for dinner, and no oven. 

DH spun into action and called the nearby grocery store. The manager there set us up with a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings plus two pies. That took care of Christmas Eve dinner plus some. The day after Christmas, we went out and bought a new stove. The mac and cheese waited until New Year's Eve. And it was still yummy. It also did become our Christmas Eve tradition. DS asks for it every year.

Story 2: If a Christmas tree falls in the living room and no one is there, does it still make a sound?

My freshman year in college, my family put up the Christmas tree during my first weekend back home. It was a Sunday afternoon. My parents bought an enormous tree, and for some reason, they insisted on using the same very small tree stand that they'd always used. My dad struggled with getting the tree into the stand, wrangling and cursing at it. Finally, it was up and ready to be decorated. We spent the afternoon decorating the tree and hanging tinsel all over it.

The next morning, I got up after everyone else had gone to work and school. There was a note on the kitchen table. "Coley, please fix the Christmas tree. It fell last night." I went into the living room, and although someone had put it back up, it was obvious what had happened. The tinsel looked like it had been through a windstorm. Ornaments had fallen off the tree and were all over the place. I spent most of that day putting the Christmas tree back together. First, I had to take all that tinsel off the tree to figure out if ornaments had fallen off the branches or were stuck. The tinsel got all tangled up in the branches when the tree fell. Then I found all the ornaments and put them back on the tree. Then I had to put the tinsel back on. That's the first and only time I have decorated the same tree twice in one year.

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Re: Share Your Christmas Stories
« Reply #59 on: December 17, 2013, 09:36:18 AM »
Coley, your story reminded me...

I used to babysit for this family.  The first time I was there, I brought my usual bag of tricks - colouring books and crayons, pencil crayons and stencils and a big storybook, just so I'd have something different for the kids to do.  Apparently, the parents wondered if I was expecting to stay overnight, rather than them drive me home when they got in.  And the next morning, they asked the kids what they thought of me.  'We don't like her; she's strict!'  Needless to say, I was their sitter until I went away to University.

So at Christmas time, we'd do all sorts of little crafts to keep them busy.  We strung popcorn and made paper chains and made dough ornaments, along with cookies and muffins and all sorts of stuff.  I arrived at the house one morning to a not very happy Mr. Smith.  You see, when we'd decorated the tree with all the dough ornaments, we didn't get them balanced because we couldn't reach the back and the tree fell over!  Oops.

They would get so excited the closer it got to Christmas and they'd be driving me nuts.  So for some peace and quiet one night, we did a 'Monk's dinner'.  No talking allowed and instead of using a regular utensil to eat your dinner, you had to reach into a bag and choose something.  So you might get a serving spoon or a whisk or spaghetti fork/lifter thing.  I got a little peace and quiet, the kids had a blast.  Their mother told me, years later, that they'd talked about that dinner for ages.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.