2020 Christmas in July Week One 1-4

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Lana

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I remember one year ( I was probably 1st or 2nd grade) when living with my grandparents, dad and older sister that I wanted a big doll and that year I got a 3 foot doll that you could walk.
Another favorite Christmas was after dad married this mom and I wanted 3 dolls and got them all. One was Chrissy with the red growing hair, Tippy toes with the bike and horse and can't remember the other one.
We got together with family but my sister and I were the only kids so alot of great aunts and uncles, great grandparents.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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We didn't realize that Christmas 2008 would be my Dad's last -
We were so lucky that we had the chance to celebrate and just heap lots of love on my Dad.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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@sweetpumkinpye and @PamelaG sorry for y'alls lost but glad y'all have good memories of those last Christmas with those loved ones.
We were very lucky to be able to share one last Christmas been surrounded by family. We shot a video that day and I have never been able to watch it but the memories are very special.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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One was Chrissy with the red growing hair,
I got a Velvet doll (Chrissy's blonde cousin) one year and I still have her now.
 

Miss JoDee

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Holiday baking was huge for my mom as our house was a gathering place for friends and family. One year while we were at school mom baked cookies. She baked 1000 cookies! All kinds of cookies, when we got home from school we had many, many sugar cookies to frost. My sister to this day says it was punishment and hates sugar cookies. So where do you store 1000 cookies, in new 5 gallon garbage pails. I think in February she ended up getting rid of quite a few.

Another year she did a lot of sewing. That's when polyester fabric was such a rage. You know that thick kind. She made several outfits and pj and robes.

Some gifts became expected, the year we took typing in school we got a typewriter for Christmas, manual typewriters.
 

rabble

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I think it speaks volumes that most of everyone's best memories are about experiences/atmosphere rather than the gifts. I grew up in a household which was very (negatively) money-motivated, and i was constantly reminded of the cost of Christmas from a very early age. The standard of a good Christmas was how many presents and how much was spent!
 

MrsSoup

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I think it speaks volumes that most of everyone's best memories are about experiences/atmosphere rather than the gifts. I grew up in a household which was very (negatively) money-motivated, and i was constantly reminded of the cost of Christmas from a very early age. The standard of a good Christmas was how many presents and how much was spent!
That is a great point Rabble! We were very poor so Christmas was never about the gifts but always about the atmosphere and traditions. I feel like we have gotten away from that as a society and even in my own family. My children do talk about our traditions though and get quite upset if something is ever forgotten or talked about being left out or changed. So I guess they are paying attention to the traditions that we have created in our house. It will be wonderful to see how they implement the holiday when they grow up and have children of their own.
 

halimer

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You've made a good point Rabble.

The gifts I loved and remembered most are the ones my mom made me - not bought me.
 

GrammaDeb

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I love the shared memories! One of my grandmothers lived with us, and my other grandparents lived about a block away. My grandmother did all the baking - cookies galore that my sister & I helped decorate! Christmas morning couldn't begin until the adults were cleaned up and dressed, coffee made, and everyone gathered at our house. My sister and I would be frantic - it seemed to take hours! Every year I asked for and received the newest Barbie with outfits, new crayola crayons & color books, a jigsaw puzzle, books, and a stuffed animal. Santa visited the year I was 6 - on the roof. He yelled ho ho ho down the chimney, and scared me half to death - I wouldn't leave the couch. One year, I was probably 16, I couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve. I sat next to my daddy on the couch, and he asked me what was wrong. Nothing was wrong, I was just excited. I still have that Christmas Eve excitement all these years later.
 

kringle

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I think it speaks volumes that most of everyone's best memories are about experiences/atmosphere rather than the gifts. I grew up in a household which was very (negatively) money-motivated, and i was constantly reminded of the cost of Christmas from a very early age. The standard of a good Christmas was how many presents and how much was spent!
You really got me thinking on that one. Thank you. Nobody in the family was ever very wealthy and homemade was generally the norm. I've never thought about it that way but I think that's why it has always been important to me to make special things for people at Christmas time.

The store bought gifts I can remember, starting when I was very little, are few- a little clown pull car, a little dog that when you pulled him along his legs would go round, the year I received my beloved Rub-A-Dub Dolly, the little dog covered in rabbit fur, and a little orange monkey named Tangerine. When I was older, some Levi's I wanted so very much, make-up the year I was allowed to wear it, my first high heeled shoes and a necklace with real gold in it from Uncle Paul who was just back from living in Alaska and working on the pipeline.

But mostly, I remember the homemade gifts- some I still have. The slippers my aunt would knit every year that hurt my feet but I would wear them 'cuz she made them, the dresses and a bonnet my grandma made, jewelry made by Dad, calligraphy and pictures my grandpa decoupaged, my Raggedy Ann and Andy and the sock monkey I named Taco that Mom made, a belt, ornaments and a jewelry holder made by my great aunt, the scarf my cousin made the year she learned to machine sew.... so many memories, some I hadn't thought of in so long. I'm loving this thread! Thank you.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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I got a tiny bottle of perfume one year from my Poppa. I can remember the bottle, it looked like a genies bottle with a beautiful gold topper. If I close my eyes I can still smell that perfume.
 

Miss JoDee

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Being able to plan Christmas as an adult has always been fun. Although I have to admit the first Christmas with DS, my oldest was a bummer. He was born in August and I back to work six weeks later. It was all I could do to keep up with work and taking care of a baby. DH had him early afternoon until I got home and then went to bed because he had to load UPS truck at 3:00 am. Anyway, next thing I knew it was almost Christmas and no gifts. We shopped fast and he got a yellow ball with shapes mold into it and a hobby horse ornament that year. What do you get a 4 month old!
Later when he was older I got a fabric count down calendar and we embellished it. There is a mouse in each of the rooms so I would make a story about what was happening, oh we would giggle and laugh.
 

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Holiday_Mom

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For 20 years, we hosted Christmas Eve at our house for my side of the family. We would have appetizers, buffet dinner and dessert. Then we went to Mass. After doing that for so long, I was sensing a change in me and my own family was changing. Christmas 2019 was the first year that we didn't have my side of the family over on Christmas Eve. Instead, they stopped by for brunch the weekend before and on Christmas Eve, it was just us. We ate dinner that our dc planned and then we went to Mass. This time, dh was able to drum and dd sang in the Praise and Worship band. Our other dd was a lector. We all enjoyed that night even though it was different from previous Christmas Eves. I am sure that this year will be another unique Christmas Eve.
 

GrammaDeb

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One year we went all out with gifts supporting our teenage kids' hobbies. I'm talking a lot of $$ was spent (something we didn't ever do) on the 5 kids: art supplies, running gear, weight equipment, saddle & tack, but my middle dd (15 years old) got a bottle of white out wrapped in an empty tp roll with a note telling where to find her gift. She read the note out loud and just sat there in disbelief - all she got was a lousy bottle of white out. Her sister started yelling "It's a horse," threw on her boots, hiked up her nightgown, and ran out through the snow to find the horse trailer, where - sure enough - there was a horse. We still laugh about that one.

Another year we had a foster teenage boy. He had helped me pick out a bicycle for dh for Christmas. He was happy for dh but said he wished he had a nice bike. Christmas morning after all the presents were opened (he got some nice things), I told him to get his laundry washed. He argued and whined that it was Christmas, and I said "Too bad, it's your laundry day." He stomped up the stairs and stomped back down the stairs to the laundry room, and then he started yelling "A bike! I got a bike too!" It was his best Christmas ever.
 

GrammaDeb

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I want to add to my previous post. Those were fun and exciting Christmases, but the quieter Christmases are more meaningful for our family. One year I decided that we would have a homespun Christmas. The kids were young, elementary school age. They moaned and groaned, but 1-on-1 we chose gifts for them to make for each other, and we bought the supplies, and then with my help the gifts were lovingly crafted and wrapped. The joy the kids felt when the recipient opened the gift and responded with "You made this?" was a feeling they cherished then and still do all these years later. The gifts they gave meant much more than the ones they received.

Last one, I promise:

One year we had 11 teenage girls living with us (we worked for a private school). They were inner-city, homeless, orphans, etc. We were given a Christmas budget and told to provide a formal traditional Christmas dinner and presents for the girls. Real presents - no underwear or gift cards allowed. Earlier I had learned of their favorites - magazine, perfume, author, movie, etc., and dh & I had been secretly shopping. I bought felt stockings and paints to decorate the stockings, and I told them they had to do it so Santa could fill them while they were at school. They argued that Santa had never come before, they had never received presents before, etc., but I insisted and the stockings were decorated and hung. When the girls got home from the last day of school before leaving for break, Santa had come! The stockings were full and there were all sorts of presents under the tree! They were amazed that Santa knew just what they wanted - favorite perfume, book by favorite author, a movie or CD, current issue of their favorite magazine, a stuffed animal, candies, nuts. It was a magical day, one that dh & I will never forget.
 

rabble

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For 20 years, we hosted Christmas Eve at our house for my side of the family. We would have appetizers, buffet dinner and dessert. Then we went to Mass. After doing that for so long, I was sensing a change in me and my own family was changing. Christmas 2019 was the first year that we didn't have my side of the family over on Christmas Eve. Instead, they stopped by for brunch the weekend before and on Christmas Eve, it was just us. We ate dinner that our dc planned and then we went to Mass. This time, dh was able to drum and dd sang in the Praise and Worship band. Our other dd was a lector. We all enjoyed that night even though it was different from previous Christmas Eves. I am sure that this year will be another unique Christmas Eve.
We used to have a Christmas eve buffet too! We stopped two years ago because we just had enough of it... we were buying tonnes of "party food" and the four of us couldn't get through it in time! We started having Chinese takeout instead-no cooking and cleaning!
 

rabble

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One year we went all out with gifts supporting our teenage kids' hobbies. I'm talking a lot of $$ was spent (something we didn't ever do) on the 5 kids: art supplies, running gear, weight equipment, saddle & tack, but my middle dd (15 years old) got a bottle of white out wrapped in an empty tp roll with a note telling where to find her gift. She read the note out loud and just sat there in disbelief - all she got was a lousy bottle of white out. Her sister started yelling "It's a horse," threw on her boots, hiked up her nightgown, and ran out through the snow to find the horse trailer, where - sure enough - there was a horse. We still laugh about that one.

Another year we had a foster teenage boy. He had helped me pick out a bicycle for dh for Christmas. He was happy for dh but said he wished he had a nice bike. Christmas morning after all the presents were opened (he got some nice things), I told him to get his laundry washed. He argued and whined that it was Christmas, and I said "Too bad, it's your laundry day." He stomped up the stairs and stomped back down the stairs to the laundry room, and then he started yelling "A bike! I got a bike too!" It was his best Christmas ever.
^^ that's lovely
 

Myron's Mom

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Deb, don’t apologize. I love reading everyone’s posts.

Christmas as an adult, again so many good memories and a few not so good.

My first Christmas away from home was at Mather AFB ,California. My now ex was in navigator training, newly married we had very little. We had a lovely Christmas even though we were both homesick. It was my first attempt at Christmas dinner on my own. We had tons of food, making favorites from both families. Those were good times.
The next year we were stationed at Carswell AFB Texas. That year we went home for Christmas. Was the last Christmas we had at home while we were married. The next 7 years my ex sat ALERT every single Christmas no matter where we were stationed. 4 different bases, his crew was on ALERT over Christmas. We tried to make the best of it.

Fast forward to my current marriage. Our first Christmas together and I was stepmom to a 8 year old who had never cut down his Christmas tree! He picks the biggest tree on the tree farm. They tied our car shut to get the tree on it. Brian crawled out the car window to get his camera to take a picture. So much fun. My husband had to anchor that tree to the walls because it was so big! Thankfully we had plenty of lights and ornaments combining 2 families. We established new traditions that year but hung on to many of each of our own family’s traditions. That was the Christmas Santa tracked soot from the fireplace all the way around the Christmas tree. My son now 35 still talks about that Christmas.
 

Miss JoDee

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A couple of "pranks" I played on my children, The year we moved from our big house to a smaller house I found I didn't have storage to hide gifts. So one day after they went off to school I wrapped their gifts and set up little vignettes around the house using the sled, some of their toys, baskets etc so it looked like it was on purpose. I labeled the gifts with the Peanuts characters names. One daughter came home from school and was checking them out and asking questions. She grabbed the sleeping bag I got her and said, "you even wrapped a sleeping bag?" My answer yup, I needed something round there. Christmas morning they found all those gifts under the tree. (Santa has always a game we played, as I really wanted to keep the Birthday of Christ as the focus.)
Another prank was to gift wrap the door way to the room the tree was with tag that said Do Not Open until 7:00 am. It made for a very long day when gifts were open and breakfast was done before 7. They would get up so early. Recent years found me waiting on them to wake up.
 
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Miss JoDee

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My husband worked for UPS for 35 years. Almost always had to have Christmas at home rather than being able to go to my family's in Michigan. Weather wasn't dependable either. He worked so many hours and was exhausted. Christmas could be a bummer sometimes because he wanted to sleep the day away. I had to learn to make the best of it and would get DH to go Christmas shopping with me in early November.
One year he asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I asked for paint for the living room and gave him the color and store to purchase it at. My birthday being only 2 days after Christmas, he asked a follow up question, what would you like for your birthday? Answer I would like you to paint the living room. He had time of between Christmas and New Year and painted the living room.;)