Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tuesday's tale of Christmas Past

I love warm fuzzy Christmas memories. I was at an event last night where the "icebreaker" activity was sharing your memories of a Christmas 'high' and a Christmas 'low.' I had lots of highs, but couldn't really think of many lows. I'm sure I had a few, but if they weren't coming to mind, I figured, why try to dig them up? I decided to post every Tuesday about a Christmas tradition or a Christmas memory that I have. I'd love to hear your stories, too! Either leave them in the comments, or write your own Tuesday Tale of Christmasses Past and notify me, and I'll link to you! Maybe we can get a lil' trend going!

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Santa is always messy when he comes to my parent's house. The grate in the fireplace gets knocked over, the decorative logs on the hearth are all spilled. Apparently the snack we leave for him isn't enough, so Santa has to meander over into the kitchen to have his fill. He invariably knock over dining room chairs and leaves a trail of paper towels, crumbs, etc as he goes. Mandarin orange wrappers are everywhere. This hasn't changed as my brother and sister and I have gotten older and moved out. Santa still comes. Santa still leaves a mess.

One year, when I was maybe eight or nine, Santa was particularly messy. So messy, in fact, that he got a few gifts stuck in the chimney.

Stockings were opened, all the gifts were unwrapped, and we were enjoying mom's candy cane loaf (bread stuffed with nuts and dried fruit that was shaped like a candy cane) for breakfast. All of a sudden, Dad's ears perked up: "Did you hear that? What was that sound? ... I think it was coming from the chimney!" He went to check it out, and came back amazed. "Santa got something stuck in the chimney. I'm going to go downstairs and get some tools to try to get it out. You stay here."

We were so excited! We stayed in the kitchen, which was - conveniently - around the corner from the living room, while dad went downstairs and got his tools. When he returned, the banging and clanging of a man trying to dislodge another one of Santa's treasures made us so excited we could hardly breathe. After what seemed like forever, we were allowed to round the corner and see what had been stuck. There in the middle of the living room was a brand new tricycle for my brother, who was maybe three at the time. We stood in amazement (all except my brother, who was already riding the trike around the living room.

"Now hang on a second, while I was getting this out, I think I saw something else up there, too. You go finish your breakfast, I'm going to go down and get some more tools." We tried to sneak a peek up the chimney before mom shooed us back into the kitchen, but alas! It was far too dark to see anything. More clanging, more banging, and when we got called back, there was another bike, this time for my sister!

Once more, dad saw something ELSE up the chimney. Once more he went to get just a few more tools. I of course knew what was up there this time around, but that didn't stop me from practically jumping up and down in the kitchen the entire time dad was trying to extract the gift.

Miraculously, dad had managed to dislodge three bicycles from our chimney that year. I loved that bike so much, partly because it was a beautiful pink Strawberry Shortcake bike with a banana seat, but partly because it was the gift we almost didn't get because Santa just didn't take the time to be neat and tidy!

I only have a fuzzy memory of that bike today, but I sure am grateful for a daddy who knew so much about getting bicycles out of chimneys!


Hillary said...

Thanks to Erin for the Christmas lights/garland divider pattern!

Karen said...

i have a Christmas "low". One year my dad almost chopped off his thumb while carving the Christmas ham (Ellen had it wrong on her blog--the family ham tragedy was Christmas, not Thanksgiving).

That's super cool about the bikes! My favorite presents came one year when my parents got me all purple gifts. It was just a great Christmas, loot-wise. Purple scooter. Purple beanbag. Purple sneakers. All to match my purple patchwork bedspread. My bedroom looked like a rowdy gay-pride parade.

Of course, I was 8 and would have had no idea what that last comment meant.

anne said...

i remember the year i found my dollhouse in the back of my mom's closet...and i wasn't even snooping! she sent me into her closet to find something for her (obviously forgetting what she had hidden there) and i am reaching around in the back when i hit something wooden. i move some things out of the way and see a porch! Ha HA!
of course, i pretended to be completely surprised when i uncovered it Christmas morning. but holding in all the excitement until then was sooo hard. i believe i went back a few times to the closet for a few more peeks!

Otto K. said...

"Christmasses" That's a strange looking word. :-)

I remember the year that I found out about Santa Claus, or lack thereof. I caught my parents trying to sneak "Santa's" presents into the house late on a Christmas Eve. They looked a little guilty, and a little like deer caught in the headlights. I guess I got up from bed when they weren't expecting me to.

Oh, I'm here from Wendy's site.

WendyWings said...

One year my crazy mother dressed up as Santa ( I was already about 12 by then and long past Santa.)
she snuck around the back of the house and our three Samoyeds didn't recognise her and all went NUTS and were jumping around barking. Of course then they smelt her and were all over her wagging their tails and giving away her "identity" lol

Tonya said...

You visited me via Wendy, so I though I'd pop on over and visit you.

That is such a wonderful Christmas memory!

My father is a pastor, so we always had to be home for Christmas. Because of travel time to relatives' houses, we never got to actually open our presents on Christmas morning. All of my childhood I wanted to open them on Christmas morning.

Once in high school, my grandparents came to our house instead of us going there. For the first time ever we got to open presents on Christmas morning. That was also the last Christmas my grandfather was alive.

That is such a sweet memory for me.

cmmdtp said...

Christmas has always been great. Lots of fond childhood memories about Christmas. However, my best memories are happening right now. I have never seen anyone who loves Christmas as much as my wife, Christine. Every Christmas Eve it is tradition for the family to come to our house. We eat dinner, go to church, come home and have a piece of cake while singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, then we open presents.

It is great to have all the grandchildren here and watch them open their gifts. The kids love it because they get to open gifts at our house on Christmas Eve, then on Christmas day they are home in their own house and they get to open gifts all over again!

Merry Christmas to ya'll.


cmmdtp said...

oops...I forgot to say Wendy directed me here.

Amie said...

I loved reading your memory!