A Christmas Past . . . — 10 Comments

  1. One Christmas after my four teenage sons had opened their gifts, we told them, “we have one more gift for you.” They looked mystified.

    I patted my stomach. “It’s in here.”

    “It’s a new brother-or sister, due in August.”

    I wish you could have seen their faces. Even thoughLarry and I were a fairly new couple, they didn’t consider that I could have more babies! The 5th brother, Tommy, was born July 30 the next year.

    Later they told me they thought I’d bought them chocolates or something and had already eaten them!

    They loved having a baby brother once they got used to the idea. Tommy got hauled around with them everywhere. With his blond ringlets and big blue eyes, he was a girl magnet, or so his brothers said!

  2. My husbands Aunt bought my son an ornament his first Christmas, as she does each new baby in the family. She gives us new mommies great advice—buy an ornament every year for each of your children according to their interests and when they leave home they have enough ornaments to decorate their own tree. It’s so fun to watch the kids remember why they got each one.

  3. My mom and oldest sister used to crank out blankies like that not denim but warm. I tried on 2 separate occasions to get a coat made of old jeans in my youth.

    Recent quilt story? I bought last 2 tickets to a raffle put on by nursing home across the street 3 years ago. I won. I wouldn’t sell it to administrator or director and had several interesting things said to and about me. Also there is a lifetime ban on selling me tickets now, I think. $10 to a good cause? Ha.

    5 siblings in family spread over 20 years, I was number five.

    • Well Blu, I was looking for a Christmas Past story, but the quilt-winning story was a good one. Why would anyone be upset with you for winning? You didn’t steel the ticket from an old man in a wheel chair, did you? LOL!

  4. A mix up 50 years ago started a new tradition. One year my mom forgot about one of my 3 brothers gifts in its hiding place. When she realized it was missing, she put it in a brown paper bag and wrote his name on it. The next year the same thing happened, same brother!
    Every year till my mom’s death she gave him 1 gift in a brown bag. The Christmas following her death, I started sending his gifts in a bag. I did this for 9 years till his death. My brother, (Kenny) was my daughter’s Godfather, so she ask if she could get “the bag” . She was 9 at the time. Just today, I put one of her gifts in a brown paper bag for the 20th time.

  5. When we first moved to Europe in the 80’s, we wanted to share an aspect of our American traditions with our neighbours. We began the tradition of making chocolate chip & oatmeal/raisin cookies, placing them in little material bags we made, and enclosing, in their heart languages, the Christmas story from Luke and a Christian Christmas message from us. It took us months of prep to make sure we had the scripture and messages translated correctly, sewed the wee bags with the material and ribbons, and a full week of non-stop mixing and baking to get all the cookies made and assembled into the bags (we had LOTS of neighbours!!!), and then on Christmas Eve, we went about to hand them out. The three of us (and any house guests we might have at the time) would sing a couple of verses of a carol as we rang their doorbells and waited for them to answer.

    It became the most wonderful of traditions and generated all those warm fuzzy feelings each year as we anticipated the coming evening! In fact, many years later when we were moving to Canada, we learned some Euro families we made our annual deliveries to would not leave their homes for other things until after we had made it to them with our little bags! 🙂

    Over the years, we used different fabric designs, and began to make different cookies as well, and it was such a joy to share the American cookies tradition with people from other nations. (There were huge numbers of internationals living where we were, too, so it did take us time to find translations for Polish or German or Dutch or Flemish or Arabic or…well, you get the idea!). Those cooky deliveries often gave us openings to share the gospel!!!

    Thanks for the opportunity to remember…I’d forgotten those precious 15 plus years of Christmas cookies in Europe…you’ve made me grin all day now with the memory!

    • Vance, as you have known for many years and across many miles, I’ve loved and enjoyed your writing–especially the mission newsy letters! This is something I don’t remember ever reading about, though. And what a lovely and thoughtful, not to mention time consuming, thing to do for people you barely knew. What blessings to give to others, yes? Thanks for sharing in your down home style, and your name goes in the hopper for a photo print.

  6. Steffi, if I were giving a prize for the story that gave me the goose bumps, yours would be the winner! Thanks for sharing this wonderful story of a unique family tradition that I know is very near and dear to your heart. I’ll put your name in the hat for a photo print, ok?

  7. I don’t think that stealing was what was implied by the comments.
    Men were involved though.

    I spend Xmas day on the ice fishing. Talk about solitude.
    Plenty time to make peace with all sorts of demons and other religious types.
    More often than not I work that night too.

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