Saturday, December 31, 2005

Special Christmas Memories

We all have memories of that one special christmas that sticks in our head, so in the lead up to Christmas lets all post that special christmas and share with all here. This idea has been Pattycam approved, so don't let Patty do an Aunty Jack on you lol. Having your arms pulled off is no fun believe me. I'll start.

My favourite christmas was when I was a child living in Adelaide, I was one of 6 children. All eight of us thats including Mum and Dad lived in a 3 bedroom house, sounds squeezy hey? But it wasn't we all fitted in nicely. Anyway Mum would spoil us rotten to the horror of Dad.

You see we each didn't get one present we each got gifts showered upon us. We had these glass sliding doors leading into the loungeroom and we weren't allowed to slide them open until Mum and Dad got up.

Inside the loungeroom we had a 3 piece green vynil lounge suite and each of us kids had our own lounge chair filled with presents. Dad would turn on the radiogram, thats before stereos came in, anyway it went on to the music of Bing Crosby singing Christmas carols, and thats the day I heard for the first time the story of the donkey narrated by Bing, lovely to listen to if you haven't heard it then do so.

Then later that day Mum would cook the turkey and friends would come for Xmas Dinner, there were so many kids with family friends there that Dad would set up two wooden planks so us kids could eat on the back verandah and the Adults inside. Now we go out for Christmas Dinner to a restaurant and it just doesn't have the same feel.

But why this christmas was so special was because it was the day i got my very own camera , a Kodak Instamatic.

Thats what I remember so fondly of Christmas.


Gary said...

Christmas Memories

On Christmas Day, my parents would shut my brother and I in the kitchen. Santa would knock on the front door, and my parents would let him in. We could hear him talking to our parents as he put the presents under the tree. Then he would leave.

Our parents would then open the kitchen door, and we would open our presents from under the tree.

After that, we would have Christmas dinner with my Grandfather and my Uncle and his wife. Our dinner would consist of Ham
or Turkey, Cranberry sauce, mashed Potatoes, Yams and another vegetable. This would be followed by a dessert and coffee.


Patty said...

My father was a Anglican Priest, so Christmas time for our family was the busiest part of the year for our family. Dad would rush around madly, doing hospital services and taking services in people’s own homes, if they were housebound.

Before Christmas of course, up went the decorations, but I bet you are thinking we just put up a bit of tinsel, right?

Wrong, we put up (to a small child) almost life-size Nativity scenes; Joseph (I swear I never touched her!) Mary (it’s just gas) sheep, cows and the whole lot, lit beautifully with strategically placed spotlights. Chasing the family dogs around the Church so they wouldn’t roll in the straw we had put down, sweeping up the odd bits and pieces of hay trailing to the Altar; it was good, happy, chaotic family fun.

One particular Christmas it rained. And rained. It was to be our Carol singing night, but people were trapped in their homes, with the torrential sheet rain coming down restlessly. So Dad thought ‘we will take the Church to the people’ so we packed up the little portable organ into the boot of the car, threw a tarp over it - as it didn’t quite fit - and off we went, about 6 of us jammed inside this tiny Parish car.

Once we had parked at someone’s house, off came the tarp, up went all the umbrellas to keep the rain off the organist, and it was my job to pump the organs pedals with my hands. What a picture we must have been, with most of the carol singers still in the car, holding up their sheet music, with the windows wound down about ½ inch, screaming out SILENT NIGHT! HOLY NIGHT! ALL IS CALM!! ALL IS BRIGHT!!!!

Christmas Eve was always special for me, as we went to the Midnight Mass Service, and if we were still awake, we were allowed to open one present, as we didn’t see our Dad until 2pm’ish the next day. Services and the Church took up his time, and we always made sure we stayed awake enough to open that first special present. It gave me a thrill to think that all over the world, other kids were asleep, but I was not only awake, but OPENING presents already! Ha!

Many years later when I fell pregnant with our first son, I would struggle to sing those lovely old carols, so dear to me. I thought of Mary, and her own pregnancy and impending birth, and being the size of a whale myself with our to-be-born January born child, my mouth would open and close and the tears would fall, trying to ‘lift my voice to God’, as Dad would say… it still moves me to this day, and Googling the words just now, again I am in a flood of tears.

The beauty of the written words and music, so precious and timeless , still move me deeply….

Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room
And Saints and angels sing
And Saints and angels sing
And Saints and Saints and angels sing

Joy to the world, the Saviour reigns
Let Saints their songs employ
While fields and floods
rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, Repeat, the sounding joy

Joy to the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders and wonders of His love

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And gives to nations proof
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love;
And wonders of His love;
And wonders, wonders of His love.

Merry Christmas my dear ones.

Brizpaul said...

Nice one Gary and wooohooooooo Patty what a knees up of a christmas your family enjoyed. Both posts said the same thing Christmas is all about friends and coming together, the presents are just the icing on the cake.

Patty said...

With some 68 Christmases behind me I have heaps of happy memories, Christmas Day is that much more special because it is my wife's birthday. But one of the special things about Christmas also, is the fact that I have been asked to be 'The old Man himself''- Santa on 2 occasions- and let me tell you - it is really an awesome experience.

The first occasion was a number of years ago when my Youngest daughter was attending the local primary school. Everyone was sworn to secrecy as to who the old man really was- careful steps were taken to hide my Identity,- the big day arrives- time to dress up- and for those of you who don't realise that when they say 'Downunder'- it means that we are opposite to those of you who enjoy Chrismas in the snow, and wearing your 'thermals' and earmuffs!!! Our Christmas is at that wonderful time of the year when we can wear our shorts and sandals, maybe a shirt, with the warmth of the sun rays to burn you if you dont 'slip, slop and slap' ( look that one up!!)- anyway- One of those Northern Hemisphere traditionalists decided that Santa come from the North Pole so has to be suitably attired in a hot bright red velvet suit, lined with white fur, as well as knee high boots, with a hat to match his suit- he also has to wear a beard- of course this has to be long enough to cause strands to sneak into the mouth and tickle the nose!!. So the thought of wearing such an outfit in Summer brings you out in a sweat just a little less than what you break out into, once you have the whole outfit on! Then of course it is always decided that Santa will sit on a chair outside usually in the sun to meet the children. Now I hope you are 'up to speed' with this most enjoyable experience of being SANTA.
Anyway, I have digressed so on with the story- Santa arrives at the School Christmas fair, ( it so happens that it is the middle of the hottest day of the year)-you dont need me to tell you where Santa's seat is- plonked right out in the sun by an organiser who may at some stage of her life been asked to play an Elf or a fairy but never the Old Man- so not a clue is known!! The children are called forward to sit on Santa's knee and have their photo taken- ( in those days Politically correct was not a concern and the total trust was there with old fashioned long time honest values- and not the PC BS we see bandied around today!!)- a small present was handed out and the child went merrily on it's way, while Santa sat there in his red sauna suit trying to avoid sneezing with \the strands of his whiskers. It comes my Darling Daughter's turn- she 'unknowingly sat on Santa's knee- had the photo taken- obviously in 'blissful ignorance'- accepts her gift- and as she walks away- in her amplified loudest whisper- says "Thanks Dad."!!!

The second occasion was just last year at a Christmas lunch attended by families at a relatively 'upmarket' Restaurant in the City. The brochures about the lunch had stated that Contact had been made with Santa,who they understood may be in the area, and if time permitted, he would drop in with presents for the children who attended the luncheon.
One little boy came to my attention as I was eating my lunch prior to going to get the Red suited old man- this little fellow was about 7 years old- and what brought him to my attention was every couple of minutes he would make his way over to the window, then very carefully study the surrounding visible area- with real careful attention to searching the sky - this procedure he carried out many times during the course of the meal.
Lunch finished, time to don the red outfit, and make my way into the dining room- (I thought-" in luck this time- Airconditioned")- only the strands of the whiskers to contend with. But as I entered that room- my eyes were on that little boy's face- which lit up in total admiration- I had a truly totally devoted fan. He could not take his eyes off of me.
When I went to sit down on a chair which was handy- I was told by the Organiser ( as in the story above-she may have been asked once to be Mrs Claus but unlikely to be ever an Elf or a Fairy!!) that for the sake of the diners Santa must do his bit out on the deck- and thats right- you guessed it- after all it was a lunch so it was the middle of the day and of course we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day!!!
Once again I have digressed- the rest of the time flew by dealing with the children with my new found admirrer sitting at my feet gazing up at me, when it was his turn to receive his gift he sprang up just about leaping onto my knee( but the PC BS now controls us so it is not allowed to be). I handed him his gift and shook his hand- just about having to prise my hand away from his-then it was all over. Time to cool down and have a beer and come back to reality.
Now, I dont care if you want to believe in Santa Claus yourself- but let me tell you- that was one of my happiest moments of my life- I still see that little boy going to the window, and I see the look on his face when Santa walked into that room- and that memory will be with me as long as I live.
As I said what an awesome experience- and guess what? In 2 weeks time I have been asked to be Santa again for the same group- I will be looking for that boy.
By the way Santa down under greets you not with just a common HO Ho Ho- we have our own way of saying it- so from this ? Santa Ho Bloody Ho and wishing you and your's all a Very Merry and Safe Christmas. (Blogged again on behalf of Kenny)

Sue said...


As children, we loved Christmas, it was full of magic and wonderment. Christmas Eve, we would go to bed, quite eagerly, trying to get to sleep, so Father Christmas could deliver out presents. They were always delivered to our living room. Through the night, we would rush down the stairs to see if Santa had been, peering round the living room door, and finding that ‘No’ he had not. This would happen a couple of times, until the times was just passed 6am, and ‘Yes’, Santa had been. I remember a pillow case (which seemed enormous) for each of us, with lots of presents in, and a couple that wouldn’t fit into the pillow case, just so exciting. Probably having quite a disturbed night, my parents would get up shortly afterwards.

When televisions came on the scene, there was a program about 11am, where the presenter would give Christmas presents to the children, who had to spend their Christmas Day in hospital. They would give out the presents, and talk to the children, and then sing carols.

Dinner came next, with Yorkshire puddings and stuffing, roast potatoes and veg.

In the afternoon there was always a film on, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol or White Christmas, was the norm.

Tea was always cold. The turkey from dinnertime, we would have cold, with pickled red cabbage and pickled onions, I think we had sausage rolls too. I can’t remember what else, I just remember what I liked to eat.

All day, we would play with whatever we were given for Christmas. The day would seem endless, but bedtime came all too soon.

One particular Christmas, I had Asian flu, I was 18 (1970). I passed out a couple of days before Christmas because of the flu, and my Mum and Dad had to carry me up the stairs. The doctor was called, but lots of people had the same thing. I spent the whole Christmas in bed, my Mother and Father had it and spent their Christmas Day in bed also. My sisters were left, (basically), to fend for themselves that Christmas Day, and when my Mum and Dad and myself, returned to the land of the living, we found that they had eaten just about all of the turkey. They didn’t live that down for years.

Patty said...

My Favorite Christmas time�by Johnno ...1964

Now let me think�.hmmmmm�what I remember about my favorite Christmas as a youngin.
We lived in Sydney in an old fibro house with lots of makeshift bedrooms added on.
The main thing I remember is the smell of the pine tree that arrived a week before and was placed in its pot ready for us all to decorate. Then there was the white spray that we used on all the windows for added effect. And yes, being carted off to the shopping centre to be traumatized by the old man in the red suit with my present list and getting the photo taken, as per attached photo.
Mum and Dad would wake us up to go to Midnight church. None of us were very impressed with the idea but it was a must do. It mean�s that Santa was getting that little bit closer, and so were the toys.
After we arrived home from church at about 1.00am we would put out the carrots for the deer and the *cough, wine and beer and peanuts for Santa(I really did believe that Santa drank the wine and beer *onya Dad!) Then it was all a case of trying to sleep otherwise he would not arrive.
Christmas day was a case of getting up first and waking everyone else(4 brothers and a sister and mum and dad) so we could get amongst the pressies. Then when we had all finished it would be a case of a quick breakfast and then time to skin knees on the new bike, crash the remote control plane or see whom you could shoot with the new bow and arrow set.
Lunch was always a huge hot roast with Aunts and Uncles either at our place or theirs (in the middle of summer�. does not make sense!).
But the most I remember is all the smiles and love and affection that came with all of the above.
Bring on Santa!
p.s. Does this exempt me from Aunty Jack now? (Posted on Johnno's behalf as he couldn't work out to put his special story here, lol)

Jaime Lazo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Leigh said...

Christmas Eve, as children, we always got to open ONE gift, usually nighgowns or jimjams. Then Christmas morning the fur would fly, ripping open gifts, squeals, shouts, hugs, kisses. We'd have a lovely breakfast and then off to church in our new dresses, knee socks and best shoes. Home afterwards to get aquainted with the new toys and then we'd have a lovely Christmas lunch/dinner. Mum always threw in the English favorites (brussels, yorkshire pudding)and Dad always insisted on the traditional American ones (sweet potatoes, pecan pie).

Now that we have families of our own, we gather at Mum's on Christmas Eve, exchange gifts, have a tipple, then have Christmas day with our boys. Boxing Day is celebrated with my Father and his wife and her grown children. Exchanging gifts, etc. We tend to go with themed Boxing Day meals, this year its Mexican food.

That's my lot.

Leigh said...

**yeah** I'm subscribed to the correct blog now!!!

Patty said...

Woohoo and welcome back Leigh, hugs