Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Nostalgia

I love Christmas. If you're a Christian, and you don't love Christmas, there's just something wrong with you. Just sayin'. How can you not love a celebration involving our Savior?

Anyway ...

I have great memories of Christmas from when I was young. My mom always made it special with all her little traditions and mega-decorations. Her traditions I see have become mine. Her Christmas spirit definitely rubbed off on me. Too bad I can't have that same spirit all year.

There are some memories that stand out to me.

We always traveled to my grandmother's house just outside of Baton Rouge on Christmas Eve. The ride was excruciatingly long for a young child ready to open presents. We would cross over the Mississippi River bridge and I would get on the rear deck of the car, just below the back windshield and stare up at the massive, lighted bridge. It was always amazing to me. Funny how now bridges make me a little uncomfortable and I will drive 25 mph just to stay on the inside lanes of the bridge, rather than drive on the outside lane. 

We'd start to sing the same song over and over again once we'd gotten off the interstate and onto the dimly lit country roads. Beau always makes fun of me when I sing it, but I have taught the same song to my girls and we can sing it in a round if need be.

The song ... "Christmas is Coming." You can google it, but it has to do with a goose getting fat and a ha'penny.

Grandma always had yummy snacks and  soup or sandwiches for Christmas Eve. We'd open presents and then I'd get ready for bed.

She lived in the country. It was pitch-black at night.

Lying in bed on those nights, thinking about a fat, gray-haired man creeping around didn't always make me feel comfortable. It would take me forever to get to sleep.

I mean, is that really comforting to kids? Who came up with this idea to begin with?

Yeah, I know he was a real person and his story, but who decided that we carry on the idea of him delivering the gifts, instead of us? Just wondering.

I remember lots of Christmas mornings and discovering many delightful gifts that thrilled me.

But, the gifts I remember most were my first stereo and the albums I got to go with it.

The albums I recall were:

The King and I


Billy Joel's, Glass Houses

Michael Jackson's, Thriller

and I also burned up my mom's Heart, Fleetwood Mac, and Linda Ronstadt albums.

But, nothing was greater than a K-TEL album. I had many of these, with lots of Air Supply and Leo Sayer, and just a bit of Styx.

Quite a variety, huh?

These albums changed my life. 

I sang and sang and sang, going from one album to the next for hours. Yep, that's what I did. From singing "Hopelessly Devoted to You" to "Barracuda," I liked it all.

I do remember a bike too. I rode that bike a lot.

Oh, and Judy Blume books. I would sit up in our huge oak tree and read those things cover to cover. Those were the best books ever.

So, what memorable gifts did you get when you were a kid?


Cathy said...

Sounds like such fun memories.

Alli said...

Okay Mama Belle - so I have to tell you - my kids LOVE Beau - I can't tell you how many times I've had to find the video of him doing the "eyebrow" song. Last night they wanted me to find more funny videos of him - so just so you know - Beau has a fan club out west :-).

Mama to da Drama said...

okay, I'm pleased to know I'm not the only person in the world who drives on the inside lane of bridges because I'm scared of the outside lane.....you can go off the SIDE of the oustide lane...hello? Can no one else SEE that?

my favorite gifts were my Barbie townhouse and Cabbage Patch Kids. And I'm still mad at my dad for throwing them all out later without asking me. The nerve...

The Hat Chick said...

My favorite gifts were my Barbie corvette with 8-track tape and cb radio (and I still have it), my bike, and clothes. I always wanted clothes. Some things never change.

BaronessBlack said...

Back in 1986 when the movie Labyrinth came out I got a waistcoat/vest. I wore it with my jeans and tried to look as much like Jennifer Connelly as I could!

Although on your Santa point, I get frustrated that children don't get taught the stories of the saints. Particularly St Nicholas. He was known as a very tactful and holy man who gave things to the poor in discreet ways, so they wouldn't be embarrassed by accepting charity. The whole point about leaving money in the laundry (eg. stockings) drying in front of the fire, was to be able to give a family that needed it, some money in a way that was acceptable for them to take it.
Although it's not the real Santa/St Nicholas in the Mall/grotto/adverts (anymore than the doll in the nativity scene is the real Jesus), I feel it's important to remember the message behind the stories of both the gifts to Jesus, and the gifts from St Nicholas.
It's Jesus' birthday that we celebrate, but tactfully giving presents with love and care is a legacy from St Nicholas and I feel strongly that we shouldn't forget it!
Okay, rant over - stepping off the soap box! Oh, and I loved Judy Blume books too!