Years ago, when it was just Owl and I, we were kind of poor. The worst of it was I think the year the furnace went out in our new house not long before Christmas, so whatever extra money I had went to paying to fix it. 1998, so Owl was five. Anyway, there was almost no money for Christmas. We had a tree and some ornaments - both of which I got from my parents - but not much in the way of other decorations or presents. So, I hit the dollar store - back when they actually sold stuff for a dollar or less. I spent my last $20 on garlands and wrapping paper and loads of cheap toys for little Owl. The living room looked like Santa had exploded, but Owl was happy. And Christmas morning, she had lots of prezzies to open, so she never knew how hard that Christmas was to put together.
I'm not sure how my parents did it. Well, actually I do know. They did it because Mom is frugal. But they made each Christmas magical for five kids* on a limited budget. I'm sure none of us got loads of presents like only-child Owl did. What we got, though, was always amazing.
Growing up, I never thought of us as poor. Not until I reached my teens and understood things better. We always had plenty of food. We were clothed and had a roof over our heads. So what if the food wasn't prime cuts of beef and the clothes weren't Giordache and the roof sometimes leaked. There were always presents under the tree and cookies to bake and fudge for everyone.
I remember one Christmas Eve night, all us kids were sent to play in our rooms before bed. Middle sister and I were in our room doing something or other when suddenly we heard all this noise in the living room. And then we heard... I think it was Dad... calling to us to come see. So out we went and we we got to the dining room we could see that there was a TON of presents under the tree in the living room. I swear the present must've stretched from the tree in the corner all the way to the middle of the living room, there were so many. Dad informed us that Santa arrived early. Heh, Dad never could wait for Santa to arrive. We were only allowed to open one that night, if I remember correctly. I think that was the year I got my big stuffed frog. I loved him so much.
A short while back, my middle sister asked me if I remembered Grandpa. (We only had one we could remember, since Dad's dad died when he was ten.) In my accident, I lost most of my childhood memories, so no, I don't really remember Grandpa much. Anyway, she brought up this stuffed frog he used to have. THAT I remembered. She said he used to play with it with me and make it ribbit and stuff. I only remembered the frog. Flash ahead, and she sent me a stuffed frog. It's not exactly the same, but it's a memory she shared and I love it. It has an honored place in the house now with a blanket that was Dad's and some other memory stuffs.
We're doing things a little different this year and having steak with mushrooms and potatoes instead of the traditional ham. Hubs will whip out the grill and I'll be in here doing the rest of it. Other than that, it'll be a quiet day like always.
Anyway, I hope you all have a glorious Christmas tomorrow or a Happy Whichever-holiday-you-celebrate. May it be as beautiful as you hope, filled with love and joy and all the good stuffs. :HUGS:
*Not sure if my siblings remember them as magical. I do. But my memory sucks.
Those are wonderful memories and I'm glad you now have a frog. Mom and Dad both worked--he owned his own business(es) and Mom taught. We only had 1 set of grandparents and my grandmother passed when I was in the 3rd grade, so it was just Granddad. I remember the Christmas I woke up early and dashed in to see what Santa had brought. The rule was, if we got up before the parents, we could grab our stocking and go back to bed but couldn't touch our big Santa gift. I saw the cap rifle and double six-gun holster set and was beside myself with joy. Long story--I was a tomboy and wanted nothing more than to be a cowboy. CowBOY. Cowgirls were sissy to my mind. Anyway, once the family was up, I discovered Santa brought me a doll. A DOLL!!! Dolls are creepy. I never played with them. The guns all went to my brother. The next Christmas, I got a Roy Rodgers Ranch set--plastic animales, a bunkhouse, ranchhouse and barn. Roy and Dale. Trigger and Bullet and Pat Brady and Jezebell, his Jeep. Best Christmas ever! I later learned that Dad had bought the set withou Mom's knowledge. She wanted me to be a "girl." Dad wanted me to be whoever I wanted to be. I miss him.ReplyDelete
Anyway, Christmas is about family and friends you make family, and love and joy. Those are the true gifts of the season. Merry Christmas!
Love this!! It truly is amazing what we bring with us into our future - and how the memories of one moment in space and time differ depending on who's doing the remembering. I love that your sister shared that memory with you...and got you a stuffed frog.ReplyDelete
It truly is wonderous that we all survived without the massive amounts of stuff that seems to be the norm these days. I think it's why Christmas was so special for us - we never, ever got stuff at other times of the year (birthdays, but that usually wasn't toys).
Merry Christmas - enjoy the steak (psst, we're having salon burgers). xx
What beautiful memories! Such a sweet story! You've brightened my day.ReplyDelete
We were borderline poor, too, but we always had enough. Nothing fancy, but always wonderful.
This year the five of us are having Mexican food. Yay! That's my favorite!
Merry, merry Christmas, B.E.!