Favorite Christmas memories

>> Saturday, December 8, 2007

Some, if not most of my favorite childhood memories center around Christmas. As I said in an earlier post, my mother was extremely fond of holidays, most especially Christmas, and because of that, the whole household was thrown into the spirit, including my dad.

Dad could be a real nut sometimes--so much so that he often got on Mother's nerves, and it was often that we'd hear, "Oh Law-RENCE!", ringing through the house on those occasions when he was especially annoying to her. But my brother & sister and I loved it when he was silly. Dad was, (still is), a serious, hard-working, veterinarian and seldom took time off to play, so when he was in the mood to play and act silly, we enjoyed it.

One of the big Christmas traditions at our house centered around the wrapping and giving of presents. We always opened our presents on Christmas Eve, and in the weeks preceding Christmas we would watch the presents pile up under the tree until they would literally spread out into the living room floor. Mother would always comment that the tree was looking "vulgar", and we'd all laugh. As Mother and Dad would buy presents, (they always shopped early), they would hide the gifts at Dad's veterinary clinic. I never learned where in the clinic the secret hiding place was, and it always amazed me that our presents didn't come home smelling like the clinic, as I knew that was where they were stashed, until Dad would wrap them, one-by-one and bring them home to put underneath the tree.

Dad's routine was to leave very early in the morning to go to the clinic to feed and medicate the animals, as well as clean the kennels and runs. He'd then return home around 7:00 a.m. when the family would eat breakfast together, and then he'd take us to school. During the Christmas season we'd eagerly listen for him as he came through the door that led from the garage into the utility room, and if he was singing "Jingle Bells" or some other silly Christmas song we knew that he had his arms loaded with presents to lay under the tree. We got to where when anyone would wrap a Christmas present and lay it under the tree, we'd say that they were "Jingle-Belling". My Dad started something that turned into a regular tradition at the Erwin house. One morning, we heard him coming through the door singing, but it wasn't "Jingle Bells". He was singing some silly song he'd heard on the radio, "Grandma got run over by a reindeer, walking home from our house Christmas Eve..." We all busted up, and Mother whined, "Oh, Law-RENCE!", as we rushed to the kitchen to see how many presents he had loaded up in his arms, jumping up-and-down and squealing with glee, as he ignored us while he made his way through our large kitchen to the living room where the tree stood in the front window.

To this day, I can't ever hear, "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" without thinking of my dad, and of course, the memories of my parents at Christmas always puts a smile on my face.


Monte December 10, 2007 at 8:00 AM  

Hee, hee, hee. OK, what gives? You're being really nostalgic, all-of-a-sudden, and it's making me nostalgic. I tried to get you to remember these things a few years ago. I guess you just weren't ready to do that then.

Monte December 10, 2007 at 8:02 AM  

Fact is--your memories are even more vivid than mine. You are recalling stuff that I hadn't even remembered until you mentioned it--like dad singing, "Grandma got run over by a reindeer." You're right. Those were dad's better moments.

Lynette December 10, 2007 at 8:11 AM  

No, I wasn't ready then. I still had some hurts that had to be worked through and healed before I could be ready to remember the good things. It's not that I don't remember the bad things anymore--I do. But they don't matter as much to me anymore because I've moved on, forgiven, and worked past them. Now I'm ready to remember the good things, and there were a LOT of good things. Besides, it just feels better to look into my past and remember the good things than it does to dwell on the ugly. And I'm a much happier and better person when I feel good.



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