Friday, September 24, 2004

Let the Christmas Season Begin!

Ahhh yes, you got to love it when you see Christmas stuff up before Halloween.

Actually, I do love it. My family and I are the most celebrating Mother ef'ers you have ever met.

While growing up I was taught to celebrate anything I could whenever I could. My parents used to have huge Flag Day parties, Arbor Day parties, you name it. There were always people and music and food in our house.

When I turned 30, it took a month to celebrate my birthday. First, my parents came up from their home down south to throw the Mother of all 30th birthday parties for me. It was like a freakin' wedding, and a total surprise. 200 of my closest friends were there, and people still talk about it even though it has been 3 years since I hit that magical number.

The next celebration was a girl's night out with my girlfriends. That cannot be spoken about, because it was just a bit, uh , wild. We are sworn to secrecy about that night...Hell of a good time though.

Then I had a week in California with my then current boyfriend. He took me to the Pier in San Fran for Salmon, hiking in Yosemite, partying and skiing in Tahoe. We started to swing by LA, but as I saw it on the horizon it just looked nasty so we turned around and jumped a plane in San Fran to Reno. It was a great week, to say the least.

So I got back from my birthday week in Cali and my bro and sis had another smaller, intimate party for me. This was the one with my best of friends.

I am born a week before Christmas, so my family has always taken great pains to make my birthday special. When I took off to my parents for the Christmas holidays, they had ANOTHER party for me down there with relatives.

Phew. That was quite a month. Usually it takes at least a week to decently celebrate a birthday in my family, but milestones get a bit more special coverage.

Christmas being the Holy Grail of holidays, we go all out big time.

I bring this up not because of the decorations in the store, but because my Christmas shopping season officially began today. I found a cheerleading outfit from 1958 from my Mother's school. She was a cheerleader that year, so I snatched it up. She can probably still fit in it too....

She is going to freak out when she opens it. We go to great lengths when buying presents. Maybe it is that competitiveness we all seem to have, because my brother, sister, parents, and I all search forever trying to find that gift that will make the person scream with delight.

I know that the gift cards that look like credit cards are all the rage right now, but I just can't bring myself to buy those for people. The time and energy spent looking for that one thing that someone will love means just as much to me as what I open.

When I was just a lil pup, Christmas was a wirl wind of events. My parents used to have two Christmas parties on top of actual Christmas day. They had a big bash for the people my Father worked with, and then another for the people my Mom worked with. Christmas day was another story all in itself.

Christmas Eve, until I was 7, was spent at a toy auction with my Grandmother. She would bid and win whatever we wanted. At the end they'd throw everything together that was left and start the bidding. She would bid and bid and we'd get so excited, but she would quit just before the person bidding with her did. She never had any intention of winning that last auction, as it was usually junk, but I think she loved seeing us root her on and getting so excited.

Christmas morning....Well, we never really made it to Christmas morning. My Dad just couldn't stand it, so he would put on a pair of boots and run through the house shaking bells, as I learned as an adult, and then he'd start screaming, "Santa was here!!! Let's open presents!"

This was usually about 2 am. It is funny because my Mom looks so dead in the pictures we have of us opening presents. You know she just wanted to kill him, as I'm sure she had been wrapping present up to that point, considering we had to work our way from the edge of our big living room in because there were so many.

It was the only time of year that we were spoiled materialistically like that. My Father had grew up dirt poor, and he was a big believer in us children working for want we want. His best Christmas as a child? One year he and his 5 siblings all got an orange.

My best Christmas as a child. God, I remember it like it was yesterday. We heard "santa" running through the house, and I laid there with my eyes squeezed shut tight, until my Father yelled, "Let's open presents." I jumped out of bed and ran towards the living room with my bro.

There they were. A shiny yellow one and a shiny red one. My brother and I had been shoveling driveways for a month trying to buy one, as my parents said Santa probably wouldn't bring that because it was to expensive. They were Kick-n-Go's. I don't know if anyone remembers them, because I think they were taken off the market as kids were being seriously injured on them.

It was a scooter, but it has a thing on the back you could kick that worked like a bicycle peddle. It propelled you as fast as you wanted to go, hence the recall. I just remember standing there next to my brother with my mouth on the floor. The next thing I remember is riding these damn things in the snow in Pj's and snow boots in the snow at 3:00 am. That was the best present I had ever got, and I have had some incredible ones since then, but I don't ever remember having that feeling of exhiliration since. I think I was 5 or 6.

I found out as an adult why we got them. My Dad used to take us Christmas shopping for our Mom about a week before Christmas. My bro and I decided to use our Kick-n-Go fund to buy my Mom this Fondue set she wanted. It is funny, because I don't even remember it, but my Dad says it is one of the times when he was most proud of us.

He went and bought the Kick-n-Go's for us as soon as he deposited us back home. I guess my Mom was mad as a hatter, but he told her she would understand why later.

So I guess all of this is why I don't mind the Christmas stuff going up early. I know people say Christmas is over commercialized and all that, and they are right. Hasn't it always been though? How many people would be happy with a "traditional christmas" as my Father calls it of getting an orange?

1 comment:

Annie said...

Can you believe we both blogged about Christmas without planning it!

I am also against gift cards and am proud to say that I won the "favorite child" award last year for the best present. My mother loves to read books by the lake and I found a Robert Duncan print of someone doing that. She loved it.

That is too cool about the cheerleader outfit. Way to G.O.!