Tuesday, December 18, 2012

10 Thought Tuesday ~ Christmas Past ~

Dad with his Stocking - Xmas 2010
1.  One of my most favourite Christmas memories is from when I was a little girl.  I would go stay at Grandma & Grandpa Dean's house while Mom and Dad "kicked up their heals."  One time I sat with Grandpa and we looked at the Sears Wish Book and the Consumers Distributing book and he had me write a letter to Santa Claus and I had to list the page numbers and item numbers of the things I wanted.  That Christmas they gave me a Sandy doll and all the furniture for a house.  It was pretty awesome.

2.  My Dad's work, the Prince Albert Daily Herald, held an annual Christmas party.  It was on a Sunday afternoon and we'd gather in the Bridge Room of the newspaper.  Santa would come!!!  Dad would say "I think I hear something."  Then Santa would come down the hallway all Ho-ho-ho-ing and all us kids would get exciting.  He'd sit in a big chair and hand out gifts and treat bags and sometimes he'd come around and talk to everyone.  After we'd have cheese burgers, pop and ice cream in those little dixie cups with the wooden spoons which to this day remind me of the reed on my clarinet.

3.  I was pretty lucky.  All Christmases at my parents house were warm and special and full of magic.  One year it was full of an upset stomach too.  My sister in law makes these peanut butter corn flake bar things....they are delish.  She made me my own personal bag of them and brought them over Christmas morning.  I ate the whole bag.  *hugs stomach in remembrance*

4.  I'd always know when Dad was done his Christmas shopping.  When he'd arrive home from work he'd come into the house and directly into the basement where he'd stash his presents.  I don't know where the hiding place was but he'd stash them well.  If they were for my mom he'd usually ask me to wrap them.

5.  One year when I was older my Dad wanted to get my Mom a "Luda" coat.  They were a fashionable item....very light weight and extremely warm and came with a hefty price tag.  So to find out if she really wanted one he had the store phone and pretend that Dad wanted one.  Well come Christmas morning there were two identical boxes under the tree.  They had given each other new coats! It was funny because I was the only one who knew what each other was getting and that all this speculation and secret shopping was going on!

6.  Christmas morning was the only time Santa would put candy canes on the Christmas tree.  Mom and Dad would usually be up early to "stuff the bird" and get the turkey in the oven.  Santa always filled my stocking and many times it was over flowing.  One time Santa forgot to put something in it.....and Dad found it later and gave it to me.  It was a CD....back when CD's were really expensive.

7.  My first Christmas as a married woman was exactly one week after our wedding.  We went to my In Laws for what I'd call an old fashioned Christmas.  We gathered at Uncle Rod's house for Christmas Eve which was wonderful in itself.  But during the time we were there a massive amount of snow fell blocking the roads.  Grandpa Johnson road the tractor down the road while the cars created a caravan back to the house we were staying in for the holidays.  I remember Hubby's aunt being very excited and recalling how it reminded her of being a little girl and riding in the sleigh with the horses ringing their bells leaping through the snow.

8.  In the fall of 1999 Uncle Rod had a stroke.  He was very very lucky to have survived.  He made what I'd call a miraculous recovery but wasn't expected for Christmas Eve dinner.  This was a year that the whole entire family was home.  The table had 22 place settings that year.  Then a car pulled up and down the walk in the snow flurries came Auntie Wendy and Uncle Rod.  It was such a blessing to have them come that year.  It still brings tears to my eyes.

9.  A Christmas Eve ritual at my parents was to go visit my Grandma Mathers.....my Dad's mom, early in the evening.  Grandma 'Mokey, as us kids called her because of her dog Smokey, but none of us could say it, was a fun place to visit.  There seemed to be an unlimited supply of bottled pop in the basement.  There'd be an unfinished puzzle on the table along with a half read romance novel.  Going to Grandma's house was something my Dad and I always did together.

10.  Two Christmasas ago, I surprised my parents, or rather, Mr. Claus surprised them.  He left two stockings addressed to Henry and Darlene.  When I met my Dad in the kitchen that morning he had tears in his eyes as he said, "You shouldn't have done that."  To which I replied, "I didn't do anything, Santa did."  Then he said, "No one has ever done that for us before."  It was such a happy Christmas and it was so much fun to watch them go through their stockings.

A Man & His Dog - Christmas in Norquay 2011