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Old Dec 06, 2009, 10:48 AM   #1
Hari's Chick
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Default Nice Holiday Memories

Warm holiday fuzzies, anyone? Share your memories here...

I'll start.


Growing up we had two Nativity sets. One set was placed under the big Christmas tree in our family room. It had a removable baby Jesus which went in the hutch drawer until Christmas morning. We used to fight like mad over who'd get to put baby Jesus in the crib, so Mom began keeping track, and we all switched off years.

Then... in the front room, which we were not allowed in - it was for guests- we had a smaller but nice size tree. It was an undecorated tree and alongside was our second larger nativity set. My Mom told us this set was not to be touched. It was from her Mom, and was "very nice and very expensive." Oh my gosh, we were scared to even breathe heavy on it. It was packed up so, so carefully each year. Mom said it was "hand painted from Italy."

So, years passed and soon I needed a Nativity set, but we really could not afford one. We made one out of foam from a craft store, then another year we bought a Playmobil one. Mom saw this and offered us the nice, Italian Nativity. Wow! I took extra special care, but it was nearly impossible with the traffic through the house to keep it "safe." We don't have a fancy guest room sectioned off!

One year a little friend was playing and kicked in the head of one of the three wise men. lol... We sort of glued it and reshaped it.

So this year as we put it up I noticed how it has faired a bit rough. We are a couple noses dented, our cow has a damaged horn, and Joseph's staff is no doubt part of a lego town somewhere. I said to my hubby... wow... I feel guilty that we sort of ruined my Mom's hand painted Italian Nativity. My husband said... "but... it is from Japan?" He flipped a piece over... LOL... and sure enough! I said, "But Mom said they were hand painted.." And hubby said, "Hmm, their hands held airbrushes then..." And yeah, it was true!

So I looked online and found matches, pretty exact, for our "very nice, very expensive" set... The prices begin around $10.00!

This made me love Mom even so so much more. She never minded bending the truth if she saw it convenient in raising four kids!!
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Old Dec 07, 2009, 03:59 PM   #2
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When we were little/6 of us, my parents always had the most beautiful live Christmas tree, my Mom had tons of antique ornaments from her Mom, my Mom was the only one that could put tinsel on the tree, she put it on one strand a time from front to back on each branch, took her hours but it was glorious looking when finished....It was great fun to watch my Dad put it in the stand all stooped over and asking my Mom "is it straight now, how about now?"

One year when I was about 12, I told my Dad, I did not have enough money from babysitting and I wanted to buy my Mom a really nice present, he reassured me whatever I got, my Mom would love it, we talked for a few minutes, he got up and walked away into the kitchen, I then stood up and a 5.00 dollar bill all folded up tight fell off of my lap, my Dad had secretly placed it there, I then had enough to get a nice present present, for the life of me I cannot remember what I got as a gift for my Mom, it was such a sweet surprise/gesture from my Dad.....
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 05:41 AM   #3
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I took extra special care, but it was nearly impossible with the traffic through the house to keep it "safe." We don't have a fancy guest room sectioned off!
Haha! Imagining velvet ropes surrounding nativity scene encased in glass on a pedestal, a la scene from The Pink Panther. Cute story, HC. I'm sure your Mom just wanted to put the scare into you kids in treating her favorite decoration with special care.
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 02:40 PM   #4
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Oh Holiday memories!! LOL...i thought you meant holidays as in "trips/holidays| but you mean Happy holidays!! lol

when i was young it was always very special to decorate and put up the tree..xmas day it self was always a day for family, like wider extended family, Mum's for lunch, dads for dinner usually... the food was always good and would usually watch a xmas movie on xmas eve, national lampoons, or more recently home alone etc..oh the joy of being a kid!! lol
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 05:40 PM   #5
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When we were little/6 of us, my parents always had the most beautiful live Christmas tree, my Mom had tons of antique ornaments from her Mom, my Mom was the only one that could put tinsel on the tree, she put it on one strand a time from front to back on each branch, took her hours but it was glorious looking when finished....It was great fun to watch my Dad put it in the stand all stooped over and asking my Mom "is it straight now, how about now?"

One year when I was about 12, I told my Dad, I did not have enough money from babysitting and I wanted to buy my Mom a really nice present, he reassured me whatever I got, my Mom would love it, we talked for a few minutes, he got up and walked away into the kitchen, I then stood up and a 5.00 dollar bill all folded up tight fell off of my lap, my Dad had secretly placed it there, I then had enough to get a nice present present, for the life of me I cannot remember what I got as a gift for my Mom, it was such a sweet surprise/gesture from my Dad.....

Your Mom sounds so patient! And your Dad seems so sweet and precious! :) I bet your Mom loved that gift. :)
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 05:41 PM   #6
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Haha! Imagining velvet ropes surrounding nativity scene encased in glass on a pedestal, a la scene from The Pink Panther. Cute story, HC. I'm sure your Mom just wanted to put the scare into you kids in treating her favorite decoration with special care.
I think you're right!
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 05:46 PM   #7
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Oh Holiday memories!! LOL...i thought you meant holidays as in "trips/holidays| but you mean Happy holidays!! lol

when i was young it was always very special to decorate and put up the tree..xmas day it self was always a day for family, like wider extended family, Mum's for lunch, dads for dinner usually... the food was always good and would usually watch a xmas movie on xmas eve, national lampoons, or more recently home alone etc..oh the joy of being a kid!! lol
Sometimes trips and holidays can go together, too! I remember once ... my BFF and I went to California Vegan during Christmas holidays! It was the best and we had heaps of crazy adventures together!!!

Awww, those are such cozy memories, too. XMas eve movies are awesome!!
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 10:38 PM   #8
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So this year as we put it up I noticed how it has faired a bit rough. We are a couple noses dented, our cow has a damaged horn, and Joseph's staff is no doubt part of a lego town somewhere. I said to my hubby... wow... I feel guilty that we sort of ruined my Mom's hand painted Italian Nativity. My husband said... "but... it is from Japan?" He flipped a piece over... LOL... and sure enough! I said, "But Mom said they were hand painted.." And hubby said, "Hmm, their hands held airbrushes then..." And yeah, it was true!

So I looked online and found matches, pretty exact, for our "very nice, very expensive" set... The prices begin around $10.00!

This made me love Mom even so so much more. She never minded bending the truth if she saw it convenient in raising four kids!!
Ha ha, your Mom sounds like my Mom, when we were in the 1st and 2nd grade, she said "remember to take your boots off or they will draw from your eyes and make your eyesight worse" this was winter of course.... scared me to death, I always took my boots off! stretching the truth me thinks!
I know from what you have said your Mom was a dear sweet mother HC!
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Old Dec 08, 2009, 11:07 PM   #9
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Another great memory I have is Christmas day, we had to wait till it was just barely light to wake my parents to tell them Santa had been to our house, we all sat around/6 kids, each of us got one gift at a time, meaning we sat through each of us opening a gift for all to see, then we went another round, till all the gifts were open, we got a pancakes, bacon, orange juice toast and milk for breakfast, got to play for a couple of hours with our new things, then off to Nana's house where all of my Dad's family brought all their kids(14 grandchildren, 3 Moms and 3 Dads, a single aunt and a single uncle, 23 people in her kinda little house all day) to have dinner at Nana's, we were each from my family allowed to bring our favorite new things with us, Nana always had gifts for all the grandkids, usually she took the hit for our parents by buying us the new jammies we needed, let our parents get us the much anticipated gifts...
Then they would put on her/Nana's favorite Christmas records, we would all sing along with Mitch, anyone remember"Sing Along With Mitch Miller?" Another favorite was the Boston Pops with Arthur Fiedler....
Then usually leave for home between 9-10p, many times in the snow in Massachusetts, ahhh White Christmas'....
On the week before Christmas, we would all pile into the car, just my immediate family(6 kids) and drive around to look at the displays people put up at their homes and some business'.
What fun to remember all this!
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 01:39 AM   #10
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Santa would write me a note each year as he passed through for some milk and fresh baked nestle chocolate chip cookies. And each year, Santa remarked how he "Just flew in from Germany." :) "How strange:, I thought, that we were Santa's very first stop in the states LOL, not that his handwriting looked amazingly similar to my father's own.
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 10:58 AM   #11
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Ha ha, your Mom sounds like my Mom, when we were in the 1st and 2nd grade, she said "remember to take your boots off or they will draw from your eyes and make your eyesight worse" this was winter of course.... scared me to death, I always took my boots off! stretching the truth me thinks!
We didn't hear that one, hahaha, but I love it!!!

Oh my gosh, we were told some doosies, too. When we'd stick our tongues out my Mom would say, "do that and next time a fly will land on it..." or if we crossed our eyes she'd say they'd stick that way!
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 11:04 AM   #12
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Another great memory I have is Christmas day, we had to wait till it was just barely light to wake my parents to tell them Santa had been to our house, we all sat around/6 kids, each of us got one gift at a time, meaning we sat through each of us opening a gift for all to see, then we went another round, till all the gifts were open, we got a pancakes, bacon, orange juice toast and milk for breakfast, got to play for a couple of hours with our new things, then off to Nana's house where all of my Dad's family brought all their kids(14 grandchildren, 3 Moms and 3 Dads, a single aunt and a single uncle, 23 people in her kinda little house all day) to have dinner at Nana's, we were each from my family allowed to bring our favorite new things with us, Nana always had gifts for all the grandkids, usually she took the hit for our parents by buying us the new jammies we needed, let our parents get us the much anticipated gifts...
Then they would put on her/Nana's favorite Christmas records, we would all sing along with Mitch, anyone remember"Sing Along With Mitch Miller?" Another favorite was the Boston Pops with Arthur Fiedler....
Then usually leave for home between 9-10p, many times in the snow in Massachusetts, ahhh White Christmas'....
On the week before Christmas, we would all pile into the car, just my immediate family(6 kids) and drive around to look at the displays people put up at their homes and some business'.
What fun to remember all this!

This sounds soooo cozy!! I remember Mitch Miller! We used to play him every Christmas. My middle brother would announce it, "sing along with Mitch!" and he'd put it on, lol! We used to hear it mostly during present opening.

You're so lucky to have had Grandparents close and to have a big family like that to celebrate with~ what a big family!! And the look of house lights amid the snow... it sounds so so pretty!!!
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 11:11 AM   #13
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Santa would write me a note each year as he passed through for some milk and fresh baked nestle chocolate chip cookies. And each year, Santa remarked how he "Just flew in from Germany." :) "How strange:, I thought, that we were Santa's very first stop in the states LOL, not that his handwriting looked amazingly similar to my father's own.
So cute!!!

See, Santa must have been starting at the top of his list and you had topped it! I'm just sure that must have been it... and maybe why he did California last!!
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 12:48 PM   #14
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When I was little, we'd go to my great-grandma's house and have dinner, and me and my brother and 2 of my cousins would go into my great-grandma's room and then we'd hear bells and then come out and there were presents in the living room -- one apiece!! It was cool.
My grandparents have a Christmas Eve party every year, and when we were younger, the same thing that we did at my great-grandma's would happen there. When Toy Story was about a year or two old, my brother got a Buzz Lightyear and I got a Woody!

We also used to have a Christmas party ever year with my extended family, but we'd switch off where we'd have it -- one year in my town, and the next up North in Amish Country. It was TONS OF FUN!!!! We'd exchange gifts, have tons of food, play games, and after I learned how to play guitar, my cousin and I would lead a Christmas carol sing-along. I miss those days!

My grandma puts out a Nativity set that she and my grandpa have had since they got married and I used to take the wise men and put them somewhere else in the room. I'd say, "The wise men weren't there yet!" And my grandma wouldn't take down the Nativity set until January 6, Epiphany, when I put them in the Nativity, when they finally met Jesus.

Another favorite memory that still goes on every Christmas is our Christmas Eve service at my church. I'll have to take some pictures of how it looks on Christmas Eve, with the lights dim, the decorations and tree lit, the Nativity up, the candles that we hold when we sing "Silent Night" at the end...oh my gosh, it's amazing! But one memory that sticks out to me is December 24, 1998, at my church...it was the night I was baptized. I was 7 years old. And at my grandparents' Christmas Eve party later that night, they gave me a Bible. That's one memory that I treasure and will always remember.

My favorite Christmas memories that I cherish the most are the 13 Christmases I got to spend with my great-grandma. I miss her more every day and I miss spending Christmas with her.
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 02:24 PM   #15
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My dad and I used to hang the lights on the house together. We would also watch old movies like 'White Christmas' while we wrapped presents.
I sure do miss him....
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 02:30 PM   #16
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I'm really enjoying reading everyone's Holiday memories!!

When I was really little, putting up the tree was like a big family event. We'd usually have some kind of easy dinner, we'd either order a pizza or have some frozen tv dinner. This was back when both of my sisters were teenagers and I was anywhere between 5 and 9. (My oldest sister moved out when I was 10).
We'd put the tree up as a family, and I always wanted to play with the ornaments. Especially these porcelain ones, because they were shaped like The Muppets. (We had four of those, two of Kermit the Frog and two of Miss Piggy, lol). And we'd play tapes/cds with Christmas music.

My Dad is a florist and December is a very, very busy month. My dad runs the flower shop with my uncle and in December he doesn't get a day off until Christmas day.
Now when I was about five I would have to go to bed early, and because December is such a busy month for people in retail (and this was the early 90s so it was before online shopping) my dad wouldn't get home till later.
Some nights I would beg to stay up later (8:00 pm being a big deal for a kid lol) so I could see my dad when he got home. And I remember one year, I think it was when The Lion King had come out (either in theatres or on VHS) my dad brought me home a little Lion King figurine.

When I got older (teens and preteens) I would of course be up later..and I would even work at the flower shop when it got busy. Christmas Eve would always be a nice time for us all because we'd finally get to just sit and relax as a family, listening to music, watching specials on tv, enjoying the warm glow of the decorations, smelling the food that was being cooked for the next day, lol.
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 02:32 PM   #17
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Every year, my aunt would fill a room (literally FILL a room!) in her house with presents for my siblings and I. Every Thanksgiving, we'd make a sign that read, "Do not enter until December 24th", and put it on the door of this room....

That was the longest month of our lives... waiting for "the door" to open on Christmas Eve!

On Christmas morning, my dad would put his Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Hymns LP's on the ol' turntable, and we'd open presents to the backdrop of these songs. It's like burned into my brain.


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Old Dec 09, 2009, 03:04 PM   #18
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Another one just popped into my head. Last year I was at the mall with two good friends of mine.
We were sitting in the food court, and being the random Beatles fangirl that I am, I start belting out "Everywhere it's Christmas, at the end of every year!". I was even trying to sing it like they do on the record with the posh affected accent.

My friend Ricky turns to me and says "Ssssh, people are starring at you!".
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 04:05 PM   #19
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Everyone, what beautiful memories!!!

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My grandma puts out a Nativity set that she and my grandpa have had since they got married and I used to take the wise men and put them somewhere else in the room. I'd say, "The wise men weren't there yet!" And my grandma wouldn't take down the Nativity set until January 6, Epiphany, when I put them in the Nativity, when they finally met Jesus.
We did the Wise Men on Epiphany, too! My middle brother used to call them the Wise Guys~ Larry, Moe, and Curly...

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Another favorite memory that still goes on every Christmas is our Christmas Eve service at my church. I'll have to take some pictures of how it looks on Christmas Eve, with the lights dim, the decorations and tree lit, the Nativity up, the candles that we hold when we sing "Silent Night" at the end...oh my gosh, it's amazing! But one memory that sticks out to me is December 24, 1998, at my church...it was the night I was baptized. I was 7 years old. And at my grandparents' Christmas Eve party later that night, they gave me a Bible. That's one memory that I treasure and will always remember.
Awwww... that is so special! It'd be so awesome to see a picture! Maybe we can use this thread for pictures, too?

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My favorite Christmas memories that I cherish the most are the 13 Christmases I got to spend with my great-grandma. I miss her more every day and I miss spending Christmas with her.
Your great-grandma must be one special lady! Look at the sweet great granddaughter she had, after all!
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Old Dec 09, 2009, 04:06 PM   #20
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My dad and I used to hang the lights on the house together. We would also watch old movies like 'White Christmas' while we wrapped presents.
I sure do miss him....
((((((((HUGS Esmi)))))))))
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