Friday, December 17, 2010

friday five: Christmases past

At RevGals Jan invites us to share five Christmas memories.

I've been doing a fair amount of Christmas reminiscing on this blog lately, so you've already heard much of what I hold dear about this time of year. Five additional things? I'll give it my best shot.

1) "Helping" Mom make toffee and spiced tea mix to give to neighbors and friends. I can't remember if the toffee went into a bag or box, but I DO remember that the packaging included a wooden spoon and a holly sprig (I think it was holly) tied with a bow. You rock, Mom!

2) Babushka's visit. Waking up on Christmas morning there was always a gift by the side of the bed left there by Babushka. For the record, we have no particular connection to Russia.

3) The year of the dog. When I was 11 my parents gave me a dog for Christmas. She wasn't wrapped up in a box or hidden in another room. We knew a Sheltie breeder, and drove to the kennel to pick up my puppy, who I named Bonnie. Thus began my love affair with dogs.

4) Family shopping expeditions. One night during the season we would go out to dinner and see the dramatic display of lights on Hartford's Constitution Plaza (above photo), then visit a local department store to shop for presents. I don't know how many years we did this, but it sticks in my mind as a distinct memory. And fun.

5) The only Christmas I spent alone was six years ago. Like this year, Christmas Eve fell on Friday, so between church that evening and 36 hours later Sunday morning, there was no time or opportunity to go anywhere. The cabin in which I lived was too small for a Christmas tree, so I arranged presents around the base of a decent-sized poinsettia. To extend the day, I paced myself by opening three gifts in succession, then stopped and wrote thank you notes for those gifts. I played Christmas music and talked on the phone to friends and family. It wasn't a bad day at all, and I had the dogs for company.  I've had worse days!


Jan said...

How wonderful to get a dog on Christmas. (Though that almost happened last year, when tiny Maisie puppy showed up in our backyard on Dec. 26.)Your mother was amazing with those gifts. I have been dwindling with homemade goodie gifts over the past few years. . . .

Carolina Linthead said...

This is an amazing "Friday five" from an amazing person. "I've had worse days" speaks volumes, Anne. Grace and peace to you, friend.

The Bug said...

I remember my one Christmas in Zambia - the differentness of it made me spend more time thinking about the WHY of Christmas & not just the gifts or family. I think it's good to shake things up every now & then!

Do you think you could get your mom to send me some toffee? Heh.

Terri said...

A dog for Christmas - delightful gift!

river song said...

what wonderful variety! Babushka's visit is esp interesting, cuz part of my ethnic heritage is Russian but I never knew my Dad's family so definitely want to learn more.

angela said...

I hope to give our little Ella a dog one day--and I bet Christmas would be wonderful with a pup to extend it.

All your stories are dear.

Woman In Cute Shoes said...

When my children were little I used to read them a story about Babushka. The closest I am to Russian was a Czech father-in-law :)

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