I was reading Ami's story about Christmas past, which of course made me reminisce of my own past Christmases....when I was a kid, Mom always made sure the my sister and I had lots of presents under the tree. She didn't discuss it when we were small, but as an adult, she admitted to me that she really never had gifts, other than maybe an orange or some clothes that were handed down from her older sisters.
I mean, thats storybook type stuff. My Grandparents were farmers in Pennsylvania. They had 8 kids. My Mom was the second to youngest. From what I gather, my Grandparents were extremely frugal. One memory that comes to mind ~ Grandma didn't like peppermint, so saved all of it in a jar to give to my sister and I when we came for visits. It would be mostly stuck together, but dang, there it was. There were a few hand me down toys in a box under the old secretary desk we could play with, which is probably why we did stuff outside. One summer my Grandmother cleverly sent the two of us to pick wild strawberries so that she could make jam for Grandpa. Have you ever picked wild strawberries? They're like the size of the tip of your pinky.
To have enough to for jam, well, we were out there for hours. Like I said, clever. But I digress.
My Mom obviously wanted us to have lots of gifts under the tree. She said she saved all year long, and probably put things in layaway as well. Our gifts weren't expensive, but there were plenty. I have photos of us opening gifts, but my sister has all those slides that we keep talking about having digitized but haven't done yet. One memorable year we had dolls with cradles, and an ironing board with an iron that actually got a tiny bit warm when you plugged it in. In that particular photo, my sis is in her pajamas, and she had obviously wet the bed that night, so she'll probably want to can that shot. Isn't it funny that my parents didn't make her change so that the photos wouldn't show it? But wow, it's for real, so I recall it fondly ~ although I wasn't the one in pissy pajamas, ha ha.
These days we don't go to far out in gift giving. My sister and I only exchange birthday gifts. Next year I may agree to join the gift exchange, but I keep saying no in case I get a name for someone that I have no idea what to get. I have enough trouble with the family I do buy for! And now that it's just Romeo and I and other than #2 son who is 33, I really don't want to decorate. Romeo wants it, so it's there. This year he said he would put up all the stuff, but as we had to have it, I didn't want it up the week before Christmas, so I ended up doing it again, the weekend after Thanksgiving.
So, although my family is as dysfunctional as most everyone else's, I have wonderful memories of Christmas as a kid. I hope my kids look back and feel the same....I did pretty much what Mom did, although I wasn't as good about saving all year.
I hope you have a great Christmas, no matter what traditions you enjoy.