My Mom loved Christmas. She loved Halloween and Easter too, but not for any religious reason. Halloween because it was the same month as her birthday and of the cool decoration possibilities, and Easter because of the get together s with family and the baskets.
But today I'm talking of Christmas.
I did not understand, as a child of the 80's when on the news people would speak of not being able to afford a Christams tree. I lived and live in Oregon. When I was little, trees were as little as $5 or free. My parents, loving the Grand Nobles, spent more in the area of $15. But until my Dad explained to me that Christmas trees in other parts of our country were actually expensive did I grasp my fortune.
We would get our tree. And than the waiting and whining would start. My Mom would take what felt like forever but was probably no more than a day, do put on the lights. Plastic flower petaled ensconced plastic lights that she meticulously put on, making sure each branch was represented.
Once that was done, the decorating would begin. Supervised by Mom. Making sure we didn't put all the ornaments on the front and equally distributed the bling. There would also me the the cardboard Christmas village set up on white glittered batting to give the effect of snow.
We opened our presents from Mom and Dad on Christmas Eve, saving the Santa gifts for Christmas morning. Christmas Eve was the big haul. I don't actually remember believe in Santa. Maybe it was because I was deathly afraid of Santa. That carries forward to today. I still do not understand why we ask our kids to go and ask a perfect stranger in a stupid costume for presents for Jesus's birthday?? Why?
But of course I digress, because this wouldn't be my blog if I didn't get off track.
Now where was I...oh ya presents!
Now as an adult, and after reviewing all the financial records from my parents, I have no bloody idea how they afforded the Christmas gifts they gave us, as well as the rest of the year. It wasn't on credit cards, so I can only assume they sacrificed all y ear long. Which makes sense because I don't remember either of the parents ever buying themselves much if anything. They gave Steve and I their all. Looking back we were both dressed and afforded a lifestyle that only our more wealthy friends had, even though our parents, a truck driver and custodian worked dearly for it. I think that's why now I am willing to sacrifice so much for Iron Man and Pinky.
Aaaand now again back to my point. What was my point ??????
Oh ya it was Christmas memories. After the Christmas Eve dinner and present opening we would go to sleep. Hoping that on Christmas morning whatever Christmas wish we had, that hadn't been satisfied would be filled. And usually it was.
Than after Christmas morning presents we would load in the car and head to Centralia for the extended family celebration. Where food would abound and more presents would appear. Essentially it was a cousin fillled mad house.
For all of us cousins to be together, was and still is a case of beautiful chaos. Lots of love, tiny bit of rule and a whole lot of fun. Not so different from now. Except now, it seems we only see each other and funerals and weddings. Which frankly sucks!