View Full Version : Christmas-The Little Things

12-04-2009, 01:40 PM
I was thinking about Christmas today, and it's hard to believe that its only a few weeks away. I started thinking about the little things about Christmas that I really like, many of those things are from my childhood. Here are a few...

One thing I like, is when I was a kid, my parents would wrap alot of the gifts in the funny papers. Back then the comics in the paper were in color, and I remember seeing all those colorful wrappings under the tree.

I also like the smell that comes from the smoke of a toy train. My grandfather always set up his Lionel Train Set around the tree, and he would put small gifts and candies in these flatcars, while the steam engine pulled them round and round, puffing smoke. I became a toy train buff because of my Grandfather, and I now have his original train from those days, and I run it every year. He got it as a gift in the 1950's, and after some tlc and restoration work, it looks and runs like the day it was new over 50 years ago.

My Grandmother had these neat little ornaments that were like a clear plastic tube with a tin propellor inside of it. When you turned on the lights on the tree, the heat from the lights makes the propellors slowly spin. Mom now has these, and she puts them on her tree evey year.

We also have a funny gift we give my father each year. He kids us about how when he was a kid, the only thing he ever got for Christmas was a lump of coal, and a cap gun, and his brother broke the cap gun. So we give dad this little package with a lump of coal and an old busted cap gun in it.

I also like watching Ralphie and his quest for a Daisy Range Model Air Rifle with a Compass in the Buttstock, all the while being thwarted by adults, and even Santa, telling him he'll shoot his eye out. And of course, the much coveted, and highly sought after leg lamp is always funny too. Oh, and be sure to drink your Ovaltine!

So, those are some of the little things I like about Christmas.

What little things about Christmas do you like?


tiggerlishus - Heidi
12-04-2009, 04:35 PM
Rob what another great tread!! :yes:

soo many different things so here we go

when we lived in america i used to love the ngiht of decorating the tree we would pop popcorn bowl to eat and a bowl to thread and string around the tree and with the smell of tat and the candy canes it was lovely real family night!! and if i ever have the luxoury of my own family it will be one tradition i look forward to continueing!!

also when we went to my nanny dinosaurs in tennasse mum and dad would hide behind thier fold up bed wrapping our xmas presents thinknig we did know what they were doing

then when we moved back to the uk we lived with my grandparents on my mus sisde for a while and xmas thier was always full not only is my one of 7 and at some points all of them was there soem with other halves and kids but my grandparents ave what they call adopted family peopel from thier church life so we would end up with dinning room table extended plus another table attached and these attachments would work all the way down the hall ( houses over not being as big in usa) and some one end up with the ironing borad for dinner table and still we would have people eating off laps as no surface left!!

then when we moved out of grandparents mum didn't have much money so she would cut big twigs of trees in garden and spray piant them silver put them in a pot and that was our xmas tree with our popcorn wrapped round and a few home decoration we had brought back from states as well home made salt dough decorations we did that year!

my favourite decoration as such was these hand made names sequin stocking my mum made for each of us when we were children

as an adult one thing i loved unfortunately we don't do any more since my brother and his wife split is the wole family gonig to local panto actually onxmas eve then gonig back to thier house to view on the web where santa would be at that point and then doing the whole mince pie, carrot, glass of milk for santa thing with the kids!!

ok think that enough i could go on for ages xxx thanks rob this thread has really cheered me up after along week!! xx

12-04-2009, 05:42 PM
Rob..such great memories...I reminisce with my sibs and we joke about how we had nothing..and yet we had everything. I am one of five from a blue collar family. We all got some gifts..nothing extravagant, but they were always cherished. When I was really little, I always made gifts for my mom and dad. Some classics still exist. I love the 'smell' of snow and how we always wished for snow over Christmas vacation to go sledding on our Flexible Flyers!I feel the kids today have missed out on soo much. They have all the electronics and gadgets but we had such fun. We would go out and play all day...it could be a simple stick ball game,kickball,tag, jump rope,hide and seek..it was all so good...oh and I grew up right down the street from Palisades Amusement Park...Memorial day to Labor Day,my brothers snuck me thru the hole in fence..lol....I have a great family ,2 beautiful kids,a job,a house,a motorcycle/car..every day is Christmas..I feel very blessed and lucky most days.

12-04-2009, 06:13 PM
Christmas was not a big deal when we were kids because we did not have a lot of money. We lived in a run down house and us 3 girls slept in one room and my brother had a room as big as a closet and we did not even have a room called a bathroom. That room was out in the back yard as and outhouse you have not lived till you had to clean this with clorox and get rid of the spiders. But my mom and dad tried to give us some things and when i got married i always felt i did not give my kids enough either. But then i found Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas and tried to instill this in my kids and my grandchildren. Now it just seems that someone in this family even my husband is always fighting with each other and sometimes holidays are a bit tense. Sorry to be such a drag. Bonita

12-04-2009, 06:14 PM
Christmas was not a big deal when we were kids because we did not have a lot of money. We lived in a run down house and us 3 girls slept in one room and my brother had a room as big as a closet and we did not even have a room called a bathroom. That room was out in the back yard as and outhouse you have not lived till you had to clean this with clorox and get rid of the spiders. But my mom and dad tried to give us some things and when i got married i always felt i did not give my kids enough either. But then i found Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas and tried to instill this in my kids and my grandchildren. Now it just seems that someone in this family even my husband is always fighting with each other and sometimes holidays are a bit tense. Sorry to be such a drag. Bonita

We did not even have running water in our house then.

12-04-2009, 07:08 PM
Some of these posts reminded me of the first Christmas that Jeff and I spent together in the married students' dorm. Jeff bought a tiny, cheap little artificial tree at the dime store, but we couldn't afford ornaments. At that time, we had a camera with a "cube" flash. I had kept the used flash cubes to use as a craft project.
Jeff also had a sweet habit of bringing home my favorite chocolate covered cherries, which were covered in a pretty red and gold foil wrap. I saved the wraps, put them on the flash cubes, and hung those on our tree. It seemed cheesy then, but now it is the sweetest memory!
Today's tradition: We have a small tree that is our "Star Trek Christmas Tree". Jeff has been collecting the Hallmark Star Trek ornaments since they started producing them. I used to buy him the new edition ornaments each year. Since Heather, our oldest, has been on her own, she has taken over this tradition. Every year, a package arrives from Heather to her Dad with the new Star Trek ornaments, and he proudly adds them to our little tree.
In our huge house, we had 3 trees - a traditional one in the bay window (artificial, since I'm allergic to evergreens), a southwestern themed one in the family room, which was decorated in the southwestern style, and Jeff's Star Trek tree in the dining room window. We only brought the little Star Trek tree to our little house by the sea, and left the other two, with their decorations, stored in the attic of the house in Texas. I'm going to miss putting up all my decorations for three Christmases.
I'm also going to miss getting together with all of the kids.

12-04-2009, 10:01 PM
Christmas when I was young was very simple. We lived with my mom's parents and her youngest sister (she has 7) and we would have a big Christmas dinner with a "grown up table" and a "kids table". There were so many of us that every year a new kid got bumped up to the grown up table b/c some littler kid got bumped out of the high chair for the new kid that some aunt was expecting/about to expect last Christmas. Gifts were really simple. It was the little things like watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and making homemade chocolate chip cookies with my grandma that I loved. My mom's parents lived across the street and on opposite corners from my dad's parents so after opening gifts my brother and I would go down the block and open gifts with my other grandparents. My dad's mom had these special glass blown ornaments that were shaped like those hard Christmas sucking candies in a garland. And we would eat pasteles and rice and beans and then go back to my other grandparents for dinner. New Years was fun too b/c we would go to my mom's oldest sister's and stay up and play games all night and drink "champagne" (sparkling apple cider) and bang the pots and pans on the front stoop at 12am.

12-05-2009, 05:50 PM
Nice thread Rob...Happy, but at the same time a little sad. I have to admit, I get a little sad when I think about my younger years. They were the best years of my life..no problems, no responsibilities, no ill health.
It's scorching hot here during Christmas, it's summer, so my favourite memories include our street BBQ's, heading out to the beach, and it wouldn't feel like Christmas if I didn't attend Christmas eve's midnight mass. Christmas morning was never about gifts, but more so waking up to the smell of food. My parents would get up at 5am, and begin cooking that turkey, lasagna, soup, potatoes, garlic bread...and the list goes on. By midday, our house would be full of laughter, happiness, and a whole heap of noise. All my relatives, and friends would stay until night, were the adults would then pull out the deck of cards, and play poker for who would be hosting Christmas the next year. My dad always lost...purposely I think, because he loved Christmas at our house.
These days, Christmas is a little more quite. The children don't run around anymore the way we did, now they are stuck in the corner, with I-pods in their ears, and playing around on their I-phones, and all the other crap that's taking their childhood away. They don't know how to have fun like we did. Funny because, a few weeks ago, we all got together at my sisters house, my nieces were on the computer for most the night, and us adults were kicking around the football. We were the one's acting like kid's, telling them to come play with us. They would rather play sports on their Wii, then come out and really get dirty.

12-08-2009, 10:23 AM
This thread is bringing back so many memories...

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the tree. When I was a kid, as soon as my dad left, and they decided to get divorced, Mom bought a tree. (He would never allow it). This was back in 1972, and it wasn't an ordinary tree. Remember those aluminum trees? That was ours and I loved it because it was so shiny and different. We put blue garland on it and a Jewish star on top because technically we were Jewish, and slowly added decorations through the years. We still have some of the original ornaments, many of them my mom and I made, but we don't use the aluminum tree anymore because it's so fragile. We also had a cardboard fireplace that I thought was totally cool. I still do, but we don't have that either.

Many years my mom and I would bring everything, tree and all, to my grandparents' house and spend Christmas Eve and Day with them. They had a big house with a real fireplace, so I was even more sure that Santa couldn't forget about me. (I mean, with a cardboard fireplace, I was never all that convinced...) :)

These days what I still love is the tree, but for a different reason. Every ornament has a story...a special memory. And I treasure every single one of them. I have my own house, but my parents and I get together every year to put up the tree at both houses. As we decorate, we retell the stories. It's our tradition to buy one new ornament every year. Last year I bought us an American Idol ornament - we're both hopelessly addicted to the show. This year over Thanksgiving weekend, when I was so sick with this flare, Mom and I painted wooden and suncatcher ornaments.

Christmas Eve is also special to me. I go to the candlelight service at my church, then pick up pizza or chicken for dinner and take it to my parents. We eat a quick dinner, then gather around the fireplace and sing along to our favorite Christmas CD's. We sometimes even play the old albums. None of us have a decent voice, but it doesn't matter.

There's so much more, but I'll stop for now. I'm not nearly ready for Christmas, but I'm still glad it's coming soon.

12-08-2009, 02:41 PM
We did not even have running water in our house then.


We were poor, but we had an indoor potty and plumbing. Hubby remembers having to use an outhouse as a boy and can relate, Bonita.

12-08-2009, 02:58 PM
My favorite memories of Christmas were when my children were little and we had began to separate from my family more. We shocked my family when I let them know we wanted to stay home for Christmas day instead of get together with the madness my family oozes. Every year the kids would wake up, open presents from Santa, then we'd have to drag ourselves over to my mom's to endure the craziness of my side of the family. I was tired of my kids having to suffer with it. At first I felt like I had committed some form of blasphemy with the way some reacted to it, even though the only thing I told them was that I wanted my kids to enjoy staying home Christmas day like I did growing up....but it all soon passed. Christmas with just my own little family at home was so peaceful and sweet. We had a blast and have every Christmas since then. That was the year we learned to make taffy and we made lots of neat wrappers for the taffy with holiday printed wax paper. Our home smelled so yummy and we had so much fun handing out the taffy to friends and family. That was so much fun. One year my daughter discovered beads and made so many beautiful ornaments for our tree, some survived the years and we still use them.

12-09-2009, 03:05 PM
my favourite memories of christmas was my dad he always made christmas special christmas eve he would put a party on for us kids with all our favourites and he would let us open one present and we would watch christmas carols and on christmas day all my family would get together all my aunties and uncles and cousins and grandparents we would have such a good time. and then when i married stephen his family were the same all the family would get together we would have water fights and and whipped cream all his family would play card games or board games and we would go swimming sadly those days are over it has not been the same 10 years ago stephens father died then my grandparents and my father died 3years aqgo and my sister 2 years ago so we do not have the same christmases anymore it will only be stephen and me and the kids this year we are going on a picnic. thanks rob it was great to look back on happier times this was a good idea to remember the goodtimes before the pain hugs kim l

12-13-2009, 05:50 PM
I think about how fortunate I was as a kid on Christmas. My Dad would work three different jobs to make sure my Mom, brother and I had a "good" Christmas. One of my Dad's jobs was to sell Christmas trees in the cold, cold winters in Illinois. We always had the most beautiful tree because Dad was allowed to pick the cream of the Christmas tree lot for our tree. It was a "perk" of the job. I think about Dad out there in the cold selling trees so we could have the best Christmases ever as kids.

12-13-2009, 06:51 PM
I always remember growing up and not realizing until later how hard my mom and dad worked to make sure we had a good Christmas my dad worked for the state,we lived in a lake tourist community and we were only about 1 of the 4 homes of the 60-70 homes that were occupied year round ,my dad mowed all the lawns after work and fixed plumbing and electrical ,in the winter he would winterize peoples houses and pull their boats out of the lake and lots of time he wouldnt come in until dark ,we would all have to go with him and help cut fire wood and he also maintained 5 boat docks which were a constant burden to push out and pull in as the lake rose and fell ,winter time we had the whole place pretty much to ourselves my brothers and i would sled down the hills on old car hoods or sneak our dads lawnmower out and pull each other on sleds or whatever we could find ,my dad passed away oct 15 and me and my wife will truly miss his presence ,but we both have wonderful memories of him and im sure his spirit will be with us this year as no one loved Christmas as much as him

12-14-2009, 05:17 PM
My favorite Christmas memories as a child were of going to my Grandma Kate's and seeing all of my aunts/uncles/cousins. We'd have a large formal dinner (we ate at the Kid Table in the breakfast nook, of course). I'd watch my brother put olives on each of his fingers and eat them, one by one (I'm not a fan of olives, otherwise I would've done it too!). Although there were more than 30 cousins, Grandma made sure there was something for everyone under the tree. After my Grandmother passed away in the 70's, Christmas seemed to have lost some of its magic. Until I had children........

My favorite memory of Christmas with my children was watching the sparkle in their eyes when they spoke of Santa Claus and telling me what they REALLY wanted to ask Santa to bring them for Christmas. Until my kids were 18, 17 and 12, they consented to having their picture taken with Santa--photos that get set out every year to remind them how cute they were and how quickly time flies.

Oh, and don't forget my mom's delicious mints and peanut butter snowballs (which I received in the mail today). They are so decadent and I can't wait to savor them (ok-I confess-I ate a couple of the mints just to make sure they were as delicious as I remembered from last Christmas, but I'll save the rest to share). This year, mom included some spiced walnuts. Normally, walnuts don't blow my hair back ('cause they're so dry), but let me tell you-these were off the charts!

Now I'm feeling all nostalgic and it makes me very sad that I won't be spending time with my parents this Christmas (only the second time in my life-the first time was when my mom was receiving radiation for breast cancer some ten years ago and this year because my dad is going to be having radiation for lung cancer that he was diagnosed with two weeks ago). If only I could produce tears like I used to so I could have a good cry and get it out of my system....

12-15-2009, 12:24 PM
I know how you feel. This will be the first Christmas since we started having kids 32 years ago that Jeff and I will spend without a single kid or grandkid. It's really a different feeling. At least, we get to fly out on the 29th to meet the new grandson!
Enjoy your smaller Christmas this year, and I hope that your Dad is up to having a great one next year.

12-20-2009, 04:21 PM
Just wanted to say that I too think that the kids nowadays are somewhat robbed of their childhoods. When I was a kid in the 1950's we would go sledding down our hill by our house, build snowmen, make Christmas cookies (several kinds), go carolling, decorate the tree with bright and shiny ornaments, play games, and color in our special Christmas color books. Nowadays, it seems that XBox and cells phones, etc. take priority over the "simplier" pleasures of yesteryear Christmases.

12-20-2009, 04:59 PM
Like many of you know, I am from Germany and came to this country in 1981.
In Germany the christmas customs are a little diffrent.
When I was a child, my parents put up the tree on christmas eve, we had to stay in our room, until 6:00 pm, then my mom would ring a little bell and we where allowed to go into the living room. Where we saw the tree fully decorated for the first time, with all the presents under it, but they where not wrapped.
We would play with our toys and at 8:00 pm, we would eat german potato salad and wieners( frankfurters)
It was this way every year. On christmas day we went to my grandmas house
and on the second christmas day( in Germany the 25. and the 26. are a holiday), we would have the house full of relatives.
Those are some nice memories, I will treasure them for ever.