This is my fourth for the Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. Once again you will find entries from myself, my Mom, and maternal Grandmother (in first person perspective) below.
Presents and Parties
Me: We never did holiday parties, but would celebrate with each of my parents' families at some point around the holiday. I loved visiting my mom's family at the holiday's. All of our cousins would draw names and do a gift exchange. The best part, besides family, was BINGO, which we played every year. Each family would contribute wrapped gifts that none of us kids knew about. When you won a game you got to pick a gift and open it. The gifts ranged from gift cards to candy to toilet paper wrapped with rocks so you couldn't guess what it was. We would always laugh when we opened those gifts, and after a couple years it became the highlight of our gathering. As far as gifts at home, I honestly can't recall one gift I received. I feel bad because my parents always worked hard to save up to buy us gifts. For me it was never about the gifts, but always about the family and traditions.
Mum: I remember my mom's mother and my mom's sister and her husband and son and my mom's brothers coming on Christmas Eve; we would open gifts; my favorite Gift from my Grandma Lindley was a watch that came with a Disney porcelain figurine/doll that was about 6-8 inches tall - maybe it was Snow White. I have no idea what happened to the watch or figurine but would I love to have that now! One year my Aunt gave us all pencils with our names imprinted on them - we thought that was pretty cool. My Grandma Miller always made us clothes for Christmas, often flannel pjs that always smelled just like her home (wood stove smell), what a comfort that scent was. I remember one Christmas my brother, one of my sisters and I woke up long before anyone else; we sat on the couch which was opposite the tree and used a flashlight to shine a light on to the gifts that were under the tree - even though no one else was up we dared not go look or touch anything. How well behaved were we?? We didn't get many gifts per child but because there were so many of us it seemed like hundreds of presents under that tree. We always seemed to get new board games and would spend a lot of time playing them.
G-Ma: My parents would do their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve because all of the shops in town had sales. We were too poor to buy things at full price, but we always got something. One year I got a set of paper dolls, of the Five Girls from Canada. I had them for years. We also did a gift exchange at school and every student received a small gift from teacher. The Kissling family would come over some years on Christmas morning. We would always have a big breakfast the years they came. I remember one of their boys got a bb gun and promptly put his thumb over the end and ended up with a big cut.