Friday, December 18, 2009

The Friday Five

Five Christmas memories that were rather tragic at the time, but now are rather funny.

1a. When I was very little, we had a small, silver tinsel Christmas tree that stood on top of the coffee table. The ornaments were all the same. 4 dozen fushia with silver glitter balls. No lights. We had a spotlight that had a disk fitted over it. The disk was cut into 4 different colored quarters so whatever was illuminated would turn colors: red, green, yellow, blue. Like some psychedlic crack house.

1b. The reason we had the artificial tree was because The Brother (6 years my senior) climbed the real live Christmas tree at the age of two. Or rather he tried to climb it and the tree toppled over. Broken lights, broken ornaments, frightened baby. You would think by the time I arrived and was out of the toddler phase, the parents would have figured no one was going to try to scale the tree and gotten a real Christmas tree.

2. When I was 9 or 10 years old, Ma decorated the living room in what a fellow Italian once described to me as Nouvea Guinea. The sofa was white and gold and covered in plastic. Moss green and gold accents for curtains and throw pillows. The silver tree got dumped for one exactly like it in white. Four dozen gold ornaments, all the same, replaced the four dozen fushia and silver ornaments all the same. That year, I received a white and gold parka. A picture of me wearing the jacket was taken in front of the tree. I'm camoflaged.

3. Even though I felt bad about breaking some of the fuschia ornaments, I broke some on purpose. I wasn't fond of those pink ornaments.

4. When I was five years old and my cousin, Denise, was six. We had identical organza party dresses my mother bought for us. Hers was peach and mine was turqouise. We were visiting over her house (a triple decker in E. Boston). It was pretty close to Christmas and excitement and tension was high. I don't remember the cause, but we had a knock down, drag out, cat fight. Ruffled panties and petticoats whirling. Yelling and screaming as we yanked on each other's banana curls. Amid all this caterwalling in walked Santa Clause. Hand to God, the man himself! Red velvet coat, shiny black boots and belt, red hat with white pompom and his snowy white beard. He yelled at us for being naughty and fighting. Threatened us with coal in our stockings. We instantly stopped fighting and started hugging each other, crying and consoling each other because we were getting coal for Christmas.

5a. Because The Brother was so much older than me, he must have gotten annoyed that he couldn't snoop around to see what gifts he was getting. I was 7 when he spilled the beans. Being the good friend I was, I decided to share the news with Himself. We grew up next door to each other. He's a year younger than me. I'm not sure he's quite forgiven me yet.

5b. To take the sting out of the news, The Brother took me on the Christmas gift fishing trip. He found where Ma had hidden the stash. All the gifts were wrapped. With infinite patience, he showed me how to carefully remove the tape, open one end of the package, and gingerly remove the item. We'd open things up oooh and aaah. Then he would slide the item back in the wrapping paper without tearing the paper! and seal the gift up. Ma had no idea the packages had ever been tampered with. On Christmas morning, we would act surprised in all the right places. By the way, my ma worked outside the home full time so we were left alone to our own devices. What your mama don't know, your mama don't mind. It's the reason I decided to stay home to raise my girls.

Do you have any funny Christmas memories?


  1. Your stories are hilarious!! I can't think of any to trump yours! If I do, I'll be back!

  2. One of my favorite memories I was about 4 and helping Mom in the kitchen, doing what I have no idea. I heard bells, like jingle bells, like on Santa's sleigh and Mom and I were very quiet and sneaked around and when we went into the living room there were presents-Santa had been there, and I wasn't even asleep!!!! I don't think I have ever been so excited before or since.

    It's really not the kind of thing my parents would do, set out to trick a little girl. I still think it was really Santa :o)

  3. Love the picture! I can see your girls in you!

    One Christmas Eve when my sister and I were about 5 and 4, we were so excited, we couldn't sleep. We giggled and talked and kept each other awake.

    Then, outside our window, we heard the jingle bells.

    Santa only comes if you're asleep! What if he knew we were awake? Would he skip our house????

    We lay in the dark like planks, our eyes squinched shut, hardly daring to breathe.

    Then we woke up and it was morning.

    He didn't skip our house. :)

    Years later, my dad laughed until he cried re-telling the story and describing how we'd clammed up and played dead. He'd borrowed the bells from a friend. I think that was one of the best Christmas moments for him.