Monday, December 28, 2009

Memories we’d sometimes rather forget


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I had to come up with two questions to send out this week because I didn’t feel like bothering with writing up next week’s post while I’m out of town because I’m a self-centered ass like that.

So, here’s the first question I asked them:

What's your strangest Christmas memory?

Answers after the jump:

• Mollie Katie: I think my strangest Christmas memory was the year my sister very vocally decided she didn't believe in Santa anymore. My parents tried to convince her by making snowy boot prints around our Christmas tree, as though Santa had come down the chimney and out into the living room. She observed that Santa wore the same work boots as our father, and no one was going to try to trick her! Did I also mention as a five-year-old, my sister swore like a truck driver? Because she did. Still does, actually. It's vivid and weird in my memory, like it happened yesterday.

• Jen: Strangest Christmas memory would have to be the year that my mom almost burned down the house. I would have been about 5 years old but the exact year is hazy. It could have been anywhere from 3 to 8. The strange part is not that my mother almost burned down the house, but the argument that has ensued throughout the years about who was to blame for waking my dad.

My mom had decided that the best way to deal with wrapping paper was to burn it in the fireplace.  So my mom took the balls of paper, threw them in the fireplace, opened the flue and lit it all on fire. Only she did not open the flue, she had closed it. And instead of lots of smoke, it was flames that came roaring out of the fireplace. My memory continues on that she sent my older sister out to fill a bucket with water from a hose and sent me upstairs to get my brother Gary, but specifically said not to wake my father. So I went running upstairs to get him, but he was in the shower and couldn’t hear me. In my panic, I thought I should get someone, so I ran to my parent’s bedroom door, called out my brother’s name loudly enough to wake my father. When he came out of the bedroom I told him the house was on fire. He went charging down the stairs, fell on the top flight and hurt his back, but continued downstairs.  The rest is kind of hazy, literally, but I’m pretty sure that by the time my father had picked himself up, the fire was out and everything was okay. Paper burns hot and fast.

The odd part is that my sister remembers that it was her who went and got my father “illegally”. She swears it was her that ruined his back and I swear it was me. We have had fights over this privilege and I’m not sure why either one of us wants to claim this memory but it must be important enough to argue over. We’ll never know for sure because we never asked my dad what he remembered and he passed away 12-30-1998 from a massive heart attack. His back always gave him problems after that and thinking this all over, maybe it was Andrea that woke him up.

• Stephanie: Rawr. Nothing's springing immediately to mind, so I might have to go with the Christmas I spent in California, simply because it was, compared to what I had grown up with, all hell of strange. I was born and raised in western Massachusetts, near my maternal family, but spent a year living in California (which is where most of my father's family lived at the time) when I was sixteen&seventeen. That December, my dad and I drove down to the Los Angeles-ish area from way up north where we lived (about ten/eleven hours, yup) and I spent Christmas in Santa Clarita, where it is things like warm and sunny, with people (family, no less) that I rarely ever see or talk to. We all pretty much knew it was the first and only time an event-gathering of this type would ever happen, and it's absolutely true. I still usually end up in California in winter-time -- it was always when I was on break from college -- but with that one exception, every Christmas I have ever spent has been on the east coast. Which is fine. Sometimes experiences are better simply because they couldn't ever possibly be replicated.

• Justin: I want to say I was about five when this happened, but I could be off a year or two. Either way, my Dad, my brother, and I were heading over to my grandmother’s house from his to do Christmas when, on the I-10 feeder road, we ran out of gas.

You have to remember that this was somewhere around 1990, so nobody had cell phones and the nearest gas station was a bit of a walk away, so we were pretty late.

This wasn’t the first (or last) time my dad ran out of gas or was late for something, but this is the time that sticks out in my mind.

• Houston: The strangest thing I can think of wasn't that strange for me but was very much odd to THE WIFE.  My family's Christmas Eve tradition has evolved over th years to just more of a get together and open presents thing than the whole "Turkey and Ham and caroling kind of thing."

So this story begins back when THE WIFE was known as THE GIRLFRIEND and I was taking her to our first Christmas Eve with my family.  She knew she was in for a good on when the conversation began like this:

Me: We have to go get Tacos because Mom had to work late.

Her: What?

Me: Mom is working late so we are running to get the Tacos.

Her: You're kidding right?

Only, I wasn't kidding.  We were eating Tacos, hot dogs and... wait for it....


Oh yeah baby!

Also, I thought this was the same year that my aunts got into an argument over who had gotten a prettier trunk, but she swears that was another Christmas.

Ahhhhhh, memories.


Michelle and Kristin didn’t get answers in in time. I know y’all are disappointed, let them know how much so in the comments.

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