Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Meme for the Season

I'm feeling rather festive. Hubby and I finally got out and did some holiday-related errands today. We picked up our wrapping paper, ribbons, and so forth so that I can wrap the presents that are sitting in the closet. All of them are for Sam. I've done nothing for anyone else. Don't even know what Hubby will be getting this year. But Sam's gift shopping is done and has been for over a month. Because we are on such a budget I stretched out the purchases for him over the past several months, buying a few things each month so that the expenses wouldn't overwhelm any one pay check. The result is that I love all of his gifts and put a lot of thought into each one of them since I couldn't just go crazy and buy everything, and it was done in November. We also got our little table top Christmas tree. We decided it probably wasn't a very good idea to have a tree on the floor where Sam could get to it, especially after seeing his reponse to the tree we put up at my parents' over Thanksgiving. I need to be able to leave him in our living room alone without envisioning him trapped under a huge tree he has just pulled onto himself and being repeatedly shocked by Christmas lights. So the little tree sits on our dining table so that now Sam can just scream through every meal as he tries to reach the ornaments - his favorite things: "bawus," which we now hear about 8 million times a day along with "ah oo" (uh oh).

Anyway: festive, that's right, festive. And some time ago Scribbit tagged me for this meme that she sort of tweaked to be about childhood memories. I like it. And since I'm feeling festive I'm going to try and throw in as many holiday memories as I can. I have no idea who to tag, so how about if you are also feeling festive and/or you went to Target today then consider yourself it.

One of my all time favorite memories of childhood is this...

My dad took me to see E.T. in the theater when it came out. What year was that? 1982. So I was 5. It was a special Father/Daughter event. Considering when it took place in retrospect I imagine he and I were out together without my mom for some reason related to the birth of my brother, or perhaps she was just very pregnant. As I'm sure you all know E.T. is one of the best movies ever made, but it is also painfully upsetting. It still makes me cry today, as it did when I was 5, only now I can contain it a bit more. At the end of the movie I was a wreck, totally sobbing because ET and Elliot had parted and I loved him, see, both of them. As we sat in the empty theater after everyone else had gone my dad asked me if I wanted to see it again. As the usher cleaning up the theater came around my dad handed him what I can only assume was money - whether or not it was for the price of two more tickets or it was just a bit for this kid to pocket in order to keep his mouth shut I have no idea, but we sat there through the break between showings after the usher passed by. My dad sat through ET a second time in a row and that time around I didn't cry so hard.

Probably that same year at Christmas I had a life changing experience that would set the tone for many a Christmas to come. OK, maybe not life changing...

As usual I woke up way early Christmas morning and ran downstairs to see if Santa had come. I scanned our living room to ensure that presents had, in fact, been deposited and took a brief inventory of what was there. I then ran upstairs to get my parents since it was a long standing and unspoken rule that absolutely no gifts could be touched until all family members were present. When I went upstairs I found my brother, Mom, and Dad standing at the top of the stairs ready to come down. When we went back down to the living room something was there that had not been before. It was one of those huge tubes that you crawl through sort of like this. It ran the entire length of the room and was right in front of everything. I was certain it was not there before and completely convinced that Santa must have left it there while I was briefly upstairs getting my family. My Dad totally milked it and started asking if I'd, "maybe seen a shoe in the chimney as Santa went up to get the crawl tube." How I could have missed a huge freakin' tube stretching about 8 feet in the middle of the room I have no idea, but clearly I did, and as a result I believed in Santa for many more years than the average kid. I'm not sure how I figured out what was up, but I know I probably emabarrassed myself telling that story to the already non-believers many a time.

I believed in Santa so long that I can recall this little tidbit from some time around 4th grade...

I couldn't sleep, or wouldn't, because I was certain this was my year to catch the man that had eluded me so many years ago. I was doing a pretty good job too, and I knew it because my mom kept coming in and making threats to get me to go to sleep. You know the threats, that Santa knows you're awake, that he won't come if you're not asleep, etc. But clearly it was getting too late for my mom because she eventually pulled out the big guns. She came into my room and said that she'd been watching the news, that they had seen Santa on the radar, and he wasn't going to get to our area for several more hours. I felt totally hopeless and I guess just gave up because I was asleep almost immediately.

And speaking of giving up...

The first time I ever had heartburn I thought I was dying. I thought I was having some sort of heart attack and that I was surely almost dead. As I lay on my death bed I remember telling my Mom that I loved her. I think I may have even written out a will. Then she gave me some alka selzer and 5 minutes later I was doing celebratory cartwheels. Oh, to be a 4th grader who has just had a brush with death!

Many years before...

I remember that we put the little synthetic Christmas tree in my room since we had a big, live tree for the living room. I got to lay in bed and look at it with its little lights and little ornaments and fall asleep imagining myself living inside the tree. That's what I always did when we decorated the trees, imagined what it would be like to live inside them. I was fascinated with that Disney Christmas special with Mickey, Pluto, and Chip and Dale who hid in the tree that Mickey and Pluto had just decorated, resulting I think in Pluto destroying the tree trying to get to them. But there was a shot from the perspective of one of the chipmunks looking out of the tree through the lights, and I just thought it was the best thing in the world. So strange the things that catch our attention and stay in our minds as children, and so many amazing opportunities for that magic at this time of year...

8 Comments:

Blogger scribbit said...

My two boys have never asked directly if Santa is real, but I suspect they figured it out and don't want to let me know they know. I just hope they don't say anything to their little sister.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Beck said...

Poor little dying nine year old you. I remember being eight and being absolutely convinced that I was pregnant because a boy had kissed me and I was really upset because how was I going to break the news to my parents?

9:55 AM  
Blogger Kelli in the Mirror said...

your dad sitting through e.t. twice so you could cry is the sweetest thing i've ever heard. :)

2:06 PM  
Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

This was great. I can remember my dad taking me to see E.T. too and sitting on his lap the entire time. Sometimes I wish I could still just curl up in his lap again like a little girl!

I SWEAR I heard reindeer on our roof one year.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Mama D said...

Loved E.T. of course. Also cried and cried. And cried.

I believed in Santa a long time as well. My bubble was finally burst during a figure skating lesson when an older girl basically told me I was a moron for still believing. I went home and asked my mom and she broke down and told me the truth. I think that was the worst Christmas ever. Gee. Downer. Sorry.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

LOL re: the heartburn. What a GREAT story!!!!

10:07 AM  
Blogger sari said...

I love the idea of living inside the tree, how cool is that?

4:49 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

I got to have a little tree in my room too, and loved falling asleep looking at its lights and small ornaments! When my kids are older, I want to do the same for them.

8:10 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home