Wednesday, December 9, 2009

3 Christmas Stories

Sara, Gabrielle, Josh, Rachel 1975

1~ I think I was 5 years old, so 1974?, we were lived on Randolph Street in Riverside, California. I shared a room with Sara and eventually Gabrielle. We had a bunk bed, I slept on the top bunk, Sara slept on the bottom. The foot of the bed was like a ladder and I would get into the bed by climbing up the end.

So it was Christmas Eve and we were sitting in the living room. Mom and Dad, Jake, me, Sara and Josh; I think Gabby was born that next June. Our parents' yearly fight . . . oops . . . I mean discussion, about whether or not we would open one present Christmas Eve, was over. (I loved this tradition so much that I have carried through to my family.) Sigh, good times.

Anyway, we were all in the the living room, my dad was sitting near the fireplace, and he suddenly froze and said, "Did you hear that?! I think I hear Santa!"

Well, I was outta there! Terrified, I raced straight to my room and jumped up on the bed (no ladder) hid under the covers and sobbed. My mind was racing . . . He wouldn't leave presents if we were awake! He was too early! I hope he doesn't come and talk to me!

A minute or two later, Dad came in chuckling. He talked me down and carried me back into the living room feeling dumb.

Later I tried to jump up on my bed without the ladder, I never could do it.

In 1979, it was our first Christmas in St. George. We had Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa Pack's house. Santa came to see us there. We each took turns telling him what we wanted.
As he was leaving someone said, "I guess you'll be back later?" (wink wink)

He answered, "Um no, I won't be back this way."

The adults tired to save him, "Santa, later . . . with the toys . . . you know??"

He was pretty adamant that he was finished for the evening.

After a little more confusion Santa finally understood. "Oh!! Yes!! Ho Ho Ho, I'll be back after you boys and girls go to sleep. Ho Ho Ho!"

Nothing like Santa promising not to be back on Christmas Eve.

Rachel and Santa 1979

3~ About 3 weeks before Christmas, Dad and I were at Grandma and Grandpa Pack's house. Dad had this happy smile on his face and said, "Can you keep a secret?" After I told him that I could, he took me into the garage and showed me a huge electric train set up. It was up on sawhorses and it was as big as a ping pong table. It had a little town and mountains and train station and little people. It was very cool.

Well I kept the secret, kind of.
Christmas Eve came along and 2:00am found us (us included Rachel, Sara, Josh, Gabby) all in Sara's and my bedroom reading books, doing mad libs, giggling and waiting for morning to come. I told them I knew what one of the presents was. Without much encouragement, I spilled my guts, and told them about the train set. About 4:00am, after a little too much noise, Mom came downstairs and sent us all back to our beds and told us we could get at 6:00am.

Later as we were reveling in our abundant Christmas morning, the presents unwrapped, stockings unstuffed, Josh piped up and said loudly, "Rachel, you said we were getting an electric train."

Crap! Dad was so mad at me.
They were saving that for later. Thanks Josh.

I don't really have a point to this post. I was just thinking about being a kid at Christmas. And these are such vivid memories for me, I thought I should record them.


robin k said...

I love these memories.

Mom in Mendon said...

Rachel, First of all, that picture of you with Santa brings back memories for me, too, such as, "And the mall photographer made us PAY for this?!"

As far as the "discussions," I recall that Dad routinely panicked on Christmas Eve, worried that we didn't have enough stuff. If you opened a gift that night, there was one less for you in the morning.

Jen said...

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Nana Donna said...

I loved your memories of Christmas. Childhood memories can be so comforting at times. I have some great ones myself.

Robin said...

the story about you jumping on the bed makes me laugh so hard every time.