A Christmas Story (Or 20?)

FINALLY!!! Oh I love this day! In honour (see how I spelled it with a "u"? that's what you do on Christmas) of this festivus day, instead of airing grievances, I'm going to share some of my favorite Christmas memories. 
And we're doing this a day early because I am going to be too busy tomorrow, what with all of the lounging around in pajamas, and eating candy, that is on the schedule.


Holly was about 4 or 5? So that would put this memory around the year...1996? 97? 
Santa always picked spots, in the living room, where he would put our individual presents. Most years, we had the same spot. Most years, my presents were always on the piano bench. MOST years. But then SOMEBODY came along and usurped that spot from me. 
Anyways, we meet up in mom and dad's room, as was decided years ago in some sort of Christmas council I suppose. Dad goes out into the living room, turns on some Christmas music, turns on the tree, makes a big fuss about all of the coal Darius got in his stocking, and then we tear down the hall to see where Santa put our presents. Upon entering the living room, Holly promptly declares (after getting a good look at everyone else's stacks of loot) 
"Mine is better because I got morether presents than anyone."

Despite her morether presents being in my old present spot, it was pretty dang cute when she said that.


Let's fast forward about 2 years, or as I like to call it, the year of the razor scooters. 
Do y'all remember that year? Scooters made a HUGE comeback and everyone under the age of 12, AND their grandmothers, wanted a razor scooter for Christmas. Holly (this one's about her too) was no exception. 
Let me give you some background on my mom's present regime when we were kids. She was done, DONE, shopping completely by Thanksgiving. Every year. She was a beast. She kept a well organized notebook, where everyone had their own page and there was a list of each person's presents. Receipts were also kept in there as well. She might've done well to keep the receipt for this particular gift which we will be discussing.
Halloween was over, and as November began, mom was double checking with everyone about what they wanted for Christmas. Holly, in her 7 year old wisdom, swore up and down and sideways that the gift she had to have, more than anything else, was a razor scooter. Since they were all the rage at the moment, they weren't cheap. 
So my parents decided to do what they had never done before: Brave the madness on Black Friday, to get a good deal on a razor. 
They recruited Angie and James to take Holly to the zoo to keep her distracted, and also probably to keep her from wondering why the heck mom and dad were so tired.
Mom and dad head out, entirely too early in the morning, to get a genuine razor scooter for their last born. First stop: while there IS a ginormous crowd of people, all wanting the same thing, there is NOT a limit as to how many one customer can get. So the first lady to get to the scooters cleans them all out. My mom doesn't swear, but she might've had some choice words going through her head at that moment. 
The second stop: there is a limit of 2 per customer, so they are able to acquire a real, live razor scooter for Holly. They go home and rest, happily knowing they bought their daughter just what she wanted.
Meanwhile, at the zoo, Angie asks Holly what she wants for Christmas. Holly's reply?
"I wanted one of those scooters, but I changed my mind."

She got it anyways.
She sold it to a kid down the street, less than a week after Christmas.
For five bucks.


Do you remember when Polly Pocket could actually fit in your pocket? They even had it on the commercials. Girls putting Polly, and her compact style houses, in their pockets. It was awesome, and I was totally in on it. This memory was around....1994. Actually I just looked up the year this toy came out, and yes, it was 1994 (also I just remembered it was the year dad had been in Russia, and the first year I was in "The Nutcracker" and those both happened in 1994). Anyways, that year there was one thing, and one thing only, that I wanted for Christmas.

And there was also one thing, and one thing only, that Darius wanted for Christmas. It was a ricochet race car. You could drive it into things and it would flip over and keep going, because the top and the bottom were the same. 
Pollyville. Ricochet car. It was pretty exciting.
There was some couple getting married, at the church, on Christmas Eve that year, and Darius and I did not want to go. We did however want to participate in the annual ritual of eating Mexican food and seeing Christmas lights on Christmas Eve (and also I'm pretty sure we had no say in the matter), so we went along and just walked around, outside the church, until the wedding was over. 
This was the first year that I knew the truth about Santa. You know, how he's actually from Barbados, not the North Pole. And as Darius and I walked around, one of us got the bright idea (it was probably me, although it very well could have been him, so it was definitely mutual) that we would tell each other what we were getting for Christmas. We limited it to just telling one present, because, you guys, there are boundaries that shouldn't be crossed at Christmas. 
So I quickly said "You're getting a ricochet! Am I getting Pollyville!?!?!" And he confirmed my wildest dreams. Y'all, it didn't ruin those dreams at all. I was still pleased as all get out, Christmas morning, when I ran into the living room and there it was. All set up, with the lights on in the buildings that had lights. It was glorious.
My mom found out about this maybe 2 years ago. I think her response was something like "Oh you two!!!"


How about another Holly Christmas memory? Holly and Christmas memories kind of go hand in hand and this is why:
Christmas day 1991. We're all opening presents, eating stuff out of stockings, mom is admiring the bell that she got (dad got her one every year, since she collects them) and just as she rings it, she has her first contraction.
"Hold on, I'm putting this toy together."
"Bob, I think we might need to go to the hospital."
"Yeah, hold on, I'm playing with this basketball thing." (I remember that part very vividly, however I'm paraphrasing most of the conversation)
At this point, I think mom convinced dad that she really did need to give birth. So they left and she did. When they were driving Holly home (we didn't find out what she was until she joined us here in this earthly existence), mom told me that dad all of a sudden exclaimed "YES! NO MORE PINEWOOD DERBIES!" And it was one of the best Christmas gifts he ever got. 
And, to this day, when mom rings that particular bell, she feels a hint of a contraction.


Oh oh oh! One year, at the children's doctor place where I used to work, Me and JR and Maryanne won FIRST PLACE! in the decorating contest!

It was Charlie Brown themed (we made those characters in the back there, JR's Snoopy house is my favorite)

We were pretty excited to win.


Can we please talk about one of my favorite/least favorite Christmas memories? It was the year Mike and I got married, 2008. Our first Christmas as a married couple. My mom, Darius, and Holly came down to stay with us for a couple of days, and Mike's family came over for Christmas dinner and opening presents. 
Mike had gotten a turkey at work, and we thought "Hey! Free turkey! We can make Christmas dinner!" And then Mike got some bizarre idea into his head and said "While we're at it, we're grilling the turkey!" You see, we were house sitting an awesome house at the time, and there was a fantastic grill in the backyard. Mike used that thing any chance he got (although he still had a lot to learn about proper use of a grill, as you will soon find out). I begrudgingly agreed to help grill the turkey.
We wake up Christmas morning, we open presents and stockings with my family, we eat ridiculous amounts of candy, and then my mom helps us to prep the bird (p.s. this was the year I learned how early you SHOULD take a turkey out of the freezer...). We get it grilling and every 30 minutes or so, we go out to baste it and check on the coals and things. About halfway through the grilling process, I'm basting the turkey, which I had CLEARLY been doing for a good 30 seconds, when Mike decides to apply more lighter fluid. 
For one brief moment, my head was engulfed in flames. I jumped back, grabbed my eyes and screamed "Do I still have eyebrows!?!? Do I still have eyelashes?!?!?" It didn't hurt at all, so really my concerns were completely vain, because I wasn't in any debilitating pain. Mike assured me that everything looked fine and he couldn't see anything wrong. He also apologized profusely and I scolded him profusely.
Everything was fine until my in laws came over later, and my mother-in-law hugged me and said "Oh no, Sandi, your hair is SINGED!" I ran into the bathroom, saw what she was talking about and proceeded to lock myself in the bathroom so I could cry while I showered.
And that's how my husband got the cold shoulder for 2 hours on our first Christmas as a married couple. 
And then we had birthday cake.

I don't know what my face is about, really.


I hope that your day is wonderful and filled with all kinds of weird memories that you can share with your family for years to come!!

And enjoy the time you have to sit around a dead tree and eat food out of socks!


This only happens once a year!!