When I was a kid, we didn’t get much for Christmas. Usually one toy. My parents couldn’t even afford that sometimes. It was hard enough to put food in our bellies and close on our back. Our neighbors helped.
But we always had a Christmas tree, which we decorated together, and I always got scolded for not separating the icicles and throwing them when we put Christmas decorations on the tree.
We always had a turkey dinner. One year we had a leg of lamb which my father had made so much ado about, leg of lamb with mint jelly. But the dinner was a bust as far as we were concerned. We wanted our turkey. So did Dad.
When we were little, we always had Santa come to the house. That was a very exciting time until my sister told me that our Santa was really the boy next door. I started checking beards in the stores around town, giving them a tug. That was not appreciated by the store Santa especially when we announced that he was not Santa, just a helper.
A few times the city and county employees put on a Christmas show for the children. That was an exciting time because we always got a nice gift at the end of the program.
On Christmas morning, we always lined up at the parlor door, the younger children first, my brother Don, me, Lorna, Pearl, Dorothy, Aaron and Alice. Pearl, Aaron and Alice have since passed on. When the door finally opened, we ran in, looked at our gift, and started to rifle our stocking.
I always knew what I was getting because dad was so excited about it that he always told me. He bought me a wind-up train, which my cousin broke that afternoon, a wood rifle, and the most exciting of all, a stationary engine that I could never get to work.
On one Christmas, my father’s parents came to stay with us. Grandpa bought me a drum set which I love to play. So did the other kids. But grandma didn’t like it at all. She always seemed to have a splitting headache and the drums didn’t make her feel any better. So that was the end of the drum playing while they were there.
My grandmother’s carrot pudding was big with me. I loved it hot and covered with hot white sauce. One year she blew her putting all over the kitchen ceiling when she put the lids on too tight, but we still had putting. Trying to get that stuff off the ceiling was another thing.
The last exciting thing about Christmas, was taking the Christmas tree outdoors, when the needle started falling all over the floor, and burning it. There is nothing like a Christmas tree burning, shooting fiery pine needles into the sky.