Friday, December 9, 2011

Childhood Christmas Memories

It becomes more and more clear to me that I have a terrible long-term memory. Or maybe its just a highly selective memory. You tell me.

When asked to conjure up memories of childhood Christmases, as we are asked to do for the show I am currently in, everyone else in my cast seems to remember very specific happy, fun, exciting memories- yet I am scouring my brain for any sort of Christmas memory at all, and forget the good ones! I only remember the bad memories and the times gone wrong.

This is apparently the most of what I remember from childhood Christmases :

  • An awkward, scary christmas party of a family friend with mostly all adults- and a select few kids I did not know and never got to know. Santa was there, but I stayed away. There was also an indoor pool that was eerily lit. However, they had that cool mini moving display of those magic, magnetic moving wintery skaters which mesmerized me and my brother. The only consolation for the awkwardness of the party was the baked goods the random elderly would feed us as they patted our heads like a full-on cartoon. Can this memory be real? I don't know.
  • Speaking of, I liked putting cookies out for Santa. I thought it was unbelievable that he would actually have the time to eat them- but still leave a bite, always. Why? One year we didn't have any cookies to put out for him, and I was very distressed. My parents were not concerned and said he could eat some of the carrots we put out for the reindeer- but I knew he would not be happy about that.
  • I seem to remember every electronic gift I got that immediately was a lemon, or needed batteries we did not have. 
  • I remember the year we went on a scavenger hunt through the house to find a crate with dog supplies! We were getting a golden retriever! And then my mom gave it away. Two years later one of my xmas gifts was a stuffed golden retriever attached to a mini, faux dog bed. And, I was 14. Why? Why?
  • To break up this spoiled complaining a bit: we always had lovely, warm and jolly get togethers on Christmas Eve and Christmas Night with my two respective sides of the family. And, yes, They are always great. But my memory is so bad that its all just a nice blur. Except I remember one year my dad gave me the pizza t -shirt he won in the adult "White Elephant". I also normally have to sing something awkwardly. Also, my cousin often also plays the trumpet for us all. He is now 16, so lets see if he does it this year. 

some more merrymaking.

  • One year my mother bought an electronic "Bird Calls" book with a speaker for the White Elephant. That was funny actually.
  • Normally there is some "hilarious" throw down between two adults in the white elephant on my dad's side, often involving Giants vs. Eagles paraphernalia. And at the White Elephant on my mom's side there were always some strange, comical gifts in the mix (Bird Calls). But, can barely tell you one specific story or example. BECAUSE I HAVE A TERRIBLE MEMORY, and details evade me.
look my dad got a gift certificate!
my uncle won ONION GOGGLES! Stylish AND utilitarian!
the first year my cousin Sean entered the  "adult polyanna" (White Elephant) he got stuck with my mother's decorative, birdhouse pitchfork.
  • When I was a teenager, there was a big blue couch pillow in with all of my Christmas presents. This represented the couches that were going to go in the basement. Which, I am sure my mother would have bought regardless of me or of Christmas. Thank YOU!
  • ONE year, when I was ... 4 or so.... Santa wrote me a note and said that I was not old enough for the sort of baby doll that talks and pees and stuff and I was SO UPSET.
  • Back when I went to Catholic School for 2 years (pre-k and Kindergarten), in the Kindergarten nativity play, I was the Narrator of the whole show, who was the only one who spoke. It was apparently an honor, but I was sad because I wasn't Mary. And obviously, Mary is the star.
  • One year we got a ping pong table in the basement, and my brother and sister and I didn't even notice it for hours, even though we were sitting right next to it looking at our other presents. That was actually pretty cool.
  • When I was ten, I cried to my mom when she wouldn't tell me for SURE if Santa wasn't real or not. She kept on saying "What do YOOUUUUUU think?" in this fake way. She was trying to tell me he was not real without saying the words. She got mad because I was too naive to understand and accept what she was trying to tell me.
  • My brother and I would have sleepovers on Christmas eve and sing happy birthday to Jesus in the morning on the years we remembered because it "made us feel less guilty and selfish". One year my brother was sleeping in my trundle bed, and farted too many times. As he was laughing maniacally I told him to GET OUT. He begged to stay in and I said the only way he could sleep in my room was if he slept on my desk naked, hoping he would choose to just return to his room. But, no, he slept on my desk naked.
Those are all the memories I have- I have some blurry memories from school, but most involve being sad that I didn't own any tights that were striped like candy canes like my friend "Gundy". And wishing that my bright red shirt fit me better. Probably also feeling ill from cookies.

Merry Christmas Season! May my memory improve only as well as my memories improve.