Posted tagged ‘shaking presents’

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things — not the great occasions — give off the greatest glow of happiness.”

December 11, 2017

Yesterday I finished my chores but did little else. Today I need to send packages and cards, and I’ll do that as soon as I finish here which leaves me the best of the afternoon to decorate the house and tree. I am always ambitious in the mornings.

I’m watching yet another Christmas Carol, this one with Patrick Stewart. Every Christmas it doesn’t matter how many times or how many Scrooges I watch. I still love this story. The Cratchits here are presented poorer than in other films which makes their Christmas feast seem grander with its goose and Christmas pudding. The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge and us Christmas in a lighthouse, on a ship and at a coal mine. Scrooge has no words to describe what he sees.

My mother, sister and I saw A Christmas Carol at the Wang in Boston. At the point where Scrooge is as “giddy as a schoolboy” the fire alarm went off, and we had to evacuate the theater. It was a false alarm. I was so very disappointed not to see Scrooge and his total reclamation. I know the ending of A Christmas Carol and I remember much of the dialogue but watching Scrooge open his heart is the best part.

My mother always teased me about my Christmas presents. “Wait until you see what you’re going to get,” she’d say to me every year. It didn’t matter if I was in my 30’s or 40’s. Teasing was part of the ritual. She and I used to buy every Christmas issue of all the magazines. We’d chat about the decorations and the recipes. Some we even tried. I remember her gingerbread biscotti and the bread which looked like teddy bears. One year she made figgy pudding because the song made us wonder what it was. The best gift  my mother gave us was Christmas. I remember making ornaments, frosting cookies, shaking presents and hanging my stocking with much fanfare. I always went to my parents’ house for Christmas, but I always had a tree here and decorated my house. I remember once being asked why I had a tree if I wasn’t going to be here for Christmas. I thought that the silliest question of all.

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”

December 12, 2013

This Christmas elf is getting a bit nervous. Usually I am far ahead of where I am now so my to-do lists through this weekend are long. Today’s list is loaded with six stops as varied as a book store and the dump. But if all goes well, next week will be relaxed. I’ll sit, watch Christmas movies, sip egg nog, loaded egg nog my favorite, and admire my house. I’ll do some baking and some candy making and the last of the wrapping, gifts for friends I won’t see until after Christmas. I’m looking forward to that egg nog most of all.

My sister Moe has a most unusual Christmas talent. She started practicing it when she was young. Moe used to make the smallest hole in every present under the tree so she could see what the present was. The holes were so well placed you really had to hunt to find them. Moe didn’t discriminate. She did it to every present, hers or not. As Moe got older, she honed her talent. She just had to hold the gift, give it a squeeze or two and she knew exactly what it was. Boxes were no deterrent. She moved them back and forth and up and down and then announced what was inside the box. We tried to trick her by putting small things in huge boxes, by wrapping the gifts inside the boxes in cloth and by putting box in box, but Moe beat us every time. One Christmas Eve she was going to a party and told Rod, her husband, she needed new earrings to go with her dress. Moe went right to the boxes under her tree, shook a couple and chose one. In it was a pair of new earrings. They had been hidden, box in box, but not from Moe. I am in awe of her talent.

Every year we could always count on a few traditional stocking stuffers. We always got a bag of Chanukah gelt. My mother bought it by mistake one year, and after that we expected it, and she obliged. I always buy some now for my two sisters. This year, Nancy, at the candy store pointed out I was buying gelt, and I told her that was exactly what I wanted. My sister Moe gets her Life Saver book. Sheila gets her Star Trek calendar, original crew.

My Dad loved thin ribbon candy. That first Christmas without him none of us were too much in the spirit, but after Moe opened her ribbon candy, she called to say it had brought back Christmas and, best of all, had brought back my Dad. Ribbon candy is always first gift I buy.