Past Christmases: Memorable in Many Ways

AS a child, there were good holidays and bad ones.  Like everyone else, I had good ones and bad ones, but they were all memorable.

Six years old and in first grade.  Back in the day when clothes from the dry cleaners came in long, paper bags, I really liked my teacher.  She was beautiful.  She was fun.  She was a nun.  And she came up with the neatest idea for a gift we could each make for our parents.  We each would lie down on a dry cleaning bag, and she would draw around us, then we would get to "decorate" ourselves with crayons.  (Hair, facial features, even our clothes!)  The day I was to be drawn around, I didn't go to school.  I had the mumps, and I didn't make it back to school again until after the Christmas holiday.  No nifty gift for my parents, only pain and looking like a squirrel ready to carry the latest haul of nuts up a tree.  Not my favorite Christmas.

Seven years old and in second grade.  I really didn't like my teacher.  She was a nun, too.  And she didn't like me, because I had earaches and couldn't always go out to recess---doctor's orders.  That meant finding a place or someone to watch over me, while everyone else went outside in the cold.  That year for Christmas we made our parents Christmas cards.  We began with our choice of red or green construction paper, folded in half.  Sister Mary Christette (or however it was spelled) would hold the folded, colored paper against the wall with a stencil of our choice over it.  We each then sprayed "snow" on our card, revealing a beautiful, snowy image when the stencil was removed.  I stepped up and was handed the can of spray snow.  Holding it out toward my card with the pretty angel stencil, I pushed the button.  Only the button wasn't pointed directly at the card.  It was pointed at Sister Mary Christette.  In her long black habit, which was now covered with white snow.  To say she was angry would be an understatement.

One Christmas was definitely not one that I'd want to skip.  Three older kids lived next door to us, and they were like the brother and sisters I didn't have.  One year for Christmas, they gave me a 3x5 index card that read:  "We didn't finish the boxes of cereal fast enough, so Linda will be a little late arriving."  They'd saved boxtops to get me a doll that represented Danny Thomas's daughter, Linda, on the TV show Make Room for Daddy.  I cried and cried, I was so happy.  Another year the two older girls were making a cute little quilted skirt and vest for their cousin for Christmas.  When Christmas arrived, I learned that the "cousin" they'd made the roller skating outfit for was me.

My own children have their own memories of our Christmases, and now we're all making new memories for their children.  I hope your memories of Christmas are as good as ours!


Reese Mobley said...

I would have liked to have seen the nun's face when you exploded on her! I never did that, but I have my share of blunders to remember.

Nina Sipes said...

You're so right. Holidays can be iffy. We always had a Christmas program to do. Since I'm a nervous person, every year, I'd be doing my part on stage with dark red splotches all over me. I'll bet you looked cute and felt fantastic in that skirt and vest!