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Re: What's your favorite Hanukkah or Christmas memory?

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The MCDONALD'S CHRISTMAS TREE

 

When I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter I started collecting HAPPY MEAL TOYS. WE made  ornaments out of them they were unbreakable. By the time of my 2nd daughter I had almost 100 toys. 

 

 

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Re: What's your favorite Hanukkah or Christmas memory?

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What a treat to read your cherished memories!
Thank you -
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Re: What's your favorite Hanukkah or Christmas memory?

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My favorite Hanukkah memory took place in 1961, when I was 22 years old.  I was recently married, and had moved from Massachusetts to Florida with my new husband.  When I was growing up and living with my parents, my mother always lit the Hanukkah menorah and said it was a special menorah for her.  Just before Hanukkah that year, my first year not at my parents' home, I received a package in the mail from my older cousin.  He had traveled to Israel and bought my husband and me a hand-made, brass Hanukkah menorah.  I received it in time to light the first night's candles - and my first Hanukkah in my new home.  It's now 57 years later, I'm 79 years old, and I still light that beautiful brass menorah every year.  I still write to my cousin (every year) to thank him for it, and to wish him a Happy Hanukkah.  Some traditions will always remain special to me.  

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We lived in the country in northern Idaho. Our 6 year old daughter wanted a kitten for Christmas so we decided to make it happen. We had picked out a cute black and white kitten at the humane society and they said we could pick it up on Christmas Eve.  My husband left work early that day to get the kitten and was due to arrive home with the kitten at a certain time. Since we had company coming, I told my kids we needed to clean the upstairs.  I put on blaring music and we started vaccuming and doing other chores upstairs, so that the kids would not hear their dad come home with a kitten. He quietly came in and put the kitten in a downstairs extra spare room where it stayed until Christmas Eve night. After the kids were in bed, we let it out and made sure it had all it needed to spend the night there.  In the early hours of Christmas morning, we put the kitten into a box with soft fabric and a new dish and put her under the tree with a big bow on top.  By the time the kids came bounding down the stairs at 7am (they weren't allowed to come down earlier!), the kitten was meowing pretty loudly.  Our daughter ran down the stairs yelling "I got a kitty!  I got a kitty!" The kitten was poking it's paw out the top of the box, and was immediately removed amid much hugging and excitement.  She named her kitten Whiskers and it was our family pet for 19 years.

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Sledding down the mountain, then hot toddies by the fire afterward!

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Mine was whenme and my sister a younger than me wanted to get something special for our parents and wevreally had no more it was cold outside but we new what we wanted to do so we took our brothers little wagon and went around collecting soda bottles for cash yes we were rather poor , but it did not matter to use then we asked my mom if we could go down to a big store near us and give in the bottles to get cash , and i think we got like 20 dollars and we thought we were rich , we got these little snowman filled with bath soap ,so we got one for my mom and then we seen a wallet for our dad and then we got some other little trinkets for each other , we were happy , then when we came home my mom said guess what i got a surprise for you both but only if you want to go ,well we were very excited not evenknowing what she was going to tell us ,but our dad was just laid off and our mom said we were going to a christmas party onboard street in philly on sunday and she would have to take us and then come back for us when it was over , so she took us next door to her friend she made dresses and sold them but she told our mom if she could do some cleaning for her she would make us two dresses they were awesome so beauitful tafta multi with the colors of gold, rust,brown ,pinch of green leaf colored with a big bow behind us and gorgus , so we went on that sunday by trolley , our mom dropped us off and when we walked into the room it was like we were in another life the room was filled with children all small ones like us long tables and beauitful decorations , and policemen, firemen ,and ladies all dressed in long dresses,and lots of food on each plate ,and christmas music playing and then all of sudden there was a stage and santa was in his chair , andveach child went up to see santa and then given a bag filled with toys all wrapped so pretty , then we seen our mom she came back to get us ,and then as we were leaving a man came up to us and said we hope you had a great time cause this was from the people at the salvation army people who did this , we thanked everyone our mom was crying and sayingthank you so many times ,and the fellow said you are all very welcome .

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Re: What's your favorite Hanukkah or Christmas memory?

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I was raised through seventh grade in Charleston WV. Didn't always snow a lot as we got a lot of rain with it. But when we did get some I remember taking the wheels off my wagon, hitching my boxer dog to it and taking slay rides. There is nothing more gratifying than rolling in the snow with a hugh dog. Loved every minute of it.

Now, however, I live in SW Florida. The greatest thing about winter is to be able to turn off the air conditioner and open the windows. Real nice if we can find a day where we don't have to cut the humidity with a knife!!! 

It is really great to air out the house. Literally hate canned in heat. uck. Hardly ever use it as I just throw on another blanket. But, that is easy to do as we rarely get below the late fourties.

At Christmas time all our aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews came to Christmas eve parties at our house. After dinner we all went to church and by the time we got back Santa had come. 

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Growing up in a small town, Granite Falls, North Carolina,  in the 1960s was both tough and fun. My Dad had left the Navy and moved my Mom, me, aged 6 and my siblings, 4 and 2 from Long Beach, California back to their hometown of Granite Falls after serving his country on a Naval cruiser, the USS Rochester, for ten years. He would be gone for six to nine months on tours and then at home on base for three (hince the eighteen month difference between my siblings and me. He managed to get my Mom pregnant every other time he came homeSmiley Happy. He had the opportunity to visit Hawaii, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines and many other places that a farm boy could only dream of.  He didn't feel it was fair for my Mom to carry the whole load alone for raising three small children without any relatives for backup and took what the Navy taught him as a welder back to this small town where he worked for the next thirty years for what was to become PNG. We lost him pretty early to a massive heart attack at only 56.  Granite Falls  was the typical Hallmark/Mayberry smalltown. The kids walked to school, to the library, downtown and all over with no worries or fears. The downtown area had a Five & Dime where as kids anytime we had a nickle to spend, we would visit. You could go there and "shop" for hours and see (what seemed to us) thousands of items to buy, mostly penny candy. Every Christmas our aunts (who were very young teenagers and always glad to walk us downtown as it meant they got to flirt with the boys at the drugstore) would take us on our annual Christmas shopping trip to the Five & Dime to spend our carefully hoarded coins for presents for our Mom & Dad. This year we knew exactly what to get my Dad as he had been watching TV one day and we heard him say to my Mom "Now THAT'S what I want for Christmas this year!" We were so excited to be able to get this "perfect" Christmas gift because we knew it was something he had seen and we knew we could actually afford it. Now remember back in the 60's the guys wore their hair slicked back like James Dean or for you younger guys Fonzie.
My Dad had the thickest, curliest, black hair (most of the Williams' in my family had that awesome trait) and I was always jealous that my siblings had it while mine was dishwater blonde, thick and curly, though it did morph into a rich dark brown later on. We thought his hair was so beautiful and looking back at pictures of him and his siblings now, they looked like Hollywood models. Well, to continue with the "perfect Christmas Gift", it was a tube of Brylcreem. Brylcreem is what my son today calls hair product and it is still available for sell, who knew!
An Icon 
Since 1928.
Brylcreem was an instant hit with British soldiers during WWII. It quickly became standard issue for military pilots, who had a reputation for being cutting edge and sophisticated, to keep their longer hair perfectly in place during intense air battles.

Through the decades the look has stuck. From slick 50’s ad execs to today’s red carpet. 89 years later, the look continues to be an icon of men’s style.
Their earlier punch line had been "A Little Dab'll Do Ya" and the 1965 commercial my Dad  had seen was "Are you man enough to try it?" Here is the commercial thanks to Youtube. Actually it was rather creepy. Between the actor, music,  and the tone, it reminded me a bit of the opening sequence for a Twilight Zone episode.
Well, we did our shopping, keeping the "perfect gift" a secret and really excited because though both Mom & Dad kept guessing what we'd bought, they never got it right.  Christmas day arrived and we opened our gifts full of excitement. Now in those days money was tight so we usually got a new outfit of clothes for school, a stocking that always had an apple, an orange and some nuts in it and generally one toy, a doll if you were a girl and a set of cowboy pistols and a hat or a truck if you were a boy. There weren't these endless piles to open like today. And we appreciated what we got and played with it for years.  My Dad was the quiet type that always waited for everyone else to open their stuff and admire it before opening his. We were so excited and couldn't wait for him to open his gift. Finally, he gets it open, pulling each piece of tape off and excruciatingly unwrapping it without tearing the paper (back then you saved all the paper and bows to use again the next year).  He looks at the tube of Brylcreem kind of funny and thanks us. We are so excited as we tell him we heard him telling our Mom that that was what he wanted for Christmas this year. To our amazement, he looks at my Mom and she looks at him and they both burst out laughing. My Dad laughed till he had tears in his eyes  and every time he would catch my Mom's eye all day they both would break out into laughter. He assured us that we had gotten him exactly what he wanted though he couldn't say it without falling down laughing.  It wasn't until years later that we realized that he had been teasing my Mom when he saw the commercial and was talking about the WOMAN coming out of the tube. He faithfully used the Brylcreem over the next year with my Mom teasing him each time  and both of them laughing  for years over his "perfect gift". The one thing I remember more than anything about my Mom and Dad while growing up was the laughter and love they shared. My Dad though a very quiet man, was one who enjoyed teasing my Mom and making us all laugh. I hadn't realized till sitting here writing about this memory how that teasing quality and his ability to make us laugh is also one of the most endearing qualities of my husband's. Thirty five plus years and he still makes me laugh.
 
 
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Re: What's your favorite Hanukkah or Christmas memory?

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One of the happiest Christmases I ever had was made by my mother's intunitiveness. I had just turned eleven that year and had begun to show a real interest in music.  I used to use my grandmother's little radio that she kept in the kitchen to listen to all of my favorite stations and songs.  I guess my mom had taken note of my new found interest.  For on Chirstmas morning, I found a small neatly wrapped box under the tree that just seemed to stand out more than the other packages there for me.  It was the smallest, but I reached for it first.  I gently peeled back the paper--taking my time as if I anticipated that this was something special.  Then as the last fold was pulled back, I was overjoyed by the reveal.  Inside I found a small square box transitor radio.   It was so small it could fit in the palm of my hand.  It had a small strap on it so I could slip it over my hand/writst and not have to worry about losing it or leaving it somewhere. 

 

My mother was beaming with joy at my enthusiastic response and she hurriedly helped me put in the batteries so I could not only "see" my gift, but I could actually "hear" it as well.  Once the batteries were in, I clicked on the radio and heard the raspiness radios seemed to have back then.  Undaunted and excited, I turned the knob this way and that in search of a station.  And then suddenly, I found one and the music began pouring out.  I held the little device up to my head and danced around the living room--enraptured.  "Thank you. Thank you, Mommy!" I said as I danced and she just smiled knowing she had done good and made her baby truly happy that day and indeed I was!

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Of course there are many memories of "Christmas Past" and it's difficult to choose just one.  But the first that comes to mind as really being special is when I was about 9 years old.  It stands out because it began as a less than happy year, as my denial had finally been broken and I accepted that there was no Santa Claus.  It was hard for me to accept this truth and still allow my younger sister to believe, as I had promised my mother I would do.  To make it even worse, I had to go to bed earlier than usual so my little sister would do the same.  I felt that was totally unfair, as I always protested going to bed.

 

It was probably about a half hour later that the door to our bedroom opened.  I was not asleep, which Mother probably expected.  Being very quiet, so as not to disturb my sister, she asked if I wanted to get back up.  That night a new tradition began.  I was allowed to help play Santa Claus.  I was able to see all the gifts my parents had been hiding, both for me and for my sister.  My job was to stuff the stockings and eat those cookies that had been left out.

 

By the time everything was arranged under the tree and the stockings were hung I was sleepy and ready to go to bed.  The next morning, when I heard the parents moving around, I went with my little sister to see what Santa had brought and I was able to see the expression on her face at the sight of the new doll and all the other surprises.  I understood why there had been the rule that we not get up on Christmas morning before my parents. 

 

In a few years, my little sister learned about Santa too and I had to share those cookies with her, but by then there was yet another sister to surprise on Christmas morning.

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